The local business sector has long been complaining about the problems that many companies are encountering when in need to recruit new people. “Express Trailers is no exception and we have been experiencing these same problems when we happen to be seeking both blue collar and white-collar roles,” says NICOLE VELLA, Human Resources Manager.
The most difficult departments to source candidates for are the finance department and fleet maintenance namely welders, mechanics and VRT testers.
“Whereas applicants for positions within our finance department are low in numbers and the salary expectations have increased substantially, the problem with the fleet maintenance is that skilled workers requiring a certain physical aptitude and the necessary certifications are hard to find,” noted Nicole Vella.
“It is becoming increasingly apparent that although the vacancies are there, not many seem to be taking up these trade skills when young, and this limited number of applicants available in the local market has signalled a serious shortage which can no longer be ignored,” she added.
Whilst acknowledging this problem, Nicole explained how to address this difficulty, different techniques and strategies have had to be adopted.
“For difficult roles we are employing foreign applicants who contact us when they are still abroad. Many of these skilled workers tend to come from outside of the EU and therefore, the work permit process could be a lengthy one to complete. The upside of this situation is that such applicants tend to be not only already experienced but would also hold the necessary certifications.”
For finance roles, Ms Vella explained that the company is having to resort to outsource certain work to non-employees to fill in the gaps, until permanent staff have been sourced and employed.
“Finding and recruiting truckers, on the other hand, does not present the same difficulty, obviously because trucks are the thing, we are most known for and a driver is the most popular role at Express Trailers,” pointed out Nicole.
“In fact, we usually receive applications even when no vacant positions are open! However, even here, the local market is becoming increasingly competitive as well.”
Current Vacancies at Express Trailers include a Forklift Operator, a VRT Tester, an Account Clerk, a Bond Operations Clerk, a Sales Clerk and a Customer Care agent for Express Trailers’ online shopping platform ShipLowCost.
Company recruiters and HR managers will all agree that keeping employees incentivised remains an ongoing challenge.
“At Express Trailers, we do this through regular appraisals and salary reviews, we offer health insurance cover, we seek to improve remuneration packages and we encourage our people to grow professionally by offering them more training and development opportunities. I would say that personal professional development is becoming more in demand, and we are happy to be offering such an opportunity to our employees.”
There is an intense programme of training opportunities in store for the coming months. In fact, besides the regular refresher training courses that are mandatory for certain licences, a training plan on Cyber Security is being drafted to increase awareness about this very crucial subject.
The area of Human resources remains very dynamic but also very a very demanding one and Nicole acknowledges how these past two years especially, the pandemic has caused many shifts and changes both internally and externally and this brings about a certain level of fatigue.
“Our main concern now has become everyone’s general well-being but thankfully we are now in a position to start hosting more social events and this is allowing us to interact together again in a more relaxed environment which helps us to cultivate a more positive culture and a stronger morale at work,” concluded Nicole Vella.