In some ways, the logistics industry has been insulated from many of the economic effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, in short because businesses and consumers alike still need to send and receive goods. However, insulation does not mean immunity, and companies have certainly had to review their processes in recent months, including how they hire talent and manage their workforces.

In fact, nearly 2 in 5 companies in the industry say they have completely reviewed or already overhauled their external talent dealings in light of the outbreak, according to a recent survey from Guidant Global. Altogether, more than 1 in 4 are trying to collectivize their hiring and employee management efforts across different departments. However, nearly as many (21%) also noted that different teams or divisions of their businesses have been put in charge of these efforts, rather than going with an overarching, company-wide strategy.

Procurement hiring has certainly gone through ups and downs in the past several months.Procurement hiring has certainly gone through ups and downs in the past several months.

Event despite those efforts, almost half of companies said constricted budgets and increased competition for talent in the sector are hampering their hiring efforts, the survey showed. With that in mind, it's worth noting that more companies are going to put a greater emphasis on retooling their talent acquisition processes in the next year or two, and those that have done so already can be viewed as "early adopters."

"The fact that so many respondents are exploring a total talent acquisition approach suggests that the pandemic has pushed businesses towards developing a truly future-proof talent strategy," said Simon Blockley, CEO of Guidant Global.

Understanding what it takes
Companies may also want to think about the ways they manage their internal talent in order to be most effective, but it's not always easy to do so. A recent study of procurement leaders by McKinsey & Co., found that there are some key differentiating factors between companies that excel in the industry, and those that lag even toward the middle of the pack.

Evaluating on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being the lowest rating), McKinsey observed that industry leaders were rated at an average score of 3.5 when it came to category management, 3.3 in training and talent development, and creating more career paths for workers. "Middle of the pack" companies scored at 2.8, 2.4, and 2.3 in these areas, respectively. That may serve to illustrate why some supply chain businesses succeed in attracting and retaining talent, and others continually find themselves struggling to keep up with the competition.

Diversity matters
Finally, it seems that more companies are seeing the value in promoting diversity and inclusion for their in-house hiring efforts, as 64% of respondents in procurement and HR told HireTalent that they prioritize this issue when making hiring decisions. About as many also felt this would be increasingly true in the future.

With all of the above in mind, decision-makers in the procurement sector need to continually evaluate where their hiring efforts succeed, and where they may fall short. With that kind of introspection, you can better ensure you're always setting yourself up for success, even in times of market disruption and uncertainty.

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