Weichert Workforce Mobility examines the challenges of reframing talent mobility amidst supply chain constraints, providing insights into the industry roundtable and solutions available through OMNIA Partners, a group purchasing organization (GPO).
The accelerated pace of change, shifting demographics and morphing personal priorities have forever changed the world of work and have left talent mobility looking vastly different than before. A recent industry roundtable underlined the harsh reality that many supply chain partners have reached the breaking point.
Weichert Workforce mobility professionals are able to assist and guide supply chain partners through these transitions and help them overcome talent shortages and supply chain constraints to ensure long-term success.
Below, Weichert shares the current state of mobility, and how we need to re-frame our role and value to our stakeholders to overcome the hurdles of the modern world of work.
The Trickle-Down Impact of Talent Shortages
Quiet quitting and the great resignation have fueled a global talent shortage. Increasing interest rates, record inflation and a pending recession have not dampened the demand for talent or job vacancies. Even with the signs of a cooling job market, workers still have the bargaining power for now with front-line workers and technical talent in critical demand.
These shortages are compounded by immigration backlogs clogging the system and worsening the talent imbalance.
Universal supply chain challenges, such as flight delays and limited staff at ports of entry due to COVID-19 and weather-related issues, are also hurting businesses.
The Aches and Pains of the Mobility Supply Chain
According to participants of the roundtable, the relocation supply chain is suffering a massive labor shortage. The entire mobility ecosystem has been impacted -- temporary housing, household goods providers, destination service providers and relocation management companies -- resulting in systematic changes that are not likely to subside quickly.
Despite implementing creative recruiting strategies, increasing benefits, offering sign-on bonuses, career development programs and higher compensation, suppliers are reporting that they can't get staff to show up. Employees are ghosting them for better jobs or more flexible schedules. IF managers aren't packing and loading themselves, they are responding to clients who are asking "when will my household goods be delivered? what is taking so long? and why can't you give me a more precise timeframe?"
Suppliers across the ecosystem are lamenting the challenge of dealing with these labor shortages while up against rising service expectations and increased pressure to reduce costs. For example, it used to be common to deploy a four-person crew for a typical household goods pack and load. Today, they are lucky to deploy two, which means the job takes longer and creates scheduling and delivery problems.
Although technology can provide some answers, suppliers are in agreement that those solutions come with a hefty price tag, which reduces profit margins and magnifies the strain of higher expectations and lower costs. As one provider said:
Another issue pressuring industry partners is the complexity of RFPs required by today's procurement professionals. Many solicit long-range price commitments which are impossible given high inflation. Suppliers are also frequently required to examine and confirm compliance with 20, 30 and even 100+ pages of data protection, ESG and technology criteria. This demands additional scrutiny and resources and raises the cost of doing business.
Zeroing in on the Employer Perspective
The impact of these challenges is exacerbating the situation for clients, too. They are under immense pressure to supply relocation services faster while managing a wider variety of move types, compliance and quarantine travel restrictions, and higher client expectations. They are also dealing with their own talent shortages and burnout from being thinly staffed.
The same employers who are having trouble finding drivers to get their goods to market are having difficulty understanding the significant impact on service providers. These realities and expectations are lengthening timelines from a pre-pandemic cycle that was fairly predictable, to a post-pandemic schedule that has doubled in length.
Balancing The Mobility Ecosystem and Utilizing a GPO
Each member of the mobility ecosystem plays a vital role -- including the employees we relocate. Given the Amazon effect (what we refer to as an unrealistic idea of instant gratification), it's not easy to set reasonable expectations, especially when the average attention span is a mere 8 seconds.
Thankfully, the workforce mobility industry is devoted to exceptional service. Most providers take pride in personalized counseling, intuitive technology and a wide variety of communication tools that demonstrate empathy and improve understanding.
To ensure better service and minimize inflating demand, suppliers recommend working with preferred partners and giving them enough time to research alternatives instead of bringing the same 'move' to multiple partners. To make RFPs less onerous, suppliers recommend streamlining procurement through using a GPO, like OMNIA Partners, Private Sector. Using a GPO allows members to bypass the RFP, saving time and resources.
Through greater honesty and transparency, we can nurture more effective relationships built on realistic expectations and support a more sustainable community.
A shift in the right direction will require a commitment – from all stakeholders – to deeper education and an openness to new perspectives. Collectively, we can rebalance our ecosystem and ensure a healthy industry as we navigate these challenging times.
OMNIA Partners and Weichert Workforce Mobility help your company build a stronger program with tools developed for tracking such as Weichert Go, which has made leaps and bounds in its ability to project and compare costs specific to your program or industry so that you no longer have to rely upon "total average costs."
About OMNIA Partners & Weichert Workforce Mobility
Weichert Workforce Mobility is committed to “propelling mobility”—advancing traditional processes with services and innovations that help make your program—and our industry—stronger. For close to 50 years the company has helped some of the world’s leading organizations deploy talent across the globe and transform their mobile workforce into the most dynamic and valuable segment of their employee population.
Incorporating a GPO into your organization’s strategy is a valuable route to cost and time savings, resilience and efficiency. Available through OMNIA Partners, Private Sector, members have access to a full array of Weichert's solutions to fit your needs.