Article written by Roger Gilroy
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Despite the coronavirus, salespeople experienced in arranging freight shipments remain in demand, as was made clear at one logistics company looking to add employees using virtual methods.
Direct Connect Logistix Inc. intends to add up to 20 salespeople by mid-May to its workforce of about 150, CEO and co-founder Greg Humrichouser told Transport Topics on April 17.
The Indianapolis-based company’s expansion comes as the American Transportation Research Institute reported April 22 that there are initial signs of a return to normal conditions. In New York, one of the earliest states to experience high numbers of COVID-19 cases, truck activity started a positive uptick during the week of April 12.
“We are not flourishing, but we are remaining profitable,” Humrichouser said. “We are not going to let the coronavirus scare us out of continuing to grow.”
He is looking to bring in “hunters,” he said — salespeople with books of business who are not encumbered by noncompete agreements. People who are ambitious, self-motivated, competitive, intuitive problem solvers and who have hustle. DCL, founded in 2009, is offering a commission plus a minimum base salary of $36,000.
“It is a little risky, probably, but my approach has always been all-in. I think this thing is going to blow over, and once it does, we are going to be in a pretty good freight market, and I want to make sure we are prepared to capitalize on it,” he added.
Now, with social distancing and other restrictions in place intended to halt the spread of the coronavirus, the company has turned to virtual tools to evaluate applicants, some of whom were let go from other brokerages, he said.
DCL uses Lessonly, another Indianapolis-based company, which has developed a platform to train and onboard employees faster and more efficiently, he said.
“We loved having our interviews in person, but like the rest of the world, we had to adjust,” Humrichouser said. “We are all Zoom interviews, as of now.”
People can be hired, onboarded, go through training and begin working — all virtually, so the coronavirus has changed the entire scope of the company, he said.
“We used to think you needed to be in the office, feeding off the energy and being part of the culture,” Humrichouser said. “I think that is still important, but this has taught us we still can be a profitable company that’s run efficiently with 95% of our workforce working remotely.”
DCL’s brokerage services, through its network of pre-qualified carriers, include truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal, drayage, auto-hauling, cross-border, international, expedited freight, small parcel, airfreight and partial consolidation.
A look at the Direct Connect Logistix office in Indianapolis. (Myranda Annakin/Porch Light)
In May 2018, private equity firm Huron Capital added DCL to its business services portfolio.
“DCL’s founders have institutionalized their entrepreneurial approach to freight brokerage management, developing strong talent within their organization, which we believe provides a solid foundation as we pursue new growth, both organically and through acquisition,” Matt Hare, partner at Huron Capital, said in a release at the time.
Meanwhile, at the onset of the coronavirus, DCL had just acquired an additional 4,000 square feet of space in its downtown headquarters.
“We are hoping most of the people are from this area so we can fill our new office space,” Humrichouser said. “And we will.”