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11 months ago by Lucy Morgan


We’ve just had our management meeting here at Pod Talent, and from everyone’s reflections it is clear that we are in an incredibly busy market, especially in the UK and USA. Below is a summary of the current Supply Chain talent market, reasons for market conditions and some useful tips for companies hiring right now.

  • Our live project numbers are double the levels of Q4 2020, even though we are being more selective about the projects we are taking on.

  • We are also working on more roles now than we were in Q1 2020, before the pandemic started.

  • The proportion of newly created roles we are working on is far higher than usual.

  • Many quality candidates find themselves in a high number of interview processes.

  • Many Supply Chain candidates, especially within certain skillsets, are getting headhunted daily by companies and recruiters.

  • We are seeing salaries for some roles being offered at 40% above top end of advertised salary.

  • A higher than usual volume of counter-offers are being presented to candidates trying to move roles, in some cases successfully retaining the individual!


It feels like a bit of a perfect storm at the moment. Here are some of the key reasons for the current market dynamics:

  • Supply Chain being recognised as a critical function: the pandemic has put a spotlight on end-to-end supply chains and companies are increasing their investment and focus on the area – especially within small and medium sized businesses.

  • Supply chains are being re-evaluated: new roles are coming from new needs of businesses. This started pre-Covid but change is happening more rapidly now.

  • Brexit bites on talent: The UK can no longer rely on international hiring to plug skills gaps, and this is not going away anytime soon.

  • Coming out of lockdown: Many people are reassessing their lives and looking to make career moves as we come out of lockdown. People also feel more confident about moving roles now than during the height of the pandemic.

  • Lack of culture and collaboration time: The extended period of isolated working will have led to a disconnect between people, company, and culture. This is impacting staff loyalty in new ways.


Winning the war on talent generally requires a fantastic focus on candidate experience. In candidate short markets, businesses need to show increased agility, otherwise candidate experience will not be enough. Here are some top tips:

  • Be agile: larger businesses need to accept that some of their traditional processes will not work in this market because they are competing with more agile, smaller businesses for the same top talent. Increasing pace and removing boundaries between hiring manager and talent is key.

  • Be flexible on candidate profiles: you don’t need an exact match to get a great employee, as long as you focus on ability and behaviours.

  • Be prepared to sell: moving jobs is not just about money. Candidates want a challenge, they want more responsibility, they want to make a difference. Understand the unique selling points of your company and your vacancy, and make sure the candidate is told about them!

  • Expect to pay more: sometimes we just have to accept market dynamics – and the market today is saying that end to end supply chain professionals have been undervalued, until now. Supply Chain salaries are on the increase. You may want to consider re-benchmarking your salary ranges to ensure you are up to date with the new market.

  • Interviewing is a two-way process. Recognise that a great candidate experience today is a major advantage: lots of candidates you have in process are working remotely and disconnected from their current employer. This gives you an opportunity to make them truly feel like they can belong in your organisation.

  • Beware fixed term contracts: hiring someone today on a 6 or 12 months fixed term contract does not guarantee they will remain for the duration. If they were looking for a permanent opportunity when accepting your fixed term opportunity, it is quite likely they will continue to look.

If you would like to discuss your current Supply Chain career search or are struggling to hire talent and want to chat, reach out to me on