Report: Talent management crucial to supply chain

Supply chain is often characterized as being focused more on logistics than anything else. Supplies need to get where they are going and they need to get there promptly in order to keep the entire chain in line. However, supplies don’t just magically appear. It takes human effort and resources to accomplish supply chain tasks. That’s why a recent report looked at talent management in supply chain and found best-in-class operations are increasingly focusing on human capital management (HCM) and employing the best talent available, which supply chain recruiters can help find.

Talent acquisition top priority
Faced with economic uncertainty on many fronts, supply chain businesses have been pressed to make smarter and more efficient decisions affecting HCM, according to the Aberdeen Group’s 2012 Human Capital Management Trend report. While 41 percent of respondents said economic conditions drove them to pursue better HCM strategies, 30 percent also cited skills scarcity in the marketplace as a driving factor.

To help them cope with the evolving landscape of business and HCM, 57 percent identified talent acquisition as a top priority. Another 58 percent said investing in talent acquisition systems was a focus moving forward. Supply chain recruiters can play a major role in helping businesses accomplish this goal.

Managing talent pays off
Dedicating resources to HCM was also found to payoff big for businesses that take a serious interest in acquiring and developing talent. Aberdeen judged responding business on three criteria: employee engagement, availability of trained successors for key positions and hiring manager satisfaction. Best-in-class operations were the top 20 percent in all three categories, industry average was the middle 50 percent and laggards were the bottom 30 percent.

Fifty percent of best-in-class respondents align talent management with business strategies, while just 34 percent of laggards did. Businesses that did engage in HCM saw year-over-year growth in customer retention 8 percentage points higher than laggards and 5 percent better in customer satisfaction.

For laggards to recover and make gains in HCM, the report suggests they focus on talent recruiting.

“Many organizations must update their processes in order to respond to current workforce trends and shifts in workforce demographics,” the report states. “For example, what may have worked to recruit, develop and retain baby boomers, will not necessarily work for Generation Y.”

Overhauling talent acquisition strategies can be a difficult task for many businesses, but working with supply chain recruiters to revamp the process can bring companies to the forefront of HCM.