Supply Chain Talent

Why Supply Chain Talent Management Needs to Be a Top Priority

The well-known business adage that people are a company’s most important asset is taking on new significance in the supply chain industry.

Companies always needed smart, motivated professionals to design, build and manage their supply chains. But in today’s ever-changing, complex global landscape, professional talent is even more important as a competitive differentiator.

In this blog post, I’ll explore why supply chain talent management should be a top priority for companies—and every practitioner.

Compelling Reasons to Focus on Talent Management

Talent management is rightly associated with the human resources (HR) function, but all disciplines need to be engaged in the charge. This is especially true of supply chain management, a function that needs an ever-expanding mix of skills and expertise to meet its tactical and strategic responsibilities.

Here are five reasons why supply chain professionals at all levels need to be diligent talent managers.

1. Addressing the Talent Shortage Crisis

It is estimated that there is one qualified person for every six job openings in the supply chain industry at present. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) forecasts that, in 2018, the industry in the United States alone will need to recruit an additional 1.4 million individuals to meet its talent needs.

2. A Major Issue for Your Corporate Leaders

Surveys of the concerns that keep CEOs awake at night consistently rank the impact of talent gaps at or near the top of their worry lists. In addition, I believe that business leaders have two jobs: to deliver business results and develop talent.

3. The Cost of Employee Churn

Employee turnover, whether from a poor hire, or an employee leaving because he or she perceives greater opportunity elsewhere, is disruptive and expensive. Replacing a young professional early in his or her career can cost an estimated $15,000 to $20,000. The ability to retain talent is especially critical for younger groups of employees, such as millennials, who tend to change jobs more frequently.

4. Today’s Recruit Is Tomorrow’s Leader

Supply chain professionals early in their careers will climb the career ladder and take leadership positions—they are your future trading partners and customers.

5. Your Team Can Benefit from Fresh Talent

Young workers bring new skills to the table. They have an international outlook, and they are extremely tech-savvy and creative—qualities that are well-suited to an increasingly complex, global industry.

If talent is at the heart of a successful company, then it’s in everyone’s interest to help ensure that the enterprise benefits from this vital resource.

Angie Freeman   is the chief human resources officer at C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.

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