Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 355
“Now we can take a look at not only the hiring process but also the retention process that is going to be more fruitful for us in the future.”
- Sarah Barnes-Humphrey, Let’s Talk Supply Chain
Companies that have been trying to make an operational shift for a long time are now literally being forced to change overnight. This affects their approach to managing talent as much as anything else. Even though furloughs are unwelcome, they are helping companies see where they can substitute technology for labor and where they remain dependent on human talent.
In this conversation, Sarah offers her point of view to Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:
- How companies can streamline and accelerate the hiring process to ensure they get the best available talent for each open position
- Why vetting remains a challenge for hiring managers and prospective employees alike
- The limitations of traditional job descriptions and the future potential of business ‘storytelling’ in the recruiting effort
Amanda Luton (00:00:05):
It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia, heard around the world. Supply chain now spotlights the best in all things, supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts. Hey, good afternoon, Scott looting here with you on supply chain. Now welcome back to the show.
Scott Luton (00:00:33):
On today’s episode, we’re continuing a collaborative series entitled soup, a supply chain, super trends. I couldn’t wait to get to the super trends part of that. On this series, we’ve been diving into some of the biggest trends and developments that are impacting global supply chain. Of course in partnership with Sarah Barnes Humphrey with let’s talk supply chain. This is episode three of four and it’s all about talent, so stay tuned as we look to increase your supply chain leadership IQ. Quick programming note before we get started here today, if you enjoy today’s conversation, of course, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. One to welcome in my esteemed fearless co-hosts on today’s show, Greg white, serial supply chain, tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor. Greg, how are you doing?
Greg White (00:01:20):
I’m doing great, Scott. I can’t, can’t claim to be completely fearless, but I really appreciate that.
Scott Luton (00:01:28):
All right, I’ve got to update my, uh, my adjectives because maybe it will work and one day I will in fact be fearless. I liked that ride forever. Right. Well, you know, we really enjoyed this series and we’ve gotten good feedback from the marketplace. Uh, you know, while we’ve agreed on a lot of stuff we’ve disagreed just enough hopefully to make it interesting, uh, but always a genuine conversation with our featured guests here today. Sarah Barnes, Humphrey, founder of let’s talk supply chain and ships and of course the pride of Toronto, Canada. How you doing Sarah?
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:02:04):
I’m doing well, thanks guys. Thanks for having me back on. I am so excited to jump into super trend number three. Um, I know we just finished our mid season live and hopefully we had some folks on there that were, you know, that been tracking the series and, and have been joining us for that because it’s been a lot of fun.
Scott Luton (00:02:26):
It has. Um, and you know, talent as all three of us know has been a topic for years, uh, really challenging topic in the last few years. And then you throw in a pandemic, uh, environment and um, and some concerns as companies move into the new normal and some of what that is going to create. I think we’re, we, we’ve got an interesting and hopefully helpful conversation teed up with you and Greg and myself. So for starters, I set the table a little bit so as all know and aware of and our listeners surely are aware of and are, are fighting through it as well, global pandemic in mind, everyone is challenged in one way, shape or form with Cobra 19. So Sarah, first off, what are one or two general supply chain observations that you believe or most relevant? Right? This
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:03:18):
the second. Yeah, I’ve had, I know about, I know you guys have been having some, some pretty great conversations. I’ve been having some pretty great conversations with other supply chains too. And there’s been, there’s been a couple of things that have come up. One most recently I was doing, I have an upcoming episode with McGregor partners and we were talking about the warehouse environment. So, and there’s a lot of contact that goes into the warehouse environment, right? The trucker, um, the truck driver shows up to pick up the goods. They come into the warehouse, there’s a lot of paperwork exchanged, the, the truck gets loaded, uh, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So we were talking about how to minimize the contact in the warehouse and that’s purely come up strategically from the pandemic right before this. We never really thought about it. And they’ve come up with some, some technologies to output the paperwork and gather electronic signatures, which I thought was pretty cool. Um, but it also brings up another concept of how we’re really just going to have to take a look at every single part of the supply chain and figure out where those touch points are and how we can change those into technology.
