How to Write Job Descriptions That Attract Top Supply Chain Talent

By Published On: March 18, 2014

The competition for top supply chain talent is fierce these days. Unfortunately, a lot of companies treat their job descriptions as a “necessary evil” instead of a “strategic marketing tool”.
These companies have yet to learn that there’s a strong association between a company’s job postings and its brand image. In other words, posting bad job descriptions can have a negative impact on a company’s brand image and deter the best candidates from applying.
As the demand for top supply chain talent increases in coming years, it will become more important for companies to focus on optimizing their career marketing efforts. Investing time into creating standout job descriptions that compel the right candidates to apply is a great place to start.
Here are my top tips for crafting job descriptions that attract top supply chain talent:


Marketing experts claim that an attention-grabbing subject line is the key to yielding higher email opening rates and conversions. The same logic applies to job titles.
Instead of using generic or vague job titles, use your creativity and try to make the job title stand out the best you can. Sometimes all you need to do is integrate functional or departmental context into the job title.
For example, if you have a need for a Logistics Analyst on your Distribution Engineering team, instead of using “Logistics Analyst” as the job title which is rather vague, try using “Logistics Analyst – Distribution Engineering”.


Similar to the opening paragraph in newspaper articles and blog posts, you’ll want to write something that’s exciting and intriguing enough to compel your target audience to continue reading further. I like to think of this paragraph as the “elevator pitch” or “highlight reel” for the job description.
An effective Position Overview provides a brief, compelling description of the most important aspects of the job and should include the following elements

  • Objective Statement –Provide a “power statement” that describes the core objective of the role.

For example: “The VP of Logistics will lead strategic planning, operational execution and continuous improvement initiatives for the Transportation and Distribution departments with the goal of enabling company growth, improving customer service levels and reducing costs.”

  • Functional Summary –Provide a high-level overview of the department, how the role fits in with the organization, the most critical responsibilities, the reporting relationship, key internal and/or external groups the role interfaces with, major projects the role will support, people leadership and budgetary responsibilities (if applicable), etc.
  • Key Selling Points– Job seekers want to know “what’s in it for me?” so to close out the Position Overview, explain why the applicant should apply to your job opening and join the company. How will this role challenge an individual and benefit his or her career?


Instead of writing out a laundry list of “roles and responsibilities”, I recommend that you focus on describing the top performance objectives for the job. This is basically the work that a person needs to complete on the first year of the job to be considered successful.
Using bullet points, aim to provide 6 – 12 performance objectives in order of most important to least important. From here, if you need to add some roles and responsibilities, simply list them below the performance objectives.
Why should you take this approach?

  • For hiring managers:  this exercise drives them to force rank the most critical aspects of the job which ultimately answers the question: “What does success looks like in this role?”.
  • For job seekers:  this provides a great understanding of what the core challenges are, the primary expectations of the position, and what success looks like.
  • For supply chain recruiters: this gives them the most important criteria needed to effectively screen and qualify applicants, ensuring that they have demonstrated past performance and relevant accomplishments in their work history.


This section is used to describe the “minimum qualifications” and “preferred qualifications” for the position. A lot of companies miss the mark here by listing way too many qualifications which can deter qualified candidates from applying. The last thing you want to do is describe what recruiters call a “purple squirrel” i.e. a candidate that does not exist or rarely exists in the marketplace.
In light of how competitive it is to recruit top supply chain talent these days, I suggest that you err on the side of “flexibility” versus “rigidness” as you describe the minimum and preferred qualifications. For example, instead of guessing the exact amount of experience a candidate should possess at a minimum, provide a range of years instead. Also, be sure to add plenty of job-specific context in efforts to avoid coming across as too vague.


You may already have a Company Overview in place which is typically found in the “About Us” section of your company’s website. You’ll want to include information about products and/or services, industry expertise, annual revenue, number of employees, headquarter location, geographical footprint, etc.
This is an excellent place to add some tidbits about company culture so take the time to explain why your company is a great place to work along with the key benefits candidates can expect to receive by joining your organization.


Identify the job location for the position. If travel is included, provide the estimated travel percentage along with locations the employee would be traveling to. Be sure to state whether or not a relocation package is available for the position.


State whether the position is exempt or non-exempt, full-time or part-time, an internship, etc.


This is an obvious one but be sure to provide a link to apply online or an email address to apply via email.
To your success!
Rodney Apple