How to Attract Supply Chain Superstars into Your Business

"You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world ... but it requires people to make the dream a reality." – Walt Disney.

Fact: top talent is a key competitive resource in any business. So much so, that 'the war for talent' – a phrase coined by Steven Hankin of McKinsey & Co. in 1997 – is often used when it comes to discussions around attracting and recruiting the very best individuals. While 'war' can sound a little harsh, it highlights the intense need that businesses have in gaining and retaining the best employees in the business.

It is no different in the supply chain industry. Effective supply chain management has a tremendous impact on the success of any organisation. The skill set touches planning, purchasing, production, transportation, storage, distribution, customer service – and more! The skill, talent and innovation housed in your supply chain team has a direct and powerful impact on expenses, sales, and profits.

How do you support a lean manufacturing process? Do you have the effective transportation and distribution processes necessary for marketing campaigns? Are your communication channels sophisticated enough to monitor product flaws; and respond to problems in real time? To do all this, you will need a dynamic, effective team in your supply chain logistics and planning. Sounds easy, but is it?

The talent is interested

According to a LinkedIn 'Talent Trends 2015' report, 78% of talent around the world is interested in talking to a staffing agency or a recruiter. In the same report, 87% of respondents say that a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they were previously ambivalent about, or even doubted. So, that's good news for employers seeking exceptional talent!

The interview is pivotal

So, how do you go about conducting interviews that help you sift out the top of the pile, and leave the top employees wanting to come back? One way to start out is by crafting compelling career stories, instead of two dimensional job descriptions. Describe the impact an individual can make in your organisations by incorporating skills​ as outcomes in your job description, and developing catchy titles that appeal and show that your organisation is different.

To find a supply chain or logistics champion, it is best to ask experience-based questions. Simply put, past success is a great indicator of future success, so it is important to read through their CV and ask questions that require detailed responses from past accomplishments. Digging into specific projects and problem solving required helps to understand the individual and their thinking and management style. By listening closely, you will easily decipher whether the candidate has the core competencies you require.

Ask the candidate what they know about your company and how they currently understand the scope of the job. An engaged candidate will have a high level of knowledge through their thorough preparation, as well as questions around your company and the position.

Some other question ideas, and what they could reveal:

  • What are your weaknesses? (A question most candidates dread, but an important indicator of their honesty, and ability to learn from mistakes.)
  • Tell me about a time when you made a suggestion, which was then implemented. What was the result? (This gives a strong indication of the actual, practical differences the candidate can make, over and above ideas that stay 'just ideas')
  • What motivates you? (Gives a strong indication of what the candidate enjoys most and therefore usually does best at.)
  • What challenges would you want to take on with this position? (Do they use the opportunity to incorporate their skills and experience into the answer, and are they motivated by challenges? It can indicate how much they know about your company and understanding of the position.)
  • Describe a challenge you have faced in your previous roles. How did you resolve it? (This can give an opportunity for the candidate to display insightfulness, as well as propensity for collaboration and behavioural styles.)
  • How do you manage time and priorities? (An opportunity to understand their habits, tactics and strategies for time management.)
  • Give an example of your lateral thinking? (An opportunity for them to help you understand their innovative thinking and solution focus.)
  • Why do you want to work with us? (The answer here can assist in determining whether the individuals' values and vision will fit in with your company culture.)
  • Why should we hire you? (Do they confidently talk about the skills they will add? Do they answer with energy and passion?)

Use a specialist recruiter to access the best in the business

If you are looking for supply chain, procurement, logistics, planning or consulting superstars, why not get in contact with the leaders in the industry, Tech-Pro. We understand the industry through our specialisation, and go the extra mile to match top candidates with the best employers. Contact us to find top SCM candidates or to list your jobs with us.