Scott Luton (00:04:27):
Great point. Yeah. And a lot of companies are, are finding different ways to, to play, uh, in that improvement space. Um, Greg, what else sticks out to you as we’re setting the table here? What’s one or two general supply chain observations of kind of where things are that folks need to know about?
Speaker 4 (00:04:46):
Um, well, two things jumped out at me from what Sarah said. One is paper and two is how much we think about words or at least I am thinking about words like touch points more than I ever have before. And the literal nature of those touch points. And just a couple of points there. But, um, you know, one thing that jumps out to me is how many companies are, have gone into recovery mode that are also doubling down on, uh, preparing for the aftermath or new normal or next normal or whatever we want to call it. Um, you know, there are so many companies that are taking advantage of this time to improve their technology systems to undertake or advance their digital transformation. And I’ll define digital transformation as taking what was manual manual spreadsheets or on paper and, and um, and doing that with technology. Uh, in fact, I was reading an article last night about, um, buy get app, which is an app evaluation marketplace. And what they said is 46% of SMBs are deferring or cutting tech spending small to medium businesses.
Speaker 4 (00:06:11):
But most of that is deferring. So, um, at the same time, 32% of them said all of this social, uh, seismic societal disruption will have no impact on their plans. And only 18% of small medium businesses will reduce their spin. Now get this. PWC did a like a price Waterhouse Coopers right, did a like a analysis and they said 25% of enterprises intend to reduce spend. So, and you both know that I’m a big advocate of taking advantage of this time and I’ve said this repeatedly, I’m going to keep saying this cause I know everyone doesn’t listen to every single episode for Jonathan Townsley and Devin riddle. Oh and Steve evening. Um, so except for you three, um, I want to say this again. If you built your house on sand and you survive this catastrophe, do not be foolish enough to build it on sand. Again, it is manual processes, paper and spreadsheets. Build it on stone. Use this time to, to convert to technology and position yourself to preempt and respond rapidly when the next disruption comes around.
Scott Luton (00:07:34):
There is an old church him that, that Sage advice reminds me of. And Malcolm’s going to have to track it down because I cannot put my, my mind on it just yet. But you got to have solid foundation gotta have a solid foundation, especially during, uh, the upheaval of these uncertain times here. Um, so I want to, I want to piggyback on some of what share, uh, Sarah has said some of what Greg has said and um, and Greg, I love your data points. I pride myself on my data points, but today is going to be an outlier for me cause it’s going to be a lot more subjective gathering of, of anecdotes as I was preparing for today’s talent conversation. So three quick things. First off, and when I look at the current environment, uh, we’ve heard from a lot of folks of how complex it is of managing the workforce, especially with physical distancing of essential plants.
Scott Luton (00:08:28):
Um, and, and the challenge that is, uh, checking in on your remote workers without making them feel like you’re micromanaging. Right? Yeah. And as I’ve heard one HR leader put it and HR dive, which I stumbled across in the recent weeks, don’t hoard information. I love that. Right. Um, so that’s point number one. Point two, I checked in with Lynette Matthews and Jessica Clayton who were at talent stream, uh, earlier today, leading recruiting firm for supply chain talent. They tell me that it seems like supply chain leaders are already sharing concern about how to tackle the bump in talent, uh, talent demand. Once we break into that new normal that we all know is going to be different. Uh, the aftermath has, Gartner is referring to it. Uh, as also, uh, from the folks in the talent trenches. They’re expecting to see a lot more demand in a couple of key areas, data analysis, as you might imagine, and also quality and safety.
Scott Luton (00:09:25):
So think about product handling and in a variety of sectors, two touch points that you both are speaking to food production in particular and food delivery. Um, and then finally, but more on the uplifting side. And Greg and I have chatted about this with a variety of recent guests. They undoubtedly will be innovation that’s born out of the pandemic and it’ll make a future natural disasters. Um, it’ll allow the industry global supply chain and this should be able to mitigate those and manage those better. You know, we’ve seen general motors, granddaddy Mims distillery, all points in between jumping into fight and and figuring out how to pivot to find new ways of making new products or offer new services or doing things I’ve never done. And I got to tell you some of that is undoubtedly I found a stick and create new opportunities for these companies and others in the new normal.
