DHL Supply Chain Targets Talent Gap

January 23, 2018

DHL Supply Chain is implementing innovative processes to improve the hiring and retention of warehouse workers across the company’s network, and the effort is yielding impressive results, including approximately 445 daily applications and nearly 32,000 fewer hours spent on administrative hiring tasks this year. These early statistics serve as positive proof that DHL is directly addressing the skills gap that continues to loom large over the supply chain industry at all levels.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ October announcement that the unemployment rate had reached a near-50-year low put even more pressure on an already tight labor market going into the busy and competitive labor-hiring period over the fourth quarter holiday season. DHL Supply Chain’s successful workforce retention processes created benefits for supply chain partners throughout this period and into 2019.

Keeping DHL at the forefront of supply chain excellence, the company launched a broad hiring and retention initiative that leverages increased process automation for its hourly workers, establishes a network of regional recruiting centers and provides more scheduling flexibility for hourly workers. The program provides visibility into roles across the country and leans heavily into applicants’ desire for a quick and easy hiring process, which starts with the new social recruiting site, It is currently available in the U.S., and will launch in Canada during the first quarter of 2019.

“Our customers rely on us to provide talent that consistently meets their needs; and to accomplish that, we apply the same level of operational excellence to talent acquisition and retention as we do in developing supply chain solutions for our customers,” said Tim Sprosty, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at DHL Supply Chain. “Using a combination of innovative thinking and disciplined execution to attract and retain the people our business depends on is resulting in significant benefits.”

A number of initiatives boosting DHL’s innovative hiring and retention processes have improved the quantity and quality of applicants, and reduced the applicant-to-hire timeframe:

An integrated hourly recruiting and onboarding system automates every step of the recruiting process, from online applications at to pre-hire testing to onboarding. In less than one year, the system has already generated more than 52,000 applications, resulting in more than 5,000 newly hired hourly workers to meet the company’s growing labor needs.

Centralized recruiting centers create recruiting support for sites across the United States. The company invested in seven regional recruiting centers across the country, each using the same systems, processes and tools, with dedicated recruiting resources for high-quality hiring.

Once on the job, new applicants benefit from enhanced orientation and training, and increased scheduling flexibility. In select markets, this includes the ability to use a mobile app to select shifts that best fit an employee’s schedule.

“The talent gap is one of the most significant issues facing our industry, and we want to be at the forefront of the solution,” said Sprosty. “We believe the supply chain industry offers a wealth of opportunity to the right applicants, and our goal is to drive that message, and ensure it is easy for qualified applicants to enter the industry and rewarding for them to stay.”

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