3 Strategies to Overcome Supply Chain Talent Shortage

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Mary Vasile: Hi everyone, welcome to Three Minutes in the Loop, the bite-sized video series where you can stock up on the latest supply chain insights, strategies and news, in the time it takes to get your caffeine fix. I’m your host, Mary Vasile, and today’s topic is three ways supply chain leaders can close the talent shortage gap. Our special guest is Doug Johnson, president of Valor Partners, an executive search firm specializing in software leadership, marketing, strategy, and women leaders in tech. Doug, welcome to Three Minutes in the Loop.

Doug Johnson: Thanks. It’s great to be here.

Mary Vasile: Great, let’s begin. Talent is in short supply and high demand in the supply chain space. What advice do you have for supply chain leaders on how to attract and retain the best talent?

Doug Johnson: Well, the first thing that I would tell you is that the best companies are not always the ones that have the greatest level of success in acquiring the top talent. The companies that are best at acquiring talent do something that’s pretty unique, which is they understand that they need to engage their candidates in conversations about what matters to the candidate. Everybody wants to learn. Everybody wants to grow and develop.

The only way a company can really demonstrate that they’ll be able to help that person achieve some of those goals, is to understand what those goals are. Companies that engage candidates in conversations about what matters to them, usually have the greatest level of success in getting them on board.

Mary Vasile: We certainly see that in the marketplace, candidates are taking a more holistic approach to their careers. But, in many instances Doug, companies are competing for top talent in hard to fill roles. How can they stand out?

Doug Johnson: You’re right about that, Mary. One of the things that the pandemic has taught us, or that has changed the market, is that the things that mattered to candidates a year ago or two years ago, don’t necessarily matter today. Today, because of the pandemic, people are asking themselves questions like, do I enjoy what I’m doing? Do I feel valued? Am I having fun? It’s less about the work, and it’s often about the work and the other stuff. The other stuff that matters is, do I like these people? Am I engaged in the mission? Can I make a contribution? Does my work have value or meaning to either the company or customers? Those are the kinds of things that candidates are looking for.

Doug Johnson: The third piece of advice that I would give to organizations is, because the market is so tight for talent, and it’s so competitive, they really need to streamline their interview processes. We’ve seen the best success come from companies that are only involving decision makers that can move through a process very quickly and efficiently, and ultimately reach a decision quickly. You don’t want to make your process overly cumbersome or involve people that aren’t necessary in the decision-making process.

Mary Vasile: All right. Well, there you have it. Practical, actionable talent acquisition advice. Thank you for that, Doug, and thank you for joining us today.

Doug Johnson: You’re welcome.

Mary Vasile: Thank you for watching. Now, you’re in the loop. See you next time.