Savvy supply chain executives know that their business success depends on the ability to attract and retain the right people. So the current—and growing—shortage of supply chain managers is a significant concern in the industry.
Where does this shortage come from?
- Almost every industry currently faces an aging workforce, whose “bench knowledge” is not being transferred to new recruits.
- Companies don’t want to hire just anyone. They are seeking supply chain professionals with a diverse skill set—but not generalists. They want people with leadership qualities who are also team players and good communicators. They also want people who can:
- Think creatively to solve problems
- Work well on teams, and in new settings with different people in different environments
- Take a leadership role within the organization to drive change
The supply chain employees with this diverse set of skills are being snapped up quickly when they’re on the market, or being convinced to change companies when they aren’t.
It’s not that they’re not out there, it’s that many supply chain professionals remain in their present positions or companies for years and are not actively seeking a job.
How can you find the best ones to suit your needs when you need to hire?
Speed is Essential
When you’re ready to hire, you need to be ready to make your move. These people aren’t going to wait around through weeks of interviews, phone calls and emails. With the unemployment rate so low in supply chain professions, they can afford to be picky – and go with the employer who lets them know they’re wanted NOW – not in several months.
Working with an experienced supply chain recruiter can help speed the process, as they can advise you on competitive salary and benefits, the experience level you should be seeking, and the basic expectations you should have at your level of need. They can also facilitate the interview and offer process with strong candidates, making sure you don’t lose them.
Where to Look?
Attracting and sourcing talent is a lot easier for some organizations than others. Why?
Some use branding to improve their visibility. This can include university lectures, targeted marketing campaigns and select event sponsorships. A cheaper and easier method is to scout talent through your key suppliers. They often have supply market and category expertise to rapidly drive innovation within the enterprise.
You can also develop relationships with universities that may be cultivating the next generation of supply chain stars. Find the right institution by reviewing their supply chain-related programs and curricula, determine which universities have supply chain-related research priorities, and identify those who are open to corporate marketing and recruiting.
With all that said, don’t be afraid of recruitment agency fees. When you consider the time and effort expended one some of these other methods, the cost of hiring an experienced supply chain recruiter is negligible. Besides, do you have the time to set these longer term plans into motion and wait for results?
Working with an expert firm like ZDA can bring you immediate, cost-effective results in the form of skilled, experienced supply chain employees that have been pre-screened for your supply chain positions. Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about our results!