4 Tips for Finding and Hiring Millennials for Supply Chain Careers

Meagan Douglas
Wed, Apr 6, 2016
Finding the right candidate is easier when you launch public training resources.
Finding the right candidate is easier when you launch public training resources.

The supply chain logistics industry may have a staffing problem. A report created by the Material Handling Industry trade group concluded supply chains will need to hire 270,000 employees per year between 2014 and 2018, according to Fortune. So far, many organizations have confessed difficulty in finding workers with the skills to fill these positions.

Shipping, handling and other distribution tasks occur behind the scenes. When millenial jobseekers first contemplate a career, they may not even consider a position in logistics. To replace workers quickly aging out of their current positions, managers need to prioritize hiring practices and find new ways to attract and train bright, young talent.

Innovative Recruiting
People make assumptions about logistics jobs. Many millennials people view inventory, shipping and warehouse management jobs as grunt work and don't recognize the potential of such positions or the training that goes into the career, according to Supply Chain Brain.

A new campaign called #iWorkInTheSupplyChain hopes to undo negative assumptions by sharing content that shows young audiences the potential of warehouse and inventory management employment. The campaign shares videos, picture and educational materials online - especially through social media platforms - demonstrating the diverse positions available.

Companies can follow suit by finding new ways to share employment information and following new audiences on popular communication channels used by millennials.

1. Work with Education Institutions
Supply Chain Management Review detailed how a local supply chain logistics management company, CorpU, teamed up with Pennsylvania State University to create special programming. Students can attend Supply Chain Leadership Academy, an 18-week course designed to educate interested students on daily inventory shipping, handling and management operations so they can start their careers as soon as they graduate.

Educational organizations - especially community colleges - are often enthusiastic about working with local businesses so they can provide their students with real career opportunities. Warehouse and shipping operations can benefit by enforcing the skills they want from future employees in lesson plans.

2. Go Online
Some people attend college online. Companies can offer their own Internet course to bring potential hires up to speed or to give online audiences a taste of what positions will entail. Offering such educational programs may be a substantial investment, but it's one that could pay off in skilled workers that recognize the organization prioritizes informed employees.

When companies implement online training programs as well as mobile data collection solutions in warehouse settings, they ensure business information is consistent. New hires who utilized skill development materials online will see the same company information and data collection procedures on the business computing assets they use while working with inventory.

3. Market a Career Path
Many supply chain logistics jobs pay well, provide benefits and can lead to promotions. If an organization has a position with a future, it must put the opportunities involved with employment at the front of its recruitment practices. Industry Week said businesses should do what they can to take a personal interest in individual career paths to learn which goals new hires have and how managers can help.

After hiring new employees, managers should check in and see if individuals feel they make progress. Satisfied workers often make excellent sources for future talent references.

4. Find Internal Mentors
When training new millenial employees, it's important leaders have access to actual operational procedures so education matches what the individual will be expected to do on a daily basis. Current employees make the best mentors, especially if the worker invests in the success of the recent hire.

Organizations may want to offer incentives for mentorship including a raise in pay. A company should look at current schedule and resource data to determine what's the best way to utilize the experience of current employees without over taxing payroll or the daily workers.

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