Executive Briefings

Unlocking Supply-Chain Talent

Dana Stiffler, managing vice president with Gartner, explains why supply-chain talent sits at the top of executives' list of things that keep them up at night.

Unlocking Supply-Chain Talent

The issue of obtaining effective supply-chain talent is a crucial one for executives today. Over the last decade, says Stiffler, the demands on supply-chain managers have become elevated. It's uncertain whether the current crop of would-be supply-chain specialists is equipped to deal with those changes.

In addition, the pool of talent is shrinking. Baby Boomers are beginning to depart the workforce, taking with them a substantial amount of knowledge and investment by their employers. Meanwhile, the next generation of workers is harboring "fundamentally different" expectations, including the degree to which they're willing to commit to a company over the long term.

When it comes to the supply of candidates entering the workforce, "there's definitely a sense of scarcity," says Stiffler. The supply-chain profession lacks the visibility and respect of engineering, accounting and even the liberal arts. Most students entering the field have been prompted by a stray comment, article or family connection, she says - not a concerted effort on the part of supply-chain executives to attract new talent. The discipline as it stands "is not very appealing for young people seeking jobs," she says.

Companies need to meet the crisis halfway. Leaders are actively working with universities to convey their expectations and ensure the readiness of a new crop of graduates. "It's incumbent upon them to do something about the skills gap," says Stiffler. "They need to be active and involved."

There are five pillars of a successful supply-chain talent strategy, she says: detailed competency models, a well-thought-out career-path architecture, an effective learning and development effort, active recruiting and onboarding of new hires, and good performance management. "Leaders are working on all these in concert," says Stiffler.

To view the video in its entirety, click here


Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, supply chain jobs, supply chain careers, supply chain talent gap, supply chain planning

The issue of obtaining effective supply-chain talent is a crucial one for executives today. Over the last decade, says Stiffler, the demands on supply-chain managers have become elevated. It's uncertain whether the current crop of would-be supply-chain specialists is equipped to deal with those changes.

In addition, the pool of talent is shrinking. Baby Boomers are beginning to depart the workforce, taking with them a substantial amount of knowledge and investment by their employers. Meanwhile, the next generation of workers is harboring "fundamentally different" expectations, including the degree to which they're willing to commit to a company over the long term.

When it comes to the supply of candidates entering the workforce, "there's definitely a sense of scarcity," says Stiffler. The supply-chain profession lacks the visibility and respect of engineering, accounting and even the liberal arts. Most students entering the field have been prompted by a stray comment, article or family connection, she says - not a concerted effort on the part of supply-chain executives to attract new talent. The discipline as it stands "is not very appealing for young people seeking jobs," she says.

Companies need to meet the crisis halfway. Leaders are actively working with universities to convey their expectations and ensure the readiness of a new crop of graduates. "It's incumbent upon them to do something about the skills gap," says Stiffler. "They need to be active and involved."

There are five pillars of a successful supply-chain talent strategy, she says: detailed competency models, a well-thought-out career-path architecture, an effective learning and development effort, active recruiting and onboarding of new hires, and good performance management. "Leaders are working on all these in concert," says Stiffler.

To view the video in its entirety, click here


Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, supply chain jobs, supply chain careers, supply chain talent gap, supply chain planning

Unlocking Supply-Chain Talent