Agile, techie and employee-focused, ZIM is on a talent-hiring spree.
By Anat Messing
Over the last 3 years, ZIM, one of the world’s 11 most profitable shipping companies, has set itself apart from the old-school shipping industry with its legacy values, complex processes, outmoded technology, and sluggish response to changes.
In 2021, ZIM stands out as a dynamic technology driven company, that puts customer and employee experience at the center. This transformation has been powered by an advanced digital systems architecture and adoption of agile, creative, and innovative work methods. This means that the ZIM of today is a highly attractive employer, much closer in nature to leading high-tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, or Intel than its shipping peers. This is especially true given its headquarters which are located in the heart of Haifa’s high-tech zone and its strong global presence.
ZIM’s Glassdoor rating of 4.4 - well above the global average of 3.4/5 - is testimony to the impact of this change and the wave of success ZIM is riding. ZIM’s CEO, Eli Glickman, received an approval rating of 99 percent which is well above the Glassdoor CEO approval average of 68 percent.
Having recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, this is a great opportunity to peak into the transformation of ZIM into a truly agile global organization active in 110 countries with an amazing Diversity & Inclusion record with employees ranging in age from 17 to 77.
Global reach, local touch
Eli Glickman was appointed CEO in 2017 and reinvigorated the company with a new vision and values. By leveraging agility and digital transformation, Glickman set the goal for ZIM to become an industry leader in efficiency and profitability, in contrast to the shipping industry’s traditional strategy of maximizing size and volume. The shift was dramatic and affected the company’s DNA and attitude across all aspects of its activities.
ZIM’s HR team, led by Kobi Baruch, VP Human Resources & Organization, successfully introduced the “Employees as our asset” concept across ZIM, which drove the company to greater innovation and higher profitability. This approach led ZIM’s management to invest deep efforts and resources into hiring the most motivated, engaged, and dedicated employees and managers. Part and parcel of this attitude is the fact that ZIM invests a lot in its new employees to help them fit into the company culture and to encourage them to bring innovative ideas and solutions from their very first day at the company.
As with so many other global players, engaging with each individual employee can be a challenge. ZIM overcomes this through a culture that encourages open communication channels at all levels.
ZIM also puts a lot of emphasis on strengthening the interface between field and headquarters, by sharing values, vision and celebrating success together and making their employees proud of ZIM. ZIM’s has branded its unique spirit as the “Z-factor”: which encapsulates its can-do, innovative, creative, and personal touch – even as a digitally-driven and global shipping company.
Launching fastest link in the market to meet the trade impact of Covid-19
While recent years have seen a trend toward M&As in the shipping industry for the sake of streamlining and cost reduction, ZIM’s strategy has been to remain independent and agile. In essence, ZIM has transformed its smaller size into a competitive advantage and an asset in the global shipping arena. As a relatively small company, ZIM has preserved and enhanced its flexibility, agility, creativity, and innovation – and personal touch.