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Laura Sheehy, Cheif Human Resources Officer at Odyssey Logistics

Attracting and retaining talent: Key trends and differentiators in the industry

Q&A with Laura Sheehy Chief Human Resources Officer, Odyssey Logistics

Q: What trends are you seeing as the biggest differentiators when it comes to attracting and retaining talent?

A: The industry is starting to migrate away from requiring strong logistics experience as a precursor for attracting and retaining talent. To diversify teams, we need to expand our thinking, recruit from other industries, and hire people who can learn quickly but don’t necessarily check all the boxes for a particular role. Going forward, we are focusing on developing employees who are high potential, regardless of the extent of their logistics experience. This requires talent planning and strong mentorship programs for supply chain management.

Q: What changes have been most successful in terms of employee engagement?

A: We are actively promoting cross-team talent sharing across divisions, which provides our team members with more opportunities for career advancement. We’re encouraging leaders to share their “A” players and give them opportunities to lead in other areas, which will ultimately make them more satisfied and engaged.

Q: What steps need to be taken to ensure employees are successfully trained to use, and engage with, supply chain technologies like automation and artificial intelligence?

A: In logistics, our teams are vital in adapting to evolving technology. In our Cloverleaf™ Sustainability Program, for example, our employees are leveraging new and emerging technologies such as AI, analytics, IoT connectivity, electrification, and more to measurably move us toward a carbon-neutral world—which is a very engaging mission for all of us.

Q: Are you still seeing talent shortages in the supply chain, and what steps need to be taken to help mitigate and/or avoid continued shortages?

A: We are seeing a talent shortage in the industry. We’ve recently hired a director of talent development who is hyper-focused on training and development programs. We’re taking measures to invest in the next generation of supply chain experts by promoting supply chain and logistics programs on campuses and providing internships to build our own talent pipeline.

For more Executive Insights, check out the full article “Evaluating success of changes in supply chain” featured in Supply Chain Management Review.

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