Archives for July 2014

Why your recruitment strategy is failing and what you can do to fix it

By Kate Lee | 07/29/2014 | 2:26 AM

Do you remember Schleprock?  Schleprock was the character in The Flintstones who always had a raincloud over his head; things just never seemed to turn out right for him.  Given the large (and growing) number of job openings within the supply chain industry many companies are starting to get Schleprock-syndrome.  Companies with Schleprock-syndrome are convinced that the supply chain talent crisis will prevent them from finding great talent and filling open positions.  Here’s the problem with this: it just doesn’t add up.

In a recent interview, Rodney Apple, founder of the SCM Talent Group, shared that there are companies who are out there – right now – finding and hiring great talent.  How are these companies succeeding where others fail?  Apple:

“Many companies haven’t taken the initiative to develop best-in-class talent acquisition resources and programs. Companies that perform the best are the ones that treat the recruiting department like a strategic, value-added program versus a low-level, tactical HR cost center.”

Is your recruitment strategy failing?

Be honest.  How does your company approach talent acquisition?  Is it viewed as a cost center or is it viewed as a strategic department, crucial to the success and growth of your business?  If your answer is the former, it is time to rethink your approach.

Fix it

Apple’s role within the supply chain industry gives him a unique perspective on the talent acquisition and recruitment. Want to fix your recruitment strategy?  Here are 10 things Apple suggests your company should do to create a successful recruitment strategy:

  1. Write job descriptions that attract supply chain talent
  2. Be more flexible when it comes to hiring requirements
  3. Invest in a best-in-class talent acquisition strategy and program
  4. Upgrade career branding materials
  5. Create a supply chain leadership development program
  6. Consider talent from other fields
  7. Develop a program for employing Veterans, candidates with disabilities and long-term unemployed.
  8. Invest more into job training and mentoring programs e.g. supply chain certifications and tuition reimbursement.
  9. Establish an employment brand
  10. Be active on social media

How the supply chain can use social media as a tool to hire great talent

By Kate Lee | 07/22/2014 | 3:34 AM

Hiring the wrong person is a costly mistake not only financially, but also in terms of team morale and productivity.  Making the right hire is crucial.

Research conducted by the PewResearch Internet Project found that in 2013 73 percent of online adults used a social networking site of some kind.  The percentage is even higher for job seekers – 89 percent.  Given the high prevalence of use, it is likely that your talent pool is on at least one social networking site.  Hiring managers and HR professionals within the supply chain industry should use this reality to hire great supply chain talent. 

Social media is increasingly being used by hiring managers and HR professionals in their hiring process.  More than one third of employers use social media in their hiring practices, here’s why you should follow suit.

A study conducted by CareerBuilder.com found that 65 percent of employers who use social media to screen candidates do so to see how the candidate presents themselves professionally.  Fifty-one percent of employers used social media to see if the candidate would be a good match for the company’s culture, and 45 percent reported that they used social media to further research the candidate’s qualifications.

Of those employers who use social media in their hiring process, 34 percent reported that they found content that resulted in them not hiring a candidate.  Close to 50 percent of reported that they did not hire a candidate because of inappropriate material in their profile, and 45 reported they did not make the hire because of indications of drinking and/or drug abuse. Other negatives found by the employer were poor communication skills, criticizing former employers, and making prejudicial comments.

A candidate’s social media profile and use can also provide employers with information that can push a candidate to the top of the list.  Approximately 29 percent of employers reported that they hired a candidate because their social media profile supported professional qualifications and/or contained a great reference about the candidate.  Additionally, employers reported that they hired a candidate because their social media profile showed that the candidate was creative, well-rounded, or had great communication skills.

One thing to keep in mind - all  information found online and via social media needs to be treated in the same manner as information found via traditional sources.  All hiring practices must abide by state and federal laws relating to fair and equal hiring.

Social media is a great tool that can assist hiring managers and HR professionals hire great talent.

How to attract great supply chain talent

By Kate Lee | 07/15/2014 | 1:16 AM

If the supply chain industry is going to attract new and qualified talent, it needs a face lift.  The industry needs to be proactive.  It needs to communicate what it is, what is currently happening within the industry, and what is in store for the future.

Who is responsible for making change possible?  You.

