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  • Rachel Doyle

7 tips you need for recruiting talent in Supply chain / Logistics - build stronger teams

Supply chain management and roles are in high demand at the moment, companies have shifted priority over the years to focus on the potential to tighten up supply chain operations. This stands to reason as it can have a huge impact on the costs for a business, even after the buying team have negotiated to get the products in at the best price possible. Logistics / delivery services and holding stock in warehouses all comes at a cost, even when a business owns its own RDC (regional distribution centre) all areas of the business are vying for space. Add onto this the complication where suppliers are waving future cost increase prices at their buyers, those buyers will want to buy what extra stock they can at the lower price. Which can cause friction with supply chain partners, who can't find the space, extra warehousing space is expensive. We don't have enough of them, and we can't build them quick enough. Thanks to demanding consumers who want a same day delivery or as close to it, have impacted the availability of warehouse space.

All of this has an impact on the final selling price of a product, and if the price cannot be passed onto the consumer, for one reason or another, then it is the company that takes a big hit on its margin and potentially disappoints its shareholders. And that’s before you even look at what the competition is rolling out from expedited delivery services to same day delivery, which again puts cost pressure on businesses to get their customers onside. That's where you need talent, to be able to deliver sophisticated supply chain solutions which can support more areas of the business, without taking a hatchet approach. However, talent can be hard to find in supply chain.

In times like these with a candidate driven market, yet with limited candidates available, employers need to up the ante when it comes to their hiring strategy. So we've put together our top tips for recruiting talent in supply chain, to help identify some of the common pitfalls when recruiting into this part of the business.

1. There is no such thing as a perfect candidate!

Don’t discount candidates with potential whilst looking for that “perfect candidate”, often they just don’t exist. Are you looking at the whole candidate’s potential? Is your job description and ideal candidate list too niche? What soft skills might that candidate have? What experience do they already have that could be transferable to the skills or requirements of the role or opportunity? You should be looking at their fit to culture, personality fit and potential as well as their previous experience. What does their CV history tell you? And a note to hiring managers / line managers, please read the candidate’s experience. They go to the time and effort of applying for the role, preparing for the interview and turning up, please make sure that you return the courtesy by reviewing their CV, skills and experience.

2. Tap into LinkedIn

If you’re looking for experienced candidates that meet a certain experience criteria or level, take a look at what you can potentially run through LinkedIn advertising. You can leverage your employees networks by using LinkedIn ads, which enables you to see other candidates that match the high performing supply chain colleagues. Of course, you’ll need the time to go through all the job applicants when they start coming in but it is a good way to find people by skills and experience.

3. Recruit smart - keep your recruitment process short and succinct

First off - try to reduce your recruitment process, particularly if you are a smaller business who might not be able to compete on salary - you’ll want to get them through the recruitment process and sit them in front of the right decision makers as quickly as you can. There is no time for a three stage recruitment process, this isn’t a beauty parade, so don’t be thinking you can waste their time getting them to meet endless supply chain team members and other potential colleagues within the procurement function. Similarly, don’t invite them to a number of initial meetings online and then decide at the end that you want them to carry out a task for you - they’ll have already been snapped up by that point. Remember that any time a candidate is giving you, whether they are meeting you in person or via a video call is time from their day too. So don’t make the recruitment process an endless event.

4. Things to avoid in the interview process.

  • Don’t ask that age old question - “what are your strengths and weaknesses?”

That interview question should be left where it belongs; in the ‘00s, it’s lazy interviewing and candidates can spot it a mile off. If you haven’t bothered to read their CV and have something to talk about from their previous experience, then you might as well end the interview there.

  • Leave the slip up interview questions out

If you want to pick through a candidate’s grades, there are better ways to do it than asking if they were disappointed with what they got. We get the point that you’re trying to see how they fare under pressure and how they move forward from disappointment, but there are better ways to identify that. We know candidates that have answered these well and been offered the role only to turn it down, as it says a lot more about the interviewer, than the candidate.

  • Don’t pull the good cop / bad cop routine

Aggressive interview styles are out! This is an age-old recruitment style that doesn’t fit in the 20’s, particularly in a candidate driven market. Remember that candidates are really keen to find employers that will be supportive in their health and wellbeing - it sets off the wrong tone. If you want to attract a millennial supply chain employee, you’re focussing on the wrong tactic. So if you’re struggling to find the ‘right’ candidate, check in on the hiring manager’s interview processes.

5. You’ve found the ideal candidate - don’t ruin it by asking someone to carry out references behind a candidate’s back

We’ve heard of this happening and it’s a terrible tactic. If you want to recruit a good candidate, don’t go behind their backs to get references. That includes, getting someone to connect with them, who then goes through their LinkedIn contacts and getting in touch with people that they used to work with. There is a reason for a HR process to be in place and it can land you in a lot of trouble. This always gets back to the candidate and you guessed it - your star candidate walks, because they don’t trust you.

6. Future proofing

If you’re not looking to recruit supply chain headcount right now, you should be planning ahead in any case. Start by creating a succession plan for internal talent that can be spearheaded into roles, should someone leave which then opens up the potential to recruit at the entry level.

7. Partner with a recruiter

However, when all is said and done, the best way to identify supply chain candidates is to work with an experienced professional recruiter who does this day in and day out. If you partner with a recruiter that understands your business, culture and needs, they will be able to research and identify talent and potential candidate matches, allowing you to forgo the initial selection phase. We only send our clients 3 candidates maximum to ensure that you are seeing the best potential candidates, who match the skillset and culture of your business. We prescreen all candidates to check their relevant skills and personality type, in relation to the supply chain role, opportunity and their potential.

We’re Auxeris recruitment, the 15% agency. Not only will you save on your recruitment costs with us, you’ll be partnering with an experienced recruitment team, who have years of experience in the industry and are focussed on identifying the right candidates for our client’s roles. Find out more about us and get in touch today to see how we can help.

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