The role of soft skills in hiring for the manufacturing and logistics sectors

26th February 2024

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Manufacturing and logistics sectors share fast-paced and dynamic work environments, and technical skill competence is crucial for optimising performance. However, the importance of soft skills can sometimes be overlooked. From effective communication to problem-solving abilities, soft skills play an important role in driving success and productivity within these sectors.

Things can quickly crumble in an organisation if the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing or if no one sees the benefit of using their initiative. This article shines the spotlight on soft skills and explores why they are increasingly valued in recruitment processes within our clients’ industries and how they contribute to overall organisational effectiveness.

The value of soft skills in manufacturing and logistics

Communication: Effective communication is vital for smooth operations in manufacturing and logistics. Employees who can convey information clearly, listen actively, and collaborate effectively contribute to improved efficiency and teamwork. These are all things that Martin Personnel assesses candidates for when they come on board so that by the time they are working with our clients, they are ready to be attentive and engaged with tasks.

Problem-solving: Manufacturing and logistics environments often present complex challenges that require quick thinking and innovative solutions. We look for candidates with strong problem-solving skills who will make great employees that adapt to unexpected situations, troubleshoot issues, and minimise disruptions to workflows.

Adaptability: Rapidly changing demands and technologies require excellent adaptability to reduce downtime and efficiency. We also look for candidates who have experienced change and listen to how they handled difficult life situations. We hire people who can embrace change, learn new skills, and pivot when necessary because they are the most valuable assets to our clients when they are placed in roles.

Leadership: Most of the roles we place our associates in are not managerial ones, however leadership skills are not limited to senior positions. A positive work culture is one where employees can inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues to drive organisational success.

Time Management: Efficient time management is crucial for meeting production deadlines and maintaining smooth logistics operations. Employees who can prioritise tasks, manage their time effectively, and work efficiently under pressure are highly sought after.  Their impact can even lead to greater customer satisfaction. We require our candidates to demonstrate that they have these capabilities so that they can hit the ground running when they turn up at our clients’ workplaces.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ): In high-pressure environments, emotional intelligence plays a significant role in managing stress, resolving conflicts, and fostering positive relationships among team members. High EQ is also something we look for in our candidates.

Integrating soft skills into recruitment processes

To ensure that requirements for soft skills are not just a ‘nice to have’ part of getting a job, they need to be given weight at every stage of the recruitment process. Here are some tips: 

Job Descriptions: Craft job descriptions that highlight the importance of soft skills alongside technical qualifications. Clearly outline the soft skills required for success in the role.

Behavioral Interviewing: Incorporate behavioral interview questions that assess candidates' soft skills and past experiences demonstrating those skills in action.

Assessment Tools: Utilise assessment tools and personality tests to evaluate candidates' soft skills objectively.

Onboarding and Training: Provide ongoing training and development opportunities to further enhance employees' soft skills and support their professional growth within the organisation.

In the competitive landscape of manufacturing and logistics, companies that recognise the importance of soft skills in hiring are better positioned for success. Martin Personnel prioritises candidates with a well-rounded skill set that includes both technical expertise and soft skills so that our clients’ organisations can build high-performing teams that drive innovation, productivity, and growth.

If you are looking for a recruitment company that has high standards for both technical and soft skills in candidates, then get in touch with Martin Personnel. We have offices in Auckland and Christchurch.