Bastian Consulting has launched a new ‘Graduate Initiative’ to boost the pipeline of talented supply chain graduate to prospective employers. Stephanie Martinez, Partner at Bastian, tells more.
“There is a perception among those in the younger generation that supply chain isn’t a ‘sexy’ career,” notes Stephanie Martinez, Partner at Bastian Consulting. “Many people stumble into supply chain, and very few people pursue tertiary studies in the area.”
There are various reasons for this, Stephanie says, but the key ones are that graduates are more inclined towards office jobs in data analytics and the tech industry – and although modern supply chain offers such jobs, there remains a misconception that supply chain isn’t a “prestige” career, or that it’s an old-school “hands-on” industry rather than a place where highly-skilled knowledge workers can progress and thrive.
“But the message that we at Bastian wish to communicate to young people is that modern supply chain involves a lot of complex work and actually has exemplary prospects for career growth. Now, more than ever, companies across the world are investing heavily in their supply chain business units – so there are fantastic employment opportunities to seize right now. But, at the moment, the pipeline of talent isn’t delivering enough candidates to meet the new higher levels of investment.”
BASTIAN’S GRADUATE INITIATIVE
To help turn the tide and get more talented youngsters into supply chain, Bastian recently launched ‘The Graduate Initiative’ – a program to support graduates entering the supply chain and tech sector.
“The idea is to give back to the community and inform our network of new entrants into the job market,” Stephanie says. “This is a fee-free initiative to support the talent pipeline shortage – so it’s a win-win for both hiring managers and graduates.”
Once per week, after Bastian assesses a new graduate, the candidate is marketed through Bastian’s Instagram account @bastianconsulting. Hiring managers can access insights on the candidate, and if the profile piques their interest, they can access the candidate’s CV and progress them through their own processes.
“If the hiring manager decides to hire one of these graduates, they’re not charged a recruitment fee.”
Stephanie notes that with companies struggling to find high quality talent, Bastian’s initiative will help companies to think more seriously about their internal hiring processes as well as how to make their internal culture more appealing to prospective candidates.
“Unless a business is consistently training internal people for growth opportunities there will always be a talent gap; and these gaps are significant when individuals with specialised skill-sets with respect to intellectual property (IP) leave the business. Mitigating this risk is essential.”
Getting the talent in the door is one half of the challenge. The other half is keeping it in the company for the long term, Stephanie says.
“Retaining talent has become a major problem since the pandemic because of a shortage of talent that may be attributed to various factors, including higher visa restrictions, less international mobility, the industry growing at a rate faster than new people are getting qualified, and distressed value chains needing more experienced talent,” she says.
This has resulted in more “poaching” of talent from other companies in supply chain or similar industries; as well as unprecedently high wage-offers.
“Recruiters will tell you that in the last six to nine months counter-offers have been on the rise,” Stephanie says. “Just over two years ago the average salary increase was generally around 10 to 15 per cent, but now we’re working with clients to factor in a counter-offer buffer. Companies are now reviewing retention policies and bonuses to ensure talent stays put and accumulated knowledge isn’t lost. There is a real concern in the industry around personnel being poached just six to 12 months into a new role.”
Much talk in the media and among recruiters of the ‘Great Resignation’ – with estimates of roughly a third of employees looking to leave their current employment – has meant that companies are working on internal strategies to mitigate this risk, with some even going as far as to increase current employee salaries across the board.
“Amazon, for example, recently doubled their maximum salary cap from $224,000 to $491,000 just last month,” Stephanie notes.
But beyond sheer salary increases, there needs to be a more proactive strategy for recruiting talent and making employees – current or prospective – aware of the opportunities for advancement.
“Career path-mapping and communications around career growth opportunities are vital. And it’s not just about using typical recruitment platforms – if you want to get in front of young people or talented potential candidates in great numbers, you need to be pushing content across all sorts of online and social media platforms.”
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