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:10:21):
Well, and I think I just want to jump in here because you guys have touched on a few of the questions that I wanted to bring to the table today and I’m sure we’re going to get to in the conversation, but one of them is the reshuffling of talent. How companies are going to take the workers back in the aftermarket map, what will they look for and what is their hiring strategy, which I know we’re going to be talking about also, will we lose positions to tech implementation? I know you’re talking about people driving forward on their tech strategies, so what is that going to look like? And are they going to continue to work leaner, right? Because they’re, they’re looking at the gaps that are happening right now. They’ve, they’ve furloughed or let go of employees. They can see where they absolutely need the talent and where they don’t potentially need the talent. And so it comes up with a lot of different questions of what that’s gonna look like.
Speaker 4 (00:11:18):
Great. I’m making notes here. I want to come back to that. Um, yeah, I think that’s, that’s an interesting observation and we’ll, we will talk about that and that’ll be interesting to see. Um, you know, what companies strategies are.
Scott Luton (00:11:37):
All right, so we are shifting over to talk. What do you say? And let’s do talk about talent.
Speaker 4 (00:11:51):
Um, you know, the changes were already occurring even before COBIT 19, and as you sort of alluded to, by the way, and tried to give me a great segue for Sarah and I recognize that now I’m here, but I was taking notes, I promise. Um, but you know, the, the marketplace was, uh, shifting, right? And one of the things that we haven’t talked about in all of this since coven 19 is how the marketplace had shifted to where there was a talent gap. We’ve talked about this some months ago, but we haven’t in a while. The talent gap in trades, welders and forklift drivers and truck drivers and various and sundry other roles that are skilled trades, right? Mike Rowe, the dirty jobs guy, he talks about that all the time and has a very specific initiative called profoundly disconnected where he talks about, um, how disconnected education and whatnot is to that. So you, aside from all of the other things that is sort of looming, was looming over the workforce even before all this happened. So let’s talk about what, what you were alluding to Sarah with, um, how companies, uh, are perceiving this and how they’re approaching this. I’ve sat in on a few board meetings and we’ve had some talks about these kinds of things. I mean, let’s talk about what you’re seeing in this area around assessing personnel, getting people back and, and how the workforce might shift on the, on the back side of this.
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:13:30):
Well, and I think you bring up a really good point before we get into that is, you know, we’ve seen a shortage of talent on the warehouse and distribution side as e-commerce has grown. So it’ll be interesting to see where that balances out and what gaps are going to need to be filled from that standpoint. But I think the bigger picture here is how are we going to change our hiring processes? And you know, that’s something that we really wanted to talk about today. And prior to Cobra 19 you know, I had a lot of great discussions with companies who have already kind of done it and they’re approaching talent from a holistic perspective. So not only taking a look at them in the role that they currently have, but they’re taking a look at what they are good at and what they enjoy doing from a personal perspective as well as a professional.
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:14:24):
The perspective. Yeah. And how can we utilize those talents and really make the most out of a position for somebody rather than the other way around. How can the company make the most out of the talent? Um, you know, and I think that it’s really, really important as we move into the aftermath of [inaudible], we start taking a look at the talent that’s out there, the reshuffling of what’s happening right now, whether you’re going to taking, you know, talent back, whether you’re going to be looking to hire new ones. What positions do you have currently that are serving you, that are not serving you? How can you create more innovative positions, um, for the different types of team members that you have already in your roster? And again, taking a look at them holistically. And I know I was talking to, I had Tiro on my show last year talking about this.
