Workforce Education Evolves

Feb 10, 2021

Featuring CAP Logistics co-President Rebecca Kersting through an interview with Workforce Education Chair Dr. Becky Takeda-Tinker

CAP Logistics helps companies overcome the most critical freight, supply-chain, or project management challenge through its logistics experts and specialized industry knowledge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.  This 39-year old company is a leading specialist in logistics, partnering with key industries throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to maximize their uptime and improve their overall bottom line.

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with CAP Logistics’ co-President Rebecca Kersting about the company and what she attributes to its success over so many years.  Rebecca believes that CAP’s culture and program for employee development and training has been fundamental to its success.

Why do you attribute CAP’s success to your employee development and training?

CAP is a player in the trillion-plus dollar transportation industry with a focus on customized solutions versus the traditional volume provider.  We want our customers to think of us as an extension of their companies in achieving their goals and objectives. Therefore, we are very intentional about identifying talent, cultural fit, and career development so that our customers receive expert assistance at every level of their interactions with us.

We also know that the time we spend developing our new employees facilitates their readiness to start contributing within 2 weeks of onboarding versus the historical 3-6 months, with a development plan that allows for increased proficiency towards acting as an independent logistics problem solver between 6 to 12 months. Most importantly, our data reflect that our employee tenure is 9 years on average, which is significantly higher than the industry average of less than 2 years.

What are some of the tools you use in the vetting, hiring, and development process?

We employ two filters to identify raw talent:  A strengths assessment tool and the company’s core values. We apply a behavioral assessment to match results with pre-determined profiles to determine fit with the position.  Additionally, CAP’s core values are present throughout the hiring process and are visible throughout the organization so that potential employees can help determine their fit as well.

Once an employee is onboarded, initial cross-functional training is provided so that new hires can gain an understanding of all departments and their core purposes, before they enter into a career development track.

For the vetting process do you use Competency-based hiring methods?

Yes, all of our job descriptions are based on the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the entering position.  While a minimum of a GED or high school diploma is stated, and a many apply with college degrees, at CAP we know that workplace and position-based competencies and experience, along with ongoing professional development are the most important characteristics of employee success leading to company success.

How does career development work at CAP?

Each employee is entered into their specified career development track, and each track has pre-defined levels moving from 1 to 5 being the highest level.  Mastery of each level gives the employee an opportunity to learn, apply, and master essential skills while providing immediate benefit to the department.  These defined levels also coincide with established pay grades.

To move up the levels, employees are supported by trainers, assigned mentors and their supervisors.  Progress is monitored and documented using regular check-ins with input provided by the employee along with supervisors, trainers and mentors.  Two of the unique things about CAP’s mentoring program is that as an organization we have “the Rule of 2” which means that certain key decisions receive input of two mentors, ensuring experiential knowledge is 012conveyed for learning purposes and the best solution is provided to the customer.  We also have an “ask” culture which supports questions from all levels.

We also provide Badge Certification programs. These programs provide training that gives our employees a broader and more wholistic approach to understanding our clients and their respective businesses and needs. Importantly, as the digital badges are earned, the employees add them to their email signature boxes so that customers can click on them and learn what knowledge the employee has been equipped with through the program(s). So the program adds value to our employees, our customers, and then it comes back to positively serve the company.

Any last thoughts you can share with the other leaders in COBRT?

Based on employee retention success, we see that by challenging our employees to continue to learn and develop, they take pride in their developed expertise, our customers have higher levels of satisfaction from their interactions with our employees and the service they receive, and our company continues to thrive and grow.

By no means is our company perfect, but as a team, we have weathered all kinds of economic gyrations, adapted to new technologies, and met the ever-growing dynamic needs of our customers with agility and expertise through our amazing CAP employee. We are so grateful for their contributions and willingness to keep growing and learning so that CAP can enjoy another 39 years or more of continued success.