The economic implications of globalisation have been far-reaching and well documented. But as supply chains get longer and more complicated, organisations have been forced to make more business-critical decisions, which are having a significant impact on hiring. The global marketplace has made supply and demand more volatile and harder to forecast. The need for a dynamic and highly flexible approach to employment is imperative. Candidates able to adapt to this new climate are best placed to succeed.
With a greater reliance on a range of suppliers based in various locations around the world, employing the right people becomes critical. But due to the complex nature of a global business, managing the supply chain is only one part of the process. Procurement departments have become vital in providing strategic oversight, operational insight and fundamental in generating shareholder value.
But while procurement and supply chain management is a growing area of international opportunity for ambitious candidates, there is a perceived shortage of talent in the UK amongst multinationals, putting significant pressure on home-grown talent. This is resulting in a search for dynamic and highly skilled supply chain professionals, creating an industry that places an emphasis on competitive compensation packages aiming to lure high-calibre candidates from further afield. Increasingly, candidates from continental Europe who are also looking for the comfort of relative economic stability compared to countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain, are challenging for UK jobs. In turn, this creates a highly competitive environment for candidates and a larger talent pool for employers to choose from.
More than ever, it is necessary for UK candidates to prove they are highly flexible, dynamic and have a global mindset. By its very nature, a global supply chain will require candidates to strongly consider relocation abroad; and candidates must see this as a likely step in their career progression. Candidates unwilling or unable to do so will be at a disadvantage. Language skills are vital, as is a proven ability to operate with ease in multiple business cultures.
The opportunities this creates for ambitious candidates are significant – bringing opportunities to work abroad and experience other cultures while increasing the likelihood for rapid career progression. Globally ambitious candidates will have the opportunity to shape the business for the future and help to implement changes that have a lasting impact on how the organisation functions on a global level.
UK candidates must prove their ability to adapt quickly to a highly dynamic, global business environment. Globalisation has spread organisations’ people to all four corners of the world. To remain competitive, British candidates must demonstrate a flexible, international perspective. Those able to adapt will be best-placed to unlock emerging opportunities.
☛ Duncan Ward is operations director at Badenoch & Clark
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