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:15:20):
And I know you guys have a really good example with vector, which I think we’re going to get to, but I think we really need to change our thinking around what that looks like and how can we really, you know, um, make it an environment that everybody wants to be in and they’re able to do not only their job but their own. They’re able to do what they like to do personally and professionally. And Sentara gave me a great, uh, example of that when I spoke to them last year. And that was I think one of their, um, team members was a chef or really, really liked to cook. And so not only did they, um, you know, work with them in his current position and what he was doing and he really enjoyed what he was doing at centuro, but he made them a big part of what they were doing as a culture in their outside activities. Right. So if they were doing a barbecue for the, for the company or they were doing a barbecue for the customers, they were including him on that and that really brings the team members together.
Speaker 4 (00:16:28):
That’s a great, I mean, that’s a really great approach. Um, you know, I think we’ve all worked with, um, companies that ha have an exceptional hiring evaluation, onboarding, um, and, and, uh, career path, um, methodology. And they’re always the most successful companies. You have to be very intentional. Look, when you think about a company as an investor, you don’t invest necessarily in the company, you invest in the team. Every investor will tell you the first thing they evaluate when they evaluate an investment is the team. And, um, you know, the companies that are intentional about that are usually the most successful. So that, that’s great to hear that Centura was doing that. You know, we work with and share space with, um, in Riki Alvarez at vector global logistics, very similar company. But I have coined a give forward company. Some companies give back, some give forward.
Speaker 4 (00:17:34):
They give first. Um, you know, their purpose is to be able to give to the less fortunate in the world. And they do. So by doing, by running a profitable, profitable business that enables them to do that. But that also flows over into their, uh, how they manage their people and how they select their people and how they purpose their people. You know, um, Enrica talks about a results oriented culture and that can seem really cliche, but in, in their case, they, you know, you decide whether you work in the office or whether you work at home or when you do either of those things and as long as you are progressing, of course you’re free to do, you’re free to do it however you want. And they have chosen the right people with the right capability to be able to do that. And they, yeah, it, and they’ve ingrained this purpose first culture.
Speaker 4 (00:18:32):
You know, you talked about purpose, right? They’ve ingrained this purpose for first culture in every single person in the organization. And that it is sort of a litmus test for the kind of people that can do exactly what he’s challenging them to do. Because there’s a lot of obligation that goes along with that. A results oriented culture means you don’t get the results, you don’t remain in the culture. So there’s obligation as well as freedom in that. And they’ve done, they’ve got a great staff of people that understand and thrive in that kind of environment.
Speaker 4 (00:19:10):
So anyway, I mean there are lots of, you know, there are lots of other approaches that companies are taking. Uh, vector is one of my personal favorites. Um, I can tell you this, I sit in quite a few board meetings and I’m on advisory boards and things like that and I’ve heard some, some encouraging and some, um, concerning things in these board meetings. Actually. Um, the first board meeting I was in right after this all went down, was really encouraging. Um, that company all shall remain nameless, but that company, um, is really approaching this from an attrition standpoint. They had a couple people who were, um, you know, who are wanting to work less than a couple, one, one person who wanted to retire and, and things like that. And they have, they have figured that into their plan and accelerated that to do good for those people and also for the business so that, um, so that they don’t, they haven’t even planned so much as salary cuts, much less cutting any personnel.
Speaker 4 (00:20:20):
On the other hand, I have one company, um, who had to cut almost 20% of their staff. And the discussions we’ve been having with that company is, is this an opportunity to upskill? And I think you were alluding to that earlier, Sarah, is if we’re sort of shuffling staff with furloughs and layoffs, do we hire fewer back? Do we take this opportunity upskill to get, um, because now they’re ingesting the state’s 22 million? I believe people unemployed, um, you know, do we take this opportunity to get, to try and get the best of the best from what is now a much, much more rich talent pool than where we were just two, just a month. And a half ago, two weeks ago. Right.
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:21:11):
Yeah. And I think those are really great questions and obviously things that, you know, organizations and companies are definitely taking a look at right now and depending on the strategy and how they move forward, I mean we’ve got a lot of time to, well maybe not a lot of time, but we’ve got this opportunity here to really figure out what that looks like and nurture a culture that we want in the future. Before it was kind of status quo for a lot of companies because we didn’t have the time to shift gears, we didn’t have time to take a look at it. Did we really need to take a look at it? But now we can take a look at not only the hiring process but also the retention process that is going to be more fruitful for us in the future.
