Supply chain job descriptions can be the first weapon in your arsenal to attract top talent. 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.
The demand for top supply chain talent has increased dramatically. This has created a lot of competition for these niche skillsets and leadership qualities. It’s 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.
TARGETED, ATTENTION-GRABBING JOB TITLES
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 a supply chain job description 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?
PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES AND ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
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.
For your supply chain job description to stand out, you may want to talk to experts in the field to stay current on what folks are looking for.
This section is used to describe the minimum and preferred qualifications for the position. A lot of companies miss the mark here by listing too many qualifications which can deter qualified candidates. 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 as you describe the minimum and preferred qualifications. Instead of guessing the exact amount of experience a candidate should possess at a minimum, provide a range of years. Also, be sure to add plenty of job-specific context in efforts to avoid coming across as too vague.
COMPANY OVERVIEW: CULTURE, VALUES, GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
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.
Your company’s values are highly sought after traits for those who have their choice of employers. To attract the best, you’re going to have to do more than just compete with lucrative salaries. They will want to come work with you because of your value systems and an opportunity to grow. Ensure that they know their career path can benefit long term at your organization and that your values reflect theirs.
REMOTE, HYBRID, AND WORK/LIFE BALANCE
Times have changed. Supply chain organizations can now expand their hiring radius outside of the their immediate proximity. While some front line positions can’t be remote, there are still plenty of opportunities for top notch talent to operate fully remotely. This should be addressed early and often. Employers of choice understand that people aren’t as keen to spend time commuting, away from their homes and families when the work can be done remotely. Offering the option for a hybrid work schedule can help you to attract better talent. Refusing to adjust to the times we’re living through means your competitive edge will be dulled. Again, the best talent will have choices. Make your job description more attractive by being flexible with workplace environments.
JOB LOCATION, TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS AND RELOCATION
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.
CONTRACT OR INTERIM OPTIONS
There no longer is a one size fits all talent solution in supply chain. Often times, you can find what you need on an interim or contract basis. When writing your job description, bear in mind that you have these options. If you’re not sure if this is the case, contact a supply chain talent expert to determine if a more temporary solution is available to you. You can also list these duration options when posting the job. “Available on an interim basis” can attract subject matter experts who might be retired or don’t want to commit to a company long term.
State whether the position is exempt or non-exempt, full-time or part-time, an internship, etc.
HOW TO APPLY
This is an obvious one but be sure to provide a link to apply online or an email address to apply via email.
Your competitive edge in supply chain rests with the people on your teams throughout your organization. It’s wise to take every opportunity to present job openings in a way that not only describes the work but also attracts the best talent. Top notch employees will have more than one option so be thinking with this mindset. Create key differentiators beyond salary ranges. Flexible workplace arrangements, career growth, and culture are 3 very important items required for your supply chain job description that will attract that top talent.