Transportation, Logistics, Finance – Strategies to Help Organizations Overcome Challenges in Attracting a More Diverse Talent Pool

by Jackie Jacobs

Jackie Jacobs, CLFP, is the Director of Data Analytics and Corporate Development for Fleet Advantage, an innovator in truck fleet business analytics, equipment financing and life cycle cost management.

Director of data analytics and corporate development for Fleet Advantage, Jackie Jacobs, CLFP, shares ways you can promote diversity within your organization. Covering everything from championing underserved groups to effective ideas on bringing people together, Jacobs provides a fresh perspective on something every business leader should know.

With a multi-generational workforce across all industries and the job market more diverse than it has ever been, job seekers in transportation, logistics and equipment finance are proactively looking for ways to provide equal opportunities for individuals with a diverse set of backgrounds. Hiring with diversity in mind has been proven to attract a high-quality workforce, elevating an organization’s innovation and long-term productivity.

Why is diversity important when hiring?

The benefits of increased diversity across the board are far greater than just looking good on a company’s business prospectus. More diversity in the industry can help organizations navigate a continuous wave of existing business challenges. It’s important for companies in the transportation and supply chain industries to find a fresh influx of talent not just for driver positions, and while corporate leaders know they need to look beyond the traditional hiring methods, many organizations continue to struggle with understanding the right way to entice this diverse talent pool.

One of the biggest reasons for having a hiring strategy to attract a more diverse workforce is that the ongoing supply chain disruptions and economic shifts have forced industry leaders to find ways to keep their workforce satisfied. This gives the transportation and supply chain industries a significant advantage in a competitive market and helps increase the success rate in hiring.

Additionally, the transportation industry particularly is becoming more digital-forward. Innovation around supply chain technology is continuously improving, enabling more opportunities for newer generations to succeed. Today’s transportation and supply chain professionals work in distribution facilities with access to advanced technologies that weren’t available years ago, which is highly attractive to today’s younger workers. What’s more, the trucks themselves operate on leading technology, which also attracts technicians who are interested in working as much with data and technology insights as they do with wrenches.

The influx of advanced and sophisticated technology has made it an ideal setting for younger generations like Gen Z and millennials. They want to work with emerging technologies powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Reaching diverse candidates through social media

There are companies out there focused on new strategies that reach a more diverse talent pool and encourage them to join today’s companies, even in a competitive environment. Knowing we live in a more social media-driven era, it is important for companies to be very present on social media and all available networking platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc.

This allows companies to build a solid content strategy that gives more of an opportunity to reach a lot of people. Social media is a great way to get exposure, and when younger people are considering working for a company, one of the first things they’ll do is look at the website, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, etc. They want to see that a company is engaged and promoting a positive culture and happy environment and the workplace is a great way to generate interest.

Potential candidates will also want to know that there are equal opportunities at a company. They will look for diversity and inclusion and community involvement associated with a company, which is very important especially to the younger generations, and demonstrating that as a priority, not only in marketing materials, but also in actions that you take as a company will attract diverse talent.

Advocating for female advancement

I can share that my company has taken many measures to continue to advocate female advancement in the industry. We recently became a member of the Women in Manufacturing Association along with being members of Women in Trucking for many years. Our female colleagues have published articles in industry publications and the company has continued to nominate its female employees for awards and speaking engagements at every opportunity. As a result of this focus on diversity and opportunities, our workforce consists of 44% females and 36% minority professionals – well above the aforementioned national averages.

Creating the right working environment that appeals to a more diverse workforce is also important. Younger employees today understand that it’s normal to have a remote or hybrid workspace. To keep these employees engaged, organizations should have frequent cross-departmental meetings – even if virtually. Whether they are monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually, employers may even consider making them mandatory, because then it’s guaranteed everyone will be in attendance, and employers can ask various people to participate and present or offer some sort of contribution each time to get involved in some way. Regularly providing companywide updates is a great way to reconnect and reunite the team every so often.

Making investments into the workforce

Lastly, it’s important for organizations to demonstrate that they are willing to invest in their workforce. Companies need to be proactive in providing opportunities for employees to grow, get more involved, and continue to learn and develop professionally. This includes making promotions attainable and having a clear path of advancement in the company. It also includes opportunities to learn and develop new skills.

“Lunch and learns” in the office are great where other employees can cover anything such as excel training or leadership development, as well as continued education courses. As a key example, our company hosts a training course for the CLFP (Certified Lease & Finance Professional) certification and exam, and now 25% of our employees are CLFP certified. Similar opportunities are also given for the CTP (Certified Transportation Professionals). This is a great way to offer employees an opportunity to grow in a way that benefits the company as well because employees now have more industry knowledge, which can help them feel personally invested in the company.

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Terry Mulreany
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