Speaker 4 (00:22:02):
Yes. Sorry, again, taking notes because you alluded to automation, but I want to have Scott kind of sound off here first and then let’s come back to, um, to that as well. So Scott, what are you seeing out there? I mean, look, Scott, you’re the talent guy, right? You come out of this industry and I’m really interested in what your most knowledgeable perspective is. I’m the three of us.
Scott Luton (00:22:28):
Yeah. Well, um, so this is kind of going back to the bigger picture here. You know, uh, the logistics, staffing industries. What brought me to Atlanta 15 years or so ago, and you know, the last four years, by and large has been spent on more of the professional side of the talent space, especially in supply chain manufacturing, engineering. So it’s been a, it’s been a really interesting journey, but know, I think more and more what’s almost inarguable is our professional lives is the intermingling and the intertwining of our professional and our personal lives in this digital world, which is, is a, is a really neat thing in many regards because the savviest of companies and the more success the most successful of companies are figuring out ways to support their team members, not just from a professional standpoint, but also more importantly, arguably from personal standpoint.
Scott Luton (00:23:25):
And, and so a couple of things to consider. So executive chairman of Starbucks, everybody knows Howard Schultz once was quoted as saying, quote, hiring people is an art, not a science. That’s going to make a lot of people mad. But I believe that still hiring people is an art, not a science. And resumes cannot tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture. Exactly. I’ve read that one again, please. Hey, we’re going to get into this, but that is the biggest, the problem with the hiring process. I’m with you. I’m with you. So when I think of assessing personal skills, a big part of that to me at least is assessing values, motivation, short and longterm goals. And really hiring managers have to determine one big thing above all else are, is the candidate a cultural fit? But let me, let me speak out both sides of the mouth for a moment because it is really important.
Scott Luton (00:24:23):
Uh, with all that said, I’ve seen some very intelligent HR leaders share important thoughts around how critical it is to approach the culture fit, test appropriately. No. Cause if you don’t, it can lead to bias and lack of diversity. And, and of course you’re going to stop a growth and bottom line success by having a team that all come from the same walk of life. Right? We all look alike. You’re gonna, you’re gonna, you’re gonna not do, you’re not capitalized on the art of the possible. No doubt. So, you know, when I think about that cultural fit test, you know, we’ve got to take a measured approach that really is all about mapping that out and specifying very objectively the skillsets and characteristics which are and are not cultural fits and then allowing that to play the right. Uh, yes. Mmm. The right extent in the hiring process.
Scott Luton (00:25:19):
Right? Cause it’s, you know, Sarah, as we were coming on here today for this podcast, you used the word holistic. Well, I personally believe that there, that one of the most important aspects of successful talent management is taking a holistic approach. And that means to me not let one, unless it’s a, um, an integrity issue or some of the, you know, non-negotiables. No keeping context and perspective. But anyway, those are some initial thoughts when I hear about how important it is and how more and more companies are assessing both the personal and professional side of the coin.
Scott Luton (00:26:00):
Awesome. I think those are really, really great examples and I’m a huge proponent of holistic strategies. You know, taking a look at a person and even the company from a really entire viewpoint of who they are as a person and how they want to grow and who they want to be. Great point. Absolutely. And, and um, you know, because and that’s where the art of it comes in. Right? I’ll be the first to tell ya and I’m not sure if we’re all kindred spirits around this. We’ve certainly had folks from the talent analytics the world. No, come on and share some really neat innovative ways of, of helping organizations optimize how they assess,
Speaker 4 (00:26:43):
you know, the professional side, no skillsets. And I believe
Speaker 4 (00:26:46):
there a place for that, especially in 2020. It’s not 1980. However, Sarah, back to your point and [inaudible] back to what we were saying just five, 10 minutes ago, that’s, that is not, um, the analytics is it doesn’t have to be North work, arguably should it be, you know, the prime rib of the meal, you know, it, it should be one of the things that’s weighted appropriately for that role and for that organization and industry and for the type of candidate [inaudible] the team is looking to bring on. Okay. [inaudible] so framing it up accurately and holistically and a big part of being successful when it comes to talent strategies and talent acquisition strategies, I believe in 20, 20 and beyond. Well, you have to, you have to consider everything. That’s, that’s what holistic means, right? So I think data has its place. Uh, I think a sound and thorough process has its place and, and assessing, um, culture fit has its place.
