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Shipping Crisis Triggers High Turnover Among Supply Chain Specialists

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Published May 27, 2022 5:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

Against a backdrop of disruption in ocean freight, the supply chain management profession has become quite lucrative. This could explain why supply chain managers quit their jobs last year at the highest rate since at least 2016, fueled by a mix of burnout and a desire for fatter paychecks.

The revelation emerged from data compiled by LinkedIn on behalf of Bloomberg. LinkedIn, a division of Microsoft Corp, calculates the rate of turnover by analyzing its member profiles to determine the number of people who left their jobs each month. The figure is compared with the average for 2016, which LinkedIn calls the “separation rate.”

For supply chain managers, the average separation rate increased by 28 percent from 2020 to 2021, the highest rate since LinkedIn started tracking the data five years earlier.

“With increasing opportunities due to supply chain crisis, it comes as no surprise that supply chain managers have increasingly sought out greener pastures. Burnout is also part of the equation for the high turnover,” said Kory Kantenga, a Senior Economist at LinkedIn.

As supply chain disruptions intensified at the height of the pandemic, companies went on an overdrive to hire more supply chain specialists. This meant they had a superb advantage in job mobility.

According to a survey conducted last year by recruitment firm DSJ Global, it showed that more than half of supply chain and procurement professional expected their paychecks to increase in the next 12 months.

“Supply skills are in such high demand these days that job seekers can afford to be picky. Approximately 65-70 percent of supply chain professionals are open to learning about new job opportunities within six months of getting their current position,” said Emily Prendergast, an executive director at DSJ.

Meanwhile, another recent survey by Hays Plc, a UK-based recruitment agency, found that 59 percent of supply chain professionals in UK intended to move to new roles this year.

“Employers will need to act fast to secure the professionals they need to help their organizations navigate the challenges still to come, meaning hiring managers should be briefed as a matter of priority as soon as a vacancy is identified. With many candidates often having up to four or five job offers to choose from, speed to hire is more important than ever,” Scott Dance, director of procurement and supply chains at Hays told Supply Management, the Official magazine of Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).