As the economy continues to improve, so does the market for supply chain jobs. But that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get hired. Many companies need to do more with less, so they’re looking for a wider range of very specific skills.
For example, many material handling and logistics managers need qualified workers to take on some of their company’s crucial supply chain tasks. Rumor has it that supply chain analysts are going to be in demand in the near future. But there will also be more supply chain employees looking for work at the same time.
LifeWork Search, a search and recruitment firm, recently asked members of its LinkedIn group if they planned to leave their current company in the next year. Respondents to the poll work in demand planning, supply planning, production planning, purchasing and logistics. Of the 281 responses, 39% said yes, they want to find another job this year, and an additional 32% said maybe they’ll leave. So the amount of candidates that may be on the job hunt soon has increased by a potential 71 percent.
So, what kind of job market will you be stepping into if you make a move in the near future? The University of Tennessee’s Global Supply Chain asked a group of senior supply chain executives to compile a “wish list” of skill sets that they look for when hiring supply chain professionals. This list includes:
➤ Six Sigma green belt training
➤ Lean supply chain experience, including familiarity with value stream mapping
➤ Critical thinking and data analysis skills
➤ Strong customer service skills.
Supply chain professionals who want to be hireable should also familiarize themselves with financial matters, such as budgeting, cash flow, financial planning and analysis, and risk management.
“Many supply chain managers don’t know how to speak the language of the financial community,” says Paul Trueax, vice president, North America customer service and logistics at Colgate-Palmolive. “It’s important to know how to translate process improvements to the financial statements.”
Another good thing to have on your resume? A global skill set. The job market for top supply chain talent has expanded greatly to other countries besides the United States. “Tremendous growth opportunities in Asia are fueling companies to move more of their leadership to Asia, including their headquarter operations,” observes Daniel Myers, executive vice president of supply chain, with Kraft Foods.
As the economy slowly rolls toward what will hopefully be a long and sustained recovery, supply chain professionals should take an honest assessment of their situations. Are you investing in yourself and expanding your skill set, or are you just marking time doing the same old, same old five days a week?
If you think your resume needs a boost, consider talking to the supply chain professionals at ZDA. We are experts in career counseling and providing you with other resources to help strengthen your skills and increase your value in the supply chain job market.