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Some of the most respected individuals from the international airfreight industry are currently working in the Middle East, lured by attractive employment packages and exciting career prospects.
COMMENT, Business Trends

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Some of the most respected individuals from the international airfreight industry are currently working in the Middle East, lured by attractive employment packages and exciting career prospects. With the market booming like never before, who could possibly resist the temptation of rapid career progression, tax-free salaries and generous allowances for travel and accommodation?

Of course, things are starting to dramatically change throughout the region. The cost of living is quickly increasing and those tempting employment incentives are slowly starting to dwindle. The days when cargo professionals could save 80% of their earnings are, unfortunately, becoming a part of history.

This scenario has raised an important question - how exactly do companies attract suitable candidates to work in managerial positions within the industry? Looking internally seems a reasonable start, perhaps promoting an existing employee with the potential to succeed in a more senior role. Or else, look through your network of contacts. Does somebody know somebody else looking for new challenges?

Of course, most employees would love to hire someone using these methods, but its not always possible. Instead, newspaper and website advertisements are often deemed a popular alternative. Unfortunately, placing an advert in the media is sometimes ineffective - you may receive hundreds of applications, but how many are really relevant? Perhaps the increasing number of specialised recruitment agencies targeting the logistics industry could be the answer.

Either way, the skills shortage has really increased the importance of employee retention. If you have talented people working in your organisation, keep hold of them. The whole process of losing employees and replacing them is very expensive. So, companies need to find ways to keep their workforce motivated and content.

In part, this depends on the individual; could a salary that truly reflects the employee's position be enough? Whilst this has historically been the most important factor, things are changing. Employees are now placing importance on other factors too, such as opportunities for training and career progression, or even the company's attitude towards corporate social responsibility.

Whatever makes them tick, by keeping employees happy, they will keep you happy, and you'll sail past the skills shortage unaffected.

If you have any comments to make on this months issue, we would love to hear from you. Please send your views to alex.hawkes@itp.com

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