Tom Leeper | November 18, 2020
The demand for supply chain talent reached unprecedented heights during the COVID-19 outbreak, but the industry had already been facing a talent shortage.
From critical hourly workers to those who intricately understand the importance of consumer communication, digital transformation, global supply chain management, procurement and transportation, the competition for talent within the supply chain extends to all corners of upper management and individual contributor levels.
Like the industry itself, the opportunities for those in supply chain are expanding. In addition to educating up-and-coming talent on the opportunities that exists – at all levels – the industry also needs to be proactively marketing the new areas that fall within the supply chain domain.
Tom Leeper, Director of Client Solutions at Sevenstep, was recently a speaker for Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s SCN Summit where he discussed the challenges and opportunities in winning over the next generation of supply chain talent.
When competing for top talent, Tom had these three tips to share with supply chain employers:1. Know Your Competition
Think about who you compete with from a talent perspective, not necessarily a consumer brand perspective, although sometimes this will be one in the same. Who do you lose talent to? This will likely differ for each location, so be sure to do your research.
After you identify who you are competing against, it is important to then take a look at what they are saying. How are they attracting talent? How are their job descriptions written? What do their ads say? Then, take a look at what you are saying. How are you attracting talent to your brand? Understand, document and promote your differentiators from there.
Note: This is not a one and done activity. In fact, you should be self-reflecting on your talent brand and conducting a competitor analysis multiple times per year. Semi annually or even quarterly is best.2. Broaden Your Talent Pool
Ask yourself: Do candidates really need prior supply chain experience to do this job? Do they really need five years of previous experience in a particular role before being hired? Do they really need a degree? What could be taught instead of required up front? Challenge your hiring managers about what is a requirement versus what is a nice to have. Often times there are ancillary skills, industries and experience that should be considered.
Get creative about your talent partners, too – whether that is local schools, including colleges and high schools, or other companies in the industry. Remember the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign? This was an industry-wide, not company-specific, push to get more people excited about dairy. Work with industry associations and consider sharing the costs of an event or conducting a joint job fair with like-minded organizations. The sky is the limit when you have the right talent partners, and it will subsequently deepen your talent pool.
Lastly, look inside, not just outside for top talent. Are you career mapping? How are you developing your next generation of leaders? If you do not have a leadership development program – get started, now.
3. Live By Your Data
Survey, survey, survey. You cannot, or should not, make adjustments based on feelings and intuitions. Gather up the information to make real, informed decisions. In fact, this was the catalyst for creating Sevayo, Sevenstep’s proprietary HR analytics platform, which was designed to provide visibility into talent data acquisition and business performance – for all stakeholders. Do not underestimate what you can do with good data. It is extremely powerful when gathered and used correctly.
And, when it comes to your data – stop focusing on the reporting. Do more. Take action.
To watch the full recording of the SCN Summit, click here.