Today’s sophisticated supply chains are powered by advanced analytics and digital technologies that move materials, components and finished products on an unprecedented scale– creating enormous business opportunity. Cross-functional teams are key to capitalizing on these opportunities while protecting against vulnerabilities, like cyber threats and trade disruption. But in a competitive talent market, how can you be sure you’re making the right hires to position your team for success?
The first step to building your team is to assess your current bench strength against the market. For example, does your team have the necessary digital dexterity to adapt quickly to new technology, like artificial intelligence (AI) advancements and digital twinning? Do you have the strong leadership to build institutional support for new processes and manage change? Identifying gaps in your team’s technical skills and leadership expertise will help streamline the talent search, making it easier to prioritize candidates who meet your most critical needs.
As you develop your hiring strategy for the coming year, these are three key supply chain trends to keep in mind:
Global uncertainty creates new opportunities for a competitive advantage. From Brexit to ongoing US-China tariff tensions, global supply chains are caught in the crosshairs. While most companies are focused on shoring up risk, there are also potential gains to be realized. Forward-thinking companies are using technology like digital twinning to support scenario planning and prepare “just in case” strategies for fluctuating trade policies– giving them a competitive edge.What this means for hiring: Look for candidates with both the technical acumen and leadership capability to serve as a trusted organizational advisor. Effective supply chain leaders will turn data into actionable insights that guide business strategy and keep their organization a step ahead of global uncertainty.
Supply chains that “self-regulate.” We’re moving towards a future where smart supply chains will be able to act on their own without human oversight. Gartner predicts we’ll soon have a supply chain the blends the physical and digital worlds and is “self-regulating, autonomous and intelligent– proactively making decisions on the fly.” In this “supply chain utopia,” all available technologies come together to create an orchestra of supply chain automation that’s predictable, hyper efficient and extremely cost effective.What this means for hiring: Before most companies can achieve Gartner’s ambitious vision of a self-regulating supply chain, they’ll need to lay the technical groundwork. This means integrating enterprise resource planning, analytics and customer relationship management, and then building a clear roadmap. If your organization is struggling to make these changes happen, consider hiring a supply chain leader with experience overseeing change management, in addition to a strong technical background.
Circular supply chains. Historically, companies focus on linear supply chains: identify resources, use resources to create a product, deliver the product, dispose of waste. Now, we’re shifting to a circular economy. Supply chains no longer start with net-new materials but with resources that are reused and recycled. This lean approach will help companies meet ambitious environmental action goals and introduce new production efficiencies that increase revenue.What this means for hiring: A circular supply chain requires creative, innovative thinking and the ability to drive organizational change. Look for professionals who are excited to tackle the challenge of moving from a linear to circular model, and have a proven track record of bringing teams together to solve complex challenges.
A final note on hiring strategy: many organizations do not need to have every single skill in-house. Consider which capabilities are – or should be – your company’s core competencies and which capabilities you could source from an external provider or partner. This is where an executive recruiter can help. With a broad market view, we provide consultative advice that guides your company through an internal needs assessment, ensuring you’re focused on hiring the right leaders from day one.