Attracting The Millennial Worker

By Carly Fields

Specialist recruiters are facing up to the challenge of attracting and retaining millennials in the breakbulk and heavy-lift industries.

Zandol Whited, director ports and terminals at PeopleReady, said that the recruiter was having to get “really creative” to find people and attract talent. “We’re having to appeal to the millennial mindset,” she said.

In response to that, PeopleReady has created a bespoke online cloud-based app, Jobstack, and is going into high schools to promote careers in the breakbulk ports and terminals industry.

“Gone are the days of technology and trade schools,” Whited said. “Workforce from those outlets has aged. We have to figure out how to appeal to the younger audience.” Familiarity with technology has a part to play in attracting talent from that demographic, she said.

Whited said that one of the biggest gaps between the aging and incoming workforce was career aspirations. “I assumed that everyone would want a full-time career with benefits, but that’s not the case today.”

PeopleReady has faced particular challenges finding “plug-and-play” candidates in the last two years, which has prompted it to create full-scale training programs.

In terms of employment trends, one of the biggest challenges is meeting on-demand requirements to deal with the changing size of ships. Also, over the past year, Whited said that clients have started switching from temporary to permanent for skilled jobs, but sticking with temps for less skilled positions in the industry.

Photo: Zandol Whited, director ports and terminals at PeopleReady, is interviewed at Breakbulk Americas.

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