Richard Litchfield Innovate Freight Talent

East Midlands based recruiter reveals secrets to securing best available talent

It is a scenario many employers will be familiar with – the obstacle course that is filling a vacancy. In the current challenging jobs landscape, it can take weeks if not months to fill roles for particular industries.

Logistics is a thriving sector, with over 2.7million people in the UK employed in logistics roles – 8.2 per cent of the country’s workforce*. But there are crucial shortages of good recruits for some roles in the sector, making it a fight for companies to source the best candidates.

Specialist East Midlands based logistics recruiter, Innovate Freight Talent, helps firms find the right people. With the average recruitment time for an Innovate Freight Talent role being around 20 working days, from application to job offer, the company’s founder is keen to highlight some reasons why companies might be struggling so much in the present climate.

Richard Litchfield, Managing Director of Innovate Freight Talent has worked in the logistics industry for two decades and is all too aware of some of the pitfalls many companies end up finding themselves in, when it comes to securing the best talent.

He comments: “Companies that have not struck while the iron’s hot, have always risked losing promising candidates to competitors. But now, in 2024, that is even more prevalent, with the skills shortage we are seeing. At whatever stage of the recruitment process, we would advise employers to keep their options open, and keep communication lines open.

“By letting your recruiter, and in turn the candidate, know of your intentions as soon as possible following an interview, you are keeping yourself in the running to secure the talent you need to take your business to the next level. Too often have companies gone quiet following interview, and the candidate has found themselves another role in the meantime.”            

Time is of the essence, then, in the logistics sector at present. Richard also advises firms looking to recruit to be prepared to get flexible, he continues: “Microsoft Teams and Zoom offered us all so many benefits when it came to recruiting during the pandemic. Our advice is to continue utilising video-conferencing software, where possible, to get swift insight into whether an applicant is right for your business.

“It can often be the case that a quick video call can be arranged with shorter notice than a physical interview. These calls offer an opportunity to get a sense of an applicant’s personality, skillset and whether they’d be the best fit. Following this up with an in-person interview is then recommended, to ensure those first impressions were spot on.

“Of course, quite often for more senior roles, we would advise our clients to consider tours of the workplace, and a thorough session of interview questions – to really ensure that the candidate’s personality is right for their business.”

Innovate Freight Talent is continuing to grow its impressive roster of clients within the logistics sector, and the team will be present at the upcoming Multimodal Exhibition, to showcase its offering to prospective customers.


*Logistics UK 2023 Report