Speaker 4 (00:27:55):
We’re going to talk in just a few minutes about what companies, how companies need to, or how companies are trapped in old fashioned ways. Yes. But I can tell you in every company that I’ve ever run, aye. I was the last person that, that every single, and I mean every single person we hired talk to because my job was, um, I’m terrible frankly at evaluating talent. If, if I was to interview anyone, I would give them the job because I just genuinely liked people and I always see that thing in somebody that I feel like we can utilize. So, so I, but my job at, at the companies because I led them was, was to assess the culture fit. If they got to me, I knew that they were the person that we wanted to select from a skill standpoint, from a, um, you know, goodness of fit based on the data, based on the interviews, based on the, um, the goals and roles and all of those things in their, whatever their department was going to be. But my, I was the last line of defense for the culture and my job was to communicate that and assess their fit at that point and that kind of structure. Look, hiring is the most important thing that you do. Yeah. All. Alright, so really some process around that. Yep. So you just foreshadowed where we’re going next, which is inevitably there are so many organizations out there that are acting with, we picked on 1980 a few minutes ago. Uh, we’ll pick pickle maybe 1987 or 1988 cause there’s companies that still operate their talent management
Scott Luton (00:29:41):
strategies and, and uh, approaches as if
Scott Luton (00:29:45):
we’re not in 2020 and certainly not as if we’re in 2030. So let’s, let’s dive into that a little bit. Um, and then I guess let me lead off with a couple of things I’ve observed observed and Sarah and Greg, I definitely want to get y’all to chime in as well. So, Mmm, I got to tell you, this is going to sound crazy, but for starters, companies are putting a lot of companies, a lot of old fashioned companies are putting way too much emphasis on one piece of the equation, which is the resume. And if, if you start, I’m not sure what the latest and greatest number is, but you know, recruiters and hiring managers spend like, what, 12 seconds on every resume, they’re going to certainly miss you. We’re human, we’re going to miss things. Yeah, that’s gotta be just one piece. It’s important to have a good resume and a solid resume to put your best foot forward, but it’s a mistake where organizations start and stop based on that resume.
Scott Luton (00:30:42):
Hey, that fits right into our hymns. And I’m going to circle back on that too. Um, some research on that point. Yes, that’s right. We’re going to get to that, Sarah. You’re right. And there’s a lot of kindred spirits here. I think relying on the same channels that that organizations did, you know, back in 1995 or 2005 or, or frankly even 2015 or relying on just one or two channels instead of okay. Exploring and having dozens of different, if not hundreds of different ways that you can find candidates and have them find you. Uh, and I’m sure both of y’all are going to also have a Holly Lou moment here, but making the candidate wait and blaming it on the process, zero communication and updates to candidates, especially if it’s a candidate that you really want on the team, it’s unacceptable. They had them go weeks, uh, without being, you know, informed where things stand.
Scott Luton (00:31:43):
That’s bad processes Greg spoke to earlier. [inaudible] absolutely. And then one final thing here. Uh, and, and, and, and then Greg, I think we’re gonna get you to weigh in and Sarah. But, um, so a couple of years ago I saw a specific case around negotiation and I think some, this is more arguable, but I believe that old fashioned candid, old fashioned approaches and organizations view negotiation in negative terms. Uh, there was a company a couple of years ago that rescinded an offer to a candidate. Um, that was, this came, that was fairly new to the industry. I think he’d only been in industry for a couple of years. So really this is the first offer he had gotten, other than, you know, the offer he got out of college. So after he got the initial offer from this company, which will, shall also remain nameless, the candidate found out that he was going to have to buy out his apartment lease
Speaker 5 (00:32:40):
to be able to take the job in, in a different market. Right. And this isn’t, this wasn’t an hour or two down the road. This was, you know, several States away. So he brought that back and informed the company that there was going to be, there was a new roughly a thousand dollars, uh, expense in order to take the job. Well, if I couldn’t believe that the company rescinded the offer, Oh. And the candidate was, was taking an open communication, just transparent. Um, you know, it was, it was offered to be verified, the whole shebang and the company. Okay. Who, who wanted this team, one of this candidate on their team just okay. 15 minutes prior they were sending the offer and refuse to reconsider or revisit any conversations. That to me is not only shortsighted, Mmm. Talent acquisition, a behavior, but it is a old fashioned, a mindset where the employer or the hiring, the organization has all the power.
