We would like to call Supply Chain Matters reader attention to another rather timely reminder regarding challenges in supply chain management related recruitment and retention.

Multi-industry supply chain teams are all too aware that the currently full-out supply chain activity levels being experienced on a global-wide basis have provided stark warning signs. The supply chain talent perfect storm is intensifying at all levels, especially in economies that are near full employment levels. 

Canadian based Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting has again provided two blogs that serve as very timely reminders of recruitment and retention challenges.  From our lens, they have special meaning in the current environment.

Executive Leadership

The blog: What’s the Cost of Bad leadership in Procurement?, applies not only to procurement but other supply chain leadership positions. In fact, we had called prior attention to this blog posting in early March. It is timely because it reminds businesses that a bad hire at the leadership level has the potential to impact the firm’s brand and make it rather difficult to hire at all levels below. We are certain that many of our readers can attest to the above.

Specifically noted:

Even if it’s a company with a storied history and a powerhouse brand as an employer, word always gets out if the wrong leadership is in place within any specific function.”

Bad leadership is generally defined as candidates that do not possess on the ground experience to understand the function from bottom to top, do not surround themselves with staffing that complements needed leadership, and do not demonstrate effective use of the “soft skills” needed in negotiation, relationship-building and getting buy-in from diverse teams. Conversely, talented leaders who sense that senior management either does not understand or appreciate the business contributions or the inherent challenges of supply chain management functions will indeed seek other companies that have such an appreciation.

We believe the posting serves as an important reminder for C-Suite executives that are likely to recruit or evaluate supply chain leaders and it deserves added emphasis.

General Supply Chain Recruitment and Retention

A separate blog published earlier this month: 6 Reasons Why Your Supply Chain Employees Are Looking for New Jobs, provides what we consider to be a wake-up call for many business executives, especially in the current business environment.

Brought forward is feedback from candidates seeking new roles that indicate that they are hindered from gaining exposure to other diverse parts of what makes-up supply chain management. Access to advanced technology to keep skills relevant, as is active support from senior leadership which is noted above.

As Supply Chain Matters and others have noted in prior commentaries, quality of career and work-life balance concerns remain as an expressed need from today’s up and coming supply chain management leaders. The commentary further points to attraction to supply chain management organizations that are recognized by senior management for the key contribution to the fulfillment of stated business goals. Organizations that are looked upon as purely transactional workers that exist to put out daily fires are noted as uninspiring.

Finally, the current demand and limited supply imbalance across supply chain management functions have indeed caught the eye of our next generation. The recruiting firm clearly indicates that too many companies still assume that employees are “just happy to have a job” which motivates those employees to now understand that today’s labor market affords more choices in seeking employers who value people’s contributions and their career needs.

Both blogs are indeed timely and provide poignant reminders to supply chain leaders.


Bob Ferrari

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