'Lack of excitement' hurting supply chain recruitment

23 August 2017

The supply chain talent pool is failing to keep up with changing requirements as technology and digitalisation reshape the industry, according to a survey.

The Supply Chain Talent Shortage: From Gap to Crisis report by DHL said that failure to keep up with changing technologies, such as robotics, was driving a global talent shortage crisis.

DHL surveyed around 350 supply chain and operations professionals across five global regions.

More than a third of respondents had failed to take steps to create a future talent pipeline or develop their workforce.

Changing job requirements was cited as the biggest single driver behind the shortage. Almost nine in 10 (86%) ranked this factor as high or very high in terms of its effect on companies’ ability to find the right talent.

More than a quarter (27%) indicated difficulties finding talent with solid professional competencies.

But while the ideal employee combines tactical and operational expertise with professional competencies such as analytical skills, 58% said this combination was hard to find.

Only 25% believed their company viewed supply chain as equally important as other disciplines and a common perception of supply chain careers as “lacking in excitement” was hurting the industry’s recruitment potential, the report said.

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

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted growth of 26% in logistics jobs between 2010 and 2020. Another global study cited in DHL’s report estimated that demand for supply chain professionals exceeded supply by a ratio of six to one.

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