Recent research has validated a lot of the buzzwords and phrases floating around the supply chain industry: baby boomer retirement, skills gap, talent shortage…is the situation as dire as it sounds?
It’s true that as the baby boomers start to retire, their knowledge and experience may go with them. To position yourself to remain competitive in the supply chain industry, you need to ensure that knowledge transfer takes place. And it might be tricky. Boomers have a unique character trait: They tend to keep a vast amount of knowledge about their jobs to themselves, as part of a “job-protection” strategy. It added value and importance to them. And some boomers believe that younger employees should “pay their dues” and learn by trial and error like they did.
Where else might your organization be impacted by a skills gap? The research shows that one area that will have the largest talent shortage is Middle Management.
These days, the average supply chain organization has 15% of jobs open, and 42% are attempting to fill the positions from within—but there is more demand than supply.
So, employers are attempting to fill positions from outside the corporation. Unfortunately, the technique of swapping talent from company to company during a looming industry shortage will have diminishing returns.
How can you protect against (or decrease) the skills gap at your supply chain organization?
Invest in in-house training or look to new talent pools. In both situations, find highly capable employees and train them to succeed. Going back to the knowledge loss caused by baby boomer retirement, cross-training can be highly valuable.
In either case, successful training must start with a strong base of fundamental knowledge, shared terminology and sound procedures. Later, the training should branch into more specific training pertaining to the different job functions.
Successful training can’t happen overnight, of course. So what can you do to fill the holes in your organization until it’s complete? Hiring temporary employees is a cost-effective, easy solution. To ensure that you will find the most capable candidate and keep your hiring costs low, work with a supply chain recruiting expert. Their expertise and professional connections will prove to be invaluable as you search for top talent to fill a skills gap.
The experts at ZDA Supply Chain Recruiting can help you find the most talented, qualified middle management to fulfill your hiring needs, whether as a contract or full-time hire. We can also discuss long-term staffing strategies with you, to help you avoid this from happening in the future. We’re glad to help!