The well-known business adage that people are a company’s most important asset has taken on new significance in the supply chain industry over recent years. Companies have always needed smart, motivated professionals to design, build, and manage their supply chains. But in today’s ever-changing, complex global landscape, professional talent has become 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 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.
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.
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.
The cost of employee churn
Employee turnover, whether from a poor hire or an employee leaving because they perceive 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.
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.
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 was named chief human resources officer in January 2015. Prior to that, she served as vice president of human resources from August 2012 to December 2014. Additional positions with C.H. Robinson include vice president of investor relations and public affairs from January 2009 to August 2012 and director of investor relations and director of marketing communications. She also serves as the president of the C.H. Robinson Worldwide Foundation. Prior to joining C.H. Robinson in 1998, Angie was with McDermott/O’Neill & Associates, a Boston-based public affairs firm. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Dakota, and a Master of Science from the London School of Economics. Angie also serves on the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization LeadersUp.