July 2018

Acquiring and retaining the right staff for an important branch

 4th `IHK-BVL-Logistikforum` co-organized by gwSaar

What if logistics companies want to fill vacancies? Be it skilled warehouse workers or staff for the transport or dispatch sectors – the search is often difficult.

One reason may be the image of the branch which is not always attractive to potential candidates, aggravated by the fact that many experienced persons, also truck drivers, will retire in the next 5-10 years. But there are solutions and examples how logistics and transport firms in Saarland can find and retain suitable staff. An information event hosted by IHK Saarland, the Bundesvereinigung Logistik BVL Regional Saar/Rheinpfalz and gwSaar, the Saarland Economic Promotion Corporation, was held in Saarbrücken on June 26.

After an introduction to the subject by IHK´s Managing Director Dr. Carsten Meier, renowned experts presented their proposals for the branch. Prof. Dr. Markku Klingelhöfer, Professor for Corporate Governance, HR Management and Organizational Development at the htw saar, explained what logistics companies should know about the qualified staff of tomorrow. He underlined that `three major factors matter to skilled employees: a meaningful work, autonomy and the possibility to show a good working performance that is also recognized. Companies where all this is possible can retain good employees over a long term.`

Afterwards, Uwe Veres-Homm, Business Area Coordinator Logistics, Transport & Mobility of the Fraunhofer Working Group for Supply Chain Services SCS in Nuremberg, outlined the significance of the branch for the business location Germany. In his presentation, he stressed that `the logistics sector is one of Germany´s major employers and has seen steady growth over the last decade. The availability of a skilled workforce is success factor and obstacle alike for the future development. Besides technical innovations in the working environment, also soft motivation measures will in the future be needed to mobilize qualified people for work in the logistics area.

Finally, Mirijam Caspers, Manager of the IHK project `Anschluss direkt`, presented possibilites on how apprenticeship places in the transport sector can be filled adequately.

The event was moderated by Prof. Dr. Thomas Bousonville, Deputy Spokesman of the `BVL-Regionalgruppe` and Professor for Logistics and Information Systems at the htw Saar. At the final podium discussion, which was also headed by Prof. Bousonville, the Saarland entrepreneurs Peter Maas, Managing Director of the Saarland branch of `DB Schenker Deutschland AG`, and Axel Peiffer, Managing Director of `Spedition Adolf Peiffer GmbH`, discussed about their situation and experiences concerning the search for skilled personnel.

To give logistics firms and other branches a better understanding of Saarland, gwSaar regularly shows presence at national and international trade shows and events. Also the trilingual audiovisual information system `Sarah` – in a way the `face` for actively addressing investors – is meanwhile part of gwSaar´s location marketing. To illustrate this,  actress Sandra Fleckenstein who impersonates `Sarah` and with whom state-owned gwSaar has realized the studio films in three languages gave an impressive presentation on the system.