New ways to attract and keep your supply chain workers

June 27, 2022 | 4 minute read
Dennis Villahermosa
Product Marketing Director - Oracle Cloud HCM
Joan Lim
Senior Manager, Product Marketing
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By Dennis Villahermosa and Joan Lim, Oracle

Labor challenges in supply chain and logistics companies have been present for years, but the pandemic and the pace of technological change have made the situation worse. As these companies navigate the post-pandemic recovery, two separate factors—an overall shortage of workers and a widening skills gap—are multiplying the impact of staffing woes.

While some of the labor issues are pandemic-related, McKinsey & Company notes some are due to deeper structural shifts in the labor market that have long-term implications. Supply chain leaders feel the staffing pinch even more because of unique needs like seasonal shifts in workload and complicated hiring criteria for specialized positions:

  • Seasonality and inventory adjustments in retail (the holiday season or out-of-stock issues) create a need to staff up quickly and potentially at the last minute.
  • Specialized qualifications for key jobs (cross-country truck drivers who must meet age, level of training, and specific license requirements) must all be met before considering a candidate.

Successfully leaning in

How can companies pivot to meet these staffing challenges? McKinsey suggests that by not understanding what employees are running from, and what they might gravitate to, leaders are putting their companies at risk of going out of business. Conversely, companies that take the time to understand the changed landscape of work, and what their employees truly want, are in a much stronger position to achieve adequate staffing with a satisfied workforce.

The new reality is that employees no longer want a transactional relationship with their employer. Post-pandemic, employees of all ages crave relationships and a sense of belonging. They want meaningful interactions with peers and managers—including conversations about career growth, development, and training. They want to feel heard and valued. Attractive and competitive pay is important but it's only one piece of the puzzle.

Reimagining the employee value prop

Once employers understand this tectonic plate shift in worker mindset, how do they craft success within their organization? By reimagining the employee value proposition, listening to what employees want, and delivering it.

For supply chain workers, some of the specifics include:

  • Simpler, honest, and more frequent two-way communication between employees and supervisors, both on the fly and during formal reviews. This helps employees get what they need to do their jobs well (and be recognized for it), and allows supervisors to pinpoint areas for improvement.
  • A career path, intra-company development opportunities, and the chance to develop the skills they need to advance within the organization. Many workers start as part-timers to earn extra income. As they stay and grow into their careers, they want to take on more strategic and managerial roles. A customized experience for these workers allows them to understand their capabilities and skills and carve a path forward, including training and promotions.

Making the connection with Oracle

Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) is a complete solution connecting every human resource process from hire to retire. To help with current supply chain challenges, its capabilities include:

  • Defining and managing skills. Skill sets are changing so quickly in the supply chain that they’re now considered dynamic instead of fixed. The dynamic skills capability within Oracle Cloud HCM helps companies better understand and define skills, and decide whether an open job should be filled through upskilling, promotion, or outside hiring.
  • Workforce planning/modeling. Accurate models for current and future workforce needs can help to inform hiring decisions.
  • Streamlined recruiting from sourcing to hiring. In the supply chain, speed is everything. If a new fulfillment center opens and needs to hire hundreds of workers at once, the process needs to be simple and fast. Not only can the facility hire, onboard, and get workers productive quickly, but workers will also feel instantly connected and valued.

The newly released Oracle ME (my experience) platform helps companies give their employees a positive experience with every interaction, leading to higher productivity and better employee retention. In addition to communication and career path modules, Oracle ME can also:

  • Help employees navigate life events, both professional (being onboarded, searching for another career within the organization or transferring to a different role within the organization) and personal (getting married, taking an extended leave of absence).
  • Personalize and focus all communication from HR, so employees get meaningful and specific content that keeps them informed and feeling connected.
  • Help managers strengthen their relationships with employees by enabling them to continuously capture, track, and act on employee sentiment. 
  • Deliver easier, faster essential HR processes in a way that’s intuitive, interactive, and digital—including the Oracle Digital assistant, a conversational voice- and AI-based chatbot that helps workers get answers, complete workflows, and get approvals. This is especially helpful for deskless supply chain workers, who only have their mobile phones when they’re out in the field or on the factory floor.

Building the modern supply chain

Manufacturing and supply chain are often thought of as old-school industries that require a lot of physical labor, with factory floors that are noisy and dirty. This perception is outdated, as many factories and warehouses now make extensive use of robotics, drones, automated picking and shelving, and mobile technologies for deskless workers. Oracle Fusion Cloud Supply Chain and Manufacturing supports the modern factory, with capabilities for automated manufacturing, warehousing, trucking, transportation, logistics, the Internet of Things, and more. To attract a more diverse workforce—including women and people of color—Oracle Cloud SCM can help companies showcase a modern supply chain where anyone can use their skills to the best advantage.

One cloud for supply chain and HR management

Best of all, Oracle provides a unified solution for SCM and HR. Oracle Cloud SCM and HCM share a common data model and employee record, making it much easier to manage hiring, training, promotions, and key skills for the supply chain (such as certifications and licenses). It improves the front-line employee experience and gives managers staffing visibility and insight across their operations. The result is improved supply chain performance, higher retention, and better customer satisfaction.

Learn more about the benefits of a single cloud for supply chain and HR, and check out Oracle ME.

Dennis Villahermosa

Product Marketing Director - Oracle Cloud HCM

Dennis Villahermosa is a product marketing leader for Oracle Cloud HCM.

Joan Lim

Senior Manager, Product Marketing

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