How to Attract and Retain Employees in Supply Chain

A serious challenge many businesses face is finding talent for their supply chain. Millennials are entering the workforce with high technical competency, and a desire to make a difference. Their understanding of social platforms and technology make them prime targets for many industries, so many departments are challenged with finding ways to attract that talent to carry the torch in the coming years. 

Where Is the Talent Going?

Even though the supply chain has become a part of many departments, it still isn't an area that is well-known as a major for students. Often recruiting comes from within, as current employees grow through tuition reimbursement. However, investments in tuition often fill positions in other departments. 

APICS describes the need to look at this as "Talent Supply Chain." As supply chain professionals, we have the knowledge and skill set to efficiently move goods across the world. As the demand grows and the supply shrinks, it is time for us to create an internal supply chain of talent that can help carry the load and lead in innovation. 

How To Attract Supply Chain Talent


Since supply chain roles and responsibilities are so underserved, recruiting is usually the earliest step. For students, many often don't realize that supply chain jobs could be higher paying than other more obvious options.

For recruiters, it might be necessary to look beyond the Supply Chain major, and find potential recruits in less clear-cut fields like management, finance, and accounting. 

Building a Tribe

Recruiting might be a common solution, but the emerging talent lives in an online and social environment. MeetUps, trade shows, and other gatherings bring like-minded people together to create a tribe. Where recruiting is great as hunting, creating a tribe is farming and cultivating talent over time. 

A secondary benefit is that the tribe will also help position the business as a thought leader in the space. Finding a champion in the department and putting a small investment in a boardroom with some coffee and cookies could yield some excellent applicants.

It's also helpful to remember that younger generations are motivated less by financial benefits, and more by positions where they can have an impact. That's why building that culture from the start is imperative in attracting and keeping top talent for the long-haul.

Appealing to Tech-Savvy Generations

Most supply chains are using older technology. For generations used to getting a new phone every year, technology more than four-years-old is considered "vintage." 

Regular investments in these emerging technologies like edge computing, 5G and even artificial intelligence, will not only increase the security of the supply chain, but also make the company more appealing to the best talent money often can't buy. 

What To Do Next

To see what the leading companies in the supply chain are doing, join us for LogiChem September 9 - 10 in Houston, Texas. Meet and network with the best and brightest in the industry as we discuss the future of our industries. 

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