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Beyond Excel Skills: What to Look for When Hiring Supply Chain Professionals?

Expectations from the global supply chain have been rising by the day, and companies looking to meet these expectations. Finding and hiring supply chain professionals is more difficult now than ever before.

This is an extremely challenging time for filling essential positions in the supply chain. In addition to talent shortages, rapidly evolving supply chain methods and technologies are making life more difficult for people trying to recruit supply chain talent.

Given these challenges, it is more critical than ever to make the right hiring decisions. If your company is currently looking to hire supply chain professionals, your hiring managers should be focused on finding people with the following qualifications.

What to Look for When Hiring Supply Chain Professionals

Proper Education and Training

The best supply chain candidates have skills that are based on the proper education and training. People pursuing a career in the supply chain industry should have an educational background in business and logistics. Several supply chain certifications indicate expertise in areas like distribution and inventory management.

Soft Skills

If you’re looking to differentiate average candidates from the best candidates, soft skills should be a central focus point. Interpersonal soft skills include communication, problem-solving, and time management abilities.

While it is difficult to quantify these abilities, candidates can be judged based on career success, responses to interview questions about past job experiences, and reference checks.

Relevant Experience

The resumes and cover letters of top candidates should offer examples of past responsibilities and results related to supply chain functions. When interviewing applicants, don’t just ask them to list their past job duties. Ask them to quantify their results as much as possible.

Given the lack of adequate supply chain talent, you should be flexible and consider talented applicants from adjacent fields like manufacturing. Many people work alongside supply chain professionals and pick up abilities that can easily translate into a supply chain position. For example, an applicant may have management experience in production with past job duties that involve coordinating with warehouse operations.

If you are considering someone from an adjacent field, you should see enough signs of whether the applicant has the necessary understanding of supply chain fundamentals.


Many different kinds of people are underrepresented in the supply chain. Bringing these folks into the industry isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s also good for business. Studies show strong correlations between diversity initiatives and good business outcomes like higher productivity and lower employee turnover.

Many modern resume screening platforms have functions that address potential bias by removing names, addresses, and other information from applicant resumes. Another way to increase diversity is connecting to a diverse range of community organizations, trade organizations, and schools.

We Can Help You Locate Top Supply Chain Talent

At ZDA, we specialize in finding the best-qualified supply chain talent to meet the needs of our clients. If you are currently looking for talent acquisition assistance in this challenging labor market, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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