Job seekers turn to the Internet for information. Job seekers not only use the internet to search for job openings, they also use the Internet to research industries, companies, and key players.  The information job seekers gather by looking at websites, blog posts, articles, and social media  shape their opinion and knowledge.  According to the 2013 CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Study 63 percent of job seekers turn to social media to learn about the employment brand of a company.  Specifically, job seekers look to social media to learn about the culture of a company, to learn if the company is a thought leader, and to determine the authenticity of the employment brand.

Job seekers are likely seeing sensational headlines like this recent one from ForbesWanted: 1.4 million new supply chain workers by 2018.  But what do they find when they move forward with their search for information on the supply chain industry and on your company?

The reality is that the supply chain industry has been slow to participate in social media and has been remiss when it comes to blogging.  Even more basic, many companies within the supply chain industry do not recognize the value of their website and have created sites which provide little to no helpful information, are difficult to navigate, and are not up to date.

According to the CareerBuilder Study, 91 percent of candidates believe employment brand plays a role in their decision whether or not to apply.

If your company is going to attract great supply chain talent you need to step up to the plate.  Make changes to your website, create and curate great content, and get active on social media.

Great talent is on the Internet.  If you want to attract great talent you need to be there too.

Want to fill the supply chain talent gap? Rebrand the supply chain.

By Kate Lee | 07/08/2014 | 3:26 AM

According to Supply Chain Insights 60 percent of companies within the supply chain industry have job openings and 51 percent of companies are seeing an increase in turnover of supply chain leaders.  This is now.  Looking ahead, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts that the number of logistics jobs are expected to grow by 22 percent by 2022 – nearly double the rate of other professions.

The shortage of supply chain talent is generally attributed to a skills gap.  Specifically, that graduates with undergraduate and graduate degrees in supply chain management are not adequately prepared for supply chain jobs, and that professionals within the supply chain do not have the skill set necessary to take on management roles.

Thought leaders including Lora Cecere and David Widdifield have offered viable strategies to address the skills gap.  That being said, focusing on education and training, employee retention and growth, and rethinking the talent pool itself does not address the bigger issue – the supply chain industry just isn’t perceived as sexy.

Bob Trebilcock captures this sentiment perfectly in a recent piece in the Supply Chain Management Review:

Admit it. You go to a party and someone asks you what you do for a living. You want to say: Hey, I’m the bass player for Metallica or I’m a transplant surgeon or I’m a skydiving instructor. Something with a Wow factor. Instead, a little sheepishly, with averted eyes, you say: Oh, I work in the supply chain.

Here’s the thing – the supply chain industry is perceived by those outside the industry as having no “wow” factor whatsoever.  If the supply chain industry is going to attract new and qualified talent, it needs a facelift.  It is time for the supply chain industry to rebrand itself. 

If the supply chain industry wants to fill open positions with great talent it needs to change its image.  Companies within the industry can start by redesigning their website and by becoming active in social media.  Companies can also rethink their recruiting materials and talking points. 

What is it that makes (or could make) the supply chain sexy?  What can the supply chain industry offer great talent?  How can the supply chain better showcase the supply chain of today?

If the supply chain industry can successfully rebrand itself, great talent will not dismiss the supply chain industry, instead it will come pounding at the door.

Want to be a great content marketer? Think like a manufacturer.

By Kate Lee | 07/01/2014 | 12:25 AM

Gartner’s Jake Sorofman wrote a great piece about building a content supply chain.  His advice for understanding what it takes to use content as a tool to grow your business: think like a manufacturer.

Why?  Sorofman connects the dots:

Manufacturing is actually an instructive example for what it takes to scale and sustain a content marketing program. Why? Because content marketing requires a replenishing pipeline of engaging content—a content supply chain—that helps feed the beast every day.

The following table further illustrates the parallel between manufacturing and content marketing.

   Content and manufacturing

Adapted from: Sorofman’s article on building a content supply chain.

How can you successfully feed the beast?

Strategy.  As in manufacturing, strategy is essential when it comes to content.  Without a strategy in place your content efforts will fall flat and will not help you grow your business.  Here are 12 steps to a content strategy that will drive profitable customer action and help you grow your business.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Elizabeth Hines

Elizabeth Hines

Elizabeth is a content strategist with 12+ years of experience in content development, branding, marketing, and communications. As the creative/editorial director at Fronetics, she oversees all efforts related to content and creative assets, including strategy design and brand development.

She has written extensively about supply chain and logistics, and has developed content strategies across a number of verticals, including the B2B space. Prior to joining Fronetics, Elizabeth worked at Boston University, Prospectiv, and Cengage Learning.


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