Addressing the Skills Shortage


We were delighted to be asked to write a piece for Focus Magazine - a leading Logistics and Transport publication.

The article was featured in the October issue, and addressed the issues surrounding the skills shortage in our sector. Here it is in full:


MVP is part of The Logistics Partnership LLP – we’ve been a trusted advisor to the Supply Chain and Logistics industry for over 30 years, providing permanent and interim recruitment solutions.

We’re proud to be a brand that resonates with the supply chain sector, a brand that our customers trust. We specialise in mid to Director level appointments and are particularly proud of our success rates for specialist, hard to fill roles. We recognise the need to build and nurture relationships early on, to ensure we are providing a truly bespoke and effective service.

There is no doubt that the recruitment sector has faced significant challenges over the last few years; despite an uncertain economic outlook, the UK jobs market has remained strong, with unemployment at its lowest level since 1971, currently sitting at 4.3% (July 2017).  This has led to a sustained lack of available talent, with over half of the 73 employment sectors in the UK reporting talent shortages including, significantly, within logistics and supply chain. This is predicted to extend to all sectors by the end of 2017 (REC, 2016). 

Over recent years, supply chain management has become more complex than ever thanks to an increased focus on supply chain risk and globalisation, along with major advances in technology.  Supply chains are expanding in scope and the need for top talent has increased. Many supply chain professionals are having to adjust, just as organisations are endeavouring to attract and recruit new tech savvy people into the industry. There are a number of factors which, taken together, have created a “perfect storm” within the supply chain talent pool over the past 5 – 10 years.  These factors include:

An ever-expanding list of requirements for the ideal supply chain or logistics employee, including tactical and operational expertise and professional competencies such as analytical skills, strategic thinking capabilities and leadership potential.  This combination of skills and abilities can be difficult to find.

A perceived lack of opportunity for career growth and lack of awareness of the supply chain sector as one with real opportunities for progression and career development. 

A large proportion of organisations view supply chain as less important than other disciplines e.g. marketing, finance, sales.

‘Changing skillsets, an ageing workforce and an outdated and negative image of the supply chain and logistics sectors, have all led to a lack of available talent. Add to this an increasing awareness of the links between supply chain efficacy and competitive commercial advantage, and it is unsurprising that the fight for talent is being reported as reaching “critical” levels.’ Graeme Doyle, Managing Partner, MVP

At MVP we have experienced the intensity of the war for talent and have consulted with both clients and candidates to understand their concerns and issues. We’ve seen this trend lead to an increase in counter offers and many ‘active’ candidates having multiple job offers to consider. This poses a real problem for companies operating within our sector who are struggling to recruit the right candidates for opportunities within their businesses.

In this highly competitive, candidate driven market, we’ve recognised the need to move strategically away from a more traditional contingency/database recruitment model and offer a comprehensive, multi-channel approach, especially when sourcing key roles.  Our business philosophy is to work in partnership with our clients, advising and supporting them in their mission to attract and retain the best candidates in the marketplace as this talent shortage strengthens.

We believe that our focus on targeting and nurturing the ‘passive’ candidate market, as well as an enhanced candidate experience is critical to MVP’s success.  Our ongoing investment in technology enables us to provide real time remuneration and market information to our clients.  This, along with the continual development of our people, allows us to further service our clients’ requirements and keeps MVP at the forefront of our sector.

We welcome current or future clients to get in touch if you require advice or support on your own talent retention and attraction challenges. 

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