Hiring for the Supply Chain: A Breakdown

It’s important that companies take a sharp look at the specific industry trends that are driving individuals and use those insights to find a candidate that is not only right for the job, but also one that will stay at the company long term.

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Today’s job market is unlike any we’ve seen before. There are more positions available and job seekers are on the hunt – in fact, 70% of U.S. professionals reported last year that they would look for a new job opportunity in the next 6 months. Nowhere is this truer than in the supply chain industry, where the combination of new technological and societal advancements and consumer demand has flipped the industry on its head, sending both supply chain professionals and companies looking for answers.

In a market where there are so many options for both sides, it’s important that companies take a sharp look at the specific industry trends that are driving individuals and use those insights to find a candidate that is not only right for the job, but also one that will stay at the company long term.

Compensation plays a big part

Compensation has always been a strong motivator, but post-pandemic, it’s become an even stronger factor for candidates. Today’s job seekers are becoming more aware of what they can get as they see colleagues and friends interview elsewhere and, according to a recent report from DSJ Global, 54% anticipated a higher paycheck in the next 12 months.

This anticipation isn’t wrong – across the board we’re seeing that salaries are increasing for all levels. Managers and directors are seeing $20,000- $50,000 increases, while senior level and VP positions are increasing $50,000 or more.

Additionally, candidates themselves know that the market is hot and are looking for the best incentives to sign an offer, like bonuses. At the same time, companies are being far more aggressive and trying to land candidates faster, so they are increasing bonuses, continuing the market’s wheel. However, while it’s smart to offer a larger sign-on bonus, it’s important to mitigate risk and choose to pay a candidate out over time. For example, giving a candidate a bigger overall bonus, but with 50% given at the start and 50% on their one-year anniversary, could encourage them to stay longer.

Relocation and flexibility are key

Even as the pandemic wains, there is still significant willingness from candidates to relocate for a position - 71% of supply chain professionals in the U.S. reported that they would be willing to move locations for a job in the last year. This high proportion demonstrates a growing readiness to move amongst professionals in the country and is indicative of an increasingly mobile talent pool in the post-COVID world.

To that end, it has become necessary to offer competitive relocation packages to secure candidates. This could include temporary housing, shipping, unpacking – essentially anything helping with the move can be the difference to entice a candidate to make the jump.

Candidates who are willing to relocate, are also looking for hybrid/remote options, splitting their time between working from home and traveling on-site. Some will work from home for a week or two and then travel on-site for a week or two.

In an industry like the supply chain, however, being fully remote oftentimes isn’t an option - you can’t see how the lines are running from a desk, and many positions across engineering, procurement, technical operations, and logistics involve hands on work. To remedy this, companies and candidates both can look to flexible working hours, which splits the day in a unique way. For example, splitting the day in half – one half on-site to allow for necessary in person meetings and huddles, and one half at home for any desk-related work. This provides a way to support regular life, picking up kids or enjoying time at home while also ensuring that the work is done.

Finding unique ways to stand out

While compensation and flexibility and location are major factors for today’s supply chain candidate market, securing that top talent requires going above and beyond financial gain. These extras – or incentives – help candidates feel as though they’re getting an additional return from an organization that they are putting so much time into, and it’s proven that in today’s market these can move the needle for a candidate in the depths of the job hunt.

Again, these incentives don’t have to be grand. They can include offering educational opportunities, as small as additional trainings or as large as funding for a certification or degree, or smaller benefits, like giving an employee $50 a month towards “health and wellness” or providing a travel stipend for going in on-site, which can go a long way.

Looking ahead

In today’s supply chain job market, it’s all about showing a candidate that you value them and recognize them. From compensation to flexibility and even the extra incentives that seal the deal, it’s important – especially in an industry that is so competitive – that a company can stand out and hold its own. Candidates are looking for the most choices and most selling points, so the better a company is set to address them, the better off they will be to secure successful top talent for the long term.