Syfan Logistics 'Goes to College' to Solve Labor Challenge
Syfan formed partnerships with colleges and universities around its headquarters to develop an internship program to meet current hiring needs as well as build a foundation for the future.
During the COVID-19 era, Syfan Logistics has faced the same problem confronting many employers across every industry—finding qualified personnel.
For Syfan, it's not about finding just any employee. It's identifying the sharpest, highest-quality professionals for such a demanding field.
At the same time, Syfan—like many third-party logistics companies—has undergone an unprecedented increase in demand for shipping during the pandemic, adding to the pressure to hire more support and leadership positions. In the past, peak season for 3PLs normally ran from October through December. During the COVID-19 outbreak, Syfan has been running non-stop at peak season levels all year long.
Nationwide, there is a widely publicized driver shortage, but the worker shortage goes even deeper—hitting across all departments at many asset-owned logistics companies like Syfan. The increase in customer shipping volume has affected departments from sales, logistics, and operations to accounting, training, and IT.
To meet its need for quality team members, Syfan has reached out to colleges and universities around its headquarters in northeast Georgia to find fresh young talent.
The company initially developed a partnership with the University of North Georgia in nearby Dahlonega to create a supply chain academic curriculum and logistics/accounting laboratory. Syfan Logistics was blessed to donate enough money to set up the lab and worked with McLeod Software to provide logistics software and training.
The UNG Logistics Laboratory simulates Syfan's operations center, while students learn about working with 3PLs in a real-world environment. As part of their education, the students are specifically trained in the way that Syfan operates—which allows interns and new hires at Syfan to hit the ground running if they choose to work there.
Syfan's internship program has become a key component of the company's hiring strategy. Since 2018, Syfan has attracted interns from the University of North Georgia, University of Georgia, Young Harris College, Georgia Southern College, and University of Tennessee.
The company's intern program is now viewed as a talent pipeline that is helping Syfan not only meet current hiring needs but also build a foundation for the future. The company's exciting, fast-paced work atmosphere has proved to be a big draw for young college graduates. Likewise, Syfan benefits from their youthful energy and enthusiasm.
Syfan has hired interns who have gone on to accept full- and part-time positions across all departments, including logistics, operations, sales, IT, and accounting.
"It was out of necessity that we initially created our partnership and intern program with higher education," said Jim Syfan, CEO of Syfan Logistics. "But we now view it as a blueprint model and foundation for building our professional teams well into the future."
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