Talent management in APAC

DSV APAC is growing. The Solutions divisions alone employs 2,000 employees, which makes ongoing recruitment and development of talent a real challenge.

According to Guillaume Burette, Executive VP for Solutions, APAC, it is relatively difficult to recruit new talent to Solutions, the contract logistics and supply chain management part of the business.

"The APAC region is incredibly dynamic, but contract logistics and supply chain management does not automatically attract young talent, and we need to ensure our pipeline", Guillaume Burette says.

To make matters worse, DSV is not a very well-known player – at least not when it comes to Solutions. "We're completely unknown in the region, and there is no formal education to produce new talent".

For this reason, Solutions in APAC recently launched their own entry programme for new talent. “We cannot rely solely on internal recruitment to support our growth, and we can’t even rely solely on local recruitment,” Guillaume explains.

Local and international recruitment

To get ahead in the war for talent, Guillaume came up with the idea of supplementing the DSV and local Asian talent pool with international recruitment – inspired by how he himself got into contract logistics and supply chain management in APAC. The next step was to initiate contact to his alma mater, the Neoma business college in France.

"In the process, I looked at what I needed to get my career started and translated these must haves into recruitment criteria: you need to have some knowledge – or at least a lot of curiosity – about Asia, an adventurous spirit and good interpersonal skills as well as the ability to work in new environments and talk to people from different cultures. You must also possess good language and analytical skills and a good basic understanding of data processing (Excel for a start)".

"Contract logistics in Asia is very different to freight forwarding," Guillaume explains. "While freight forwarding always involves a third party for the actual transportation, Solutions handles all parts of contract logistics, not least the running of warehouses, which are often located in remote areas of the region. Operations are usually very local, which requires local knowledge and interaction with local stakeholders. You don’t necessarily work from a nice corporate office in a big city, and you have to be ready for that, which is important to address with candidates".

An extra pipeline

DSV was subsequently granted access to the Neoma’s internship portal with over 1,000 students. 40 applicants were sourced and screened in collaboration with the local DSV HR department.

Out of the 40 applicants, six candidates were offered employment with DSV and placed in the following locations: Japan; Taiwan; ina; Singapore; the Philippines; and Vietnam.

New talents on site - at a DSV warehouse

They just started this summer. Following a two-week introduction course in Hong Kong, the candidates moved to the above-mentioned countries, where they were assigned an executive sponsor. During their six-month intensive training period, they will have monthly status meetings with Guillaume Burette, who manages the programme together with HR.

Sales and customer relationship management

"We start our newly recruited talents in sales – typically working with tenders and sales presentations. That way, they quickly learn our business and come into contact with our customers – and we benefit from a new perspective on the way we do things".

Part of the team from day one

"Our newly recruited talents are not 'trainees,' they're a part of the team from day one contributing with their knowledge and analytical capabilities to push DSV further," Guillaume, elaborates. He expects that they will work hard and respond well to the responsibility given and advance quickly through the ranks.

"I hope they will take a cue from our CEO, Jens Bjørn Andersen, and seize the opportunities along the way. DSV APAC is no different from the rest of DSV; the sky really is the limit if you apply yourself and dare to go where opportunity takes you".

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