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Ghost jobs haunt the market

A merger finally settles

Check Call the Show. News and Analysis for 3PLs and Freight Brokers.

Welcome to Check Call, our corner of the internet for all things 3PL, freight broker and supply chain. Check Call the podcast comes out every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. EDT. Catch up on previous episodes here. If this was forwarded to you, sign up for Check Call the newsletter here.

In this edition: The evolution of ghost jobs that are hiring but really aren’t, and a deal finally closes and moves forward. 

ICYMI, last week on Check Call we had Kevin Kull, senior vice president, sales and operations, at Pallet Trader. We got into the pallet marketplace world and what it takes to bring familiar tech to a world that has been living in the tech Stone Age for decades. New episodes come out every Tuesday wherever you get podcasts and also on YouTube. 

A disturbing trend has emerged among those looking for jobs: no success. I’m not talking about, oh, I applied for like five jobs and didn’t hear anything back. Oh no. We’re in the hundreds. About five minutes on social media will show countless people and the number of jobs they applied for — like 850 for this one person on TikTok.

Job seekers have even gone so far as to use AI to apply for jobs that are using AI to screen resumes and applicants. It’s a wild rabbit hole that THOUSANDS of videos are made about.

Just wait. It gets better. Most of these positions people are applying for are ghost jobs and I’m not talking about a job as Casper and his band of friends. Ghost jobs are job openings to “keep the talent pool warm.” Basically they’re hiring but not really. They just want to have people around and “at the ready” when it comes time to actually hire … someday. 

It’s anticipated that 57% of Americans will be looking to change jobs in 2024, according to a GOBankingRates survey and also some LinkedIn research.

That brings us to the supply chain and 3PL world, where the average employee turnover, well, it leaves a lot to be desired. Supply chain as a whole is known for high turnover: looking at you, brokerages.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it costs an average of six to nine months of employees’ salaries to replace them. For example, someone making $60,000 a year costs about $30,000-$40,000 to replace, not to mention any losses in revenue the company sustained as a result of the employee’s absence.

People want to leave, hiring is a nightmare, and job hunters are exhausted from applying for hundreds of fake positions. What next? 

The easiest thing is to keep employees. That means employee engagement surveys need to be real and not just an attempt to pressure workers into saying they’re happy when in reality they’re burned out and need a break. Working to be flexible with people, whether it’s hybrid work, flexible hours, atypical benefits that employees are excited about — something like that is so much easier than paying and onboarding new workers.

Since it’s the beginning of the year and there is seemingly no shortage of layoffs coming, just be better about intentionally hiring. And enough of the “keeping a warm talent pool.” Just treat people like people and not numbers. You’ll make a mistake or two on some wrong hires, but don’t make everyone else suffer for that. It’s 2024. Let’s have adequate staffing again.

SONAR Tickers: OTVI.MCI, OTRI.MCI

Market Check. Kansas City, Missouri, has seen outbound tender rejections drop 103 basis points week over week. Rejections have dropped to 9.1%, indicating the beginning of a slightly inflated spot rate market. While outbound tender rejections remain volatile, outbound tender volumes have leveled out as the month comes to a close. Volumes are up 6.08% w/w. Given that capacity has slightly begun to tighten, Kansas City isn’t yet a market that carriers should be sending all excess capacity to as rates aren’t that lucrative. However, a carrier that finds itself ending in the market might have an easier time getting out.

Who’s with whom? In this case, it’s more like who isn’t with whom. Omni Logistics CEO J.J. Schickel is not joining the combined Forward Air-Omni Logistics as an executive. Schickel will remain a shareholder of the now-joined companies. Forward Air and Omni Logistics have been battling over their merger for months as the original deal was made in August 2023

Amid investor pressure, Forward Air was attempting to terminate the agreement then Omni filed a lawsuit. The deal was finally settled this January, and the two shall become one company, despite the rocky beginning.

FreightWaves’ John Kingston’s article notes, “Forward Air’s stock has been pummeled since the acquisition as investors believe their holdings are being excessively diluted. According to data from Barchart, Forward’s stock is down 28.4% in the last month, 35.2% in the last three months and 55.5% in the last year.”

The more you know

Attacks on ships in the Red Sea are disrupting global trade. Here’s how it could affect what you buy

Why it still feels like a recession for many — FreightWaves

Logistics-Tech Startups Face Uncertain Future as Freight Slump Continues 

US Air Force turns to quantum computing for military logistics

Borderlands: Continental AG announces $90M manufacturing facility in Mexico

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Mary O'Connell

Former pricing analyst, supply chain planner, and broker/dispatcher turned creator of the newsletter and podcast Check Call. Which gives insights into the world around 3PLs and Freight brokers. She will talk your ear off about anything and everything if you let her. Expertise in operations, LTL pricing and procurement, flatbed operations, dry van, tracking and tracing, reality tv shows and how to turn a stranger into your new best friend.