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How to hire Talent during the looming Supply Chain Talent Crisis

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The demand for supply chain professional exceeding supply could reach as high as 9:1 by 2020. Companies need to utilize new technologies and prepare the next generation to succeed in a rapidly changing industry according to a DHL survey.The report ‘The Supply Chain Talent Shortage: From Gap to Crisis’ was commissioned by DHL and authored by Lisa Harrington, president of the lharrington group LLC.

"Leading companies understand that their supply chains – and the people who run them – are essential to their ability to grow profitably," observed report author Lisa Harrington. "However the task of finding people with the right skillsets required to run these highly complex operations is increasingly difficult – especially at the middle and upper management levels."

Today, the ideal employee has both tactical/ operational expertise and professional competencies such as analytical skills. Some 58% of companies’ said this combination is hard to find. But tomorrow’s talent must also excel at leadership, strategic thinking, innovation, and high-level analytic and technological capabilities.

In addition to an changing skill requirements, her study says other reasons for the personnel shortage includes an aging workforce and a lack of personnel development. One third of companies surveyed have taken no steps to create or feed their future talent pipeline. 

"We recommend that companies start with prioritizing the development of their current talent pool to adapt to the changing job requirements through training programs, and then retaining staff through clear career paths," noted Louise Gennis, DHL Supply Chain vice president for Talent Management/Acquisition, Learning & Development.

The industry is still contending with the impression that other fields are more prestigious and offer more opportunities, fueling lack of interest in the industry within the world’s future workforce.

Harrington added: "We strive to combat misconceptions surrounding working in the supply chain through highlighting the technological developments which are digitizing the industry and that are attractive to younger demographics," 

"New technologies and fundamental areas of the supply chain have changed, meaning [companies] now require that a person has a different and much larger skillset than required when most of the current workforce began their careers." she continued. 


In our recent blog post "Why work with Procurement Recruiters" we highlight the advantages that come from working with specialized supply chain recruiters.  


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