Supply Chain Insight: What Do Young Supply Chain Professionals Want from their Career?

Today, the supply chain faces a unique challenge. According to the 19th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, 60 million employees are exiting the supply chain industry, with only 40 million people joining the industry to fill the gap. So, how do we recruit and retain the young talent our industry needs to thrive?

This is a major area of focus for us at Penske Logistics and certainly a motivator to partner with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) to put together the inaugural 2018 CSCMP/Penske Young Professionals Survey to shed some light on what young professionals are looking for in a career.

Surveying nearly 300 supply chain professionals under age 30, Penske and CSCMP discovered that the opportunity for interesting work, as well as development and advancement, topped the list of requirements for young professionals.

The average young professional responding to the survey has worked in the supply chain industry for about three years and is employed by a third-party logistics, manufacturing, or transportation and warehousing company.

The survey uncovered the following in terms of job satisfaction:

  • 81 percent of respondents strongly agree that the supply chain is a good career choice
  • 20 percent pursued a career in the supply chain due to a variety of opportunities, job types
  • 86 percent are either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their current employer
  • 76 percent would describe their work as satisfying, 67 percent said rewarding, and 60 percent said exciting
  • 71 percent agree that it’s easy to advance in the field

The survey also showed that young professionals want to work closely with their supervisors. The majority said they prefer in-person training, delivered through mentoring or task-based activities. Accordingly, the main reason respondents would apply to another employer is development opportunities, which topped the list above salary and benefits. Finally, a surprising 49 percent of those surveyed said that they are very willing to relocate for a new job.

Like many industries, talent acquisition is a top priority for many 3PLs, and finding motivated, young professionals who are eager to work in the supply chain is paramount. Learning that diversity of work, in-person mentoring, and career advancement are important to this demographic is key for developing and maintaining the next generation of supply chain talent.


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