Speaker 5 (00:33:44):
And that is not the case. It sounds to me like they didn’t do their due diligence and enough time. Mm. Thank goodness for that candidate that he did not, he or she did not take that job. That’s right. Yeah. That would have to be one of the worst companies on the planet to work for. That wouldn’t do that. I mean, well also on that note, well I, I agree with you. Um, that’s, that’s just, that is old fashioned behavior. So Greg, you weigh in and then Sarah, I know you’re chomping at the bit. What else do you think of when you think of old fashioned practices? What else sticks out? Greg, my take is very short on this, which you’ll both be amazed to know. Um, and very tactical job descriptions that are too technical that don’t sell the why and the core values of the company and don’t speak.
Speaker 5 (00:34:36):
So the purpose of the role that is so important to candidates today, and when companies, um, have a job description that doesn’t say, here’s what we’re about, here’s what working here is like, here’s what this experience is and why you will love it here. What we’re doing as a higher purpose. Oh, and by the way, here’s the role that you’ll play. Um, I w I may have been a little ahead of my time on this because my accounting and HR leader is like, Oh my gosh, that’s more, that’s an advertisement. Nice. And yeah, isn’t that what we’re doing? But, but the truth is I wanted people to know what blue Ridge was about. When you come to work at blue Ridge, this is what it’s like. This is what we’re about. All right? This is the spirit of the entity. You screw it. You prescreen people, um, who are, look, you know, who, who understand or decide that they don’t like your particular culture or,
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:35:38):
and when you have these really technical, um, job descriptions, I just, I can’t even get through them anymore. Right? What’s the point of knowing the job if you don’t know what the company’s going to be like. Great point Sarah. Okay. Bring the thunder. I know you’re chomping at the bit. Tell us. Well, first of all, I think, I think we might’ve shown the audience some hidden talents of mine when I said when I sang hallelujah. But anyway, before, so now you now and your next lip sync battle, it needs to be live singing. So maybe you know, supply chain now trivia should turn it into karaoke night. I don’t know. I’m just saying. Anyways, I’m back to Greg’s point about um, storytelling. We need to storytell to attract talent. We need to put ads out there to be able to tell them who we are and what we do and who we’re looking for so that even before they go to apply, they know that it’s a company that they want to work for.
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:36:39):
And I spoke about this on a, an episode of the leaders in supply chain podcast with redo a couple of weeks ago. It was myself and Eric Johnson and we talked about the importance of storytelling to attract talent. And not only to attract talent, but also to retain that talent as well. And so it’s really important that companies really get behind this notion, especially now as we’re doing this reshuffling, there’s a lot of opportunity here and not only for the organizations, there’s opportunities for the team members within those organizations to watch how their companies are reacting in crisis. What are they bringing to the table? How have they positioned themselves? How are they speaking to you? How are they changing some of the processes that they have in place? I know of somebody who has said that if, if one of their team members go to the hospital, they’re going to be laid off like that is not okay.
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:37:37):
Right. And so how is your company, um, performing in a crisis and what does that look like? And are they the right company for you? Because there’s gotta be a fit on both sides and the company needs to be taking a look at it. They need to be taking responsibility and putting together that storytelling of how they can attract talent, what that’s going to look like for them in the future. What’s their hiring process? How can we change it? What are the gaps? How does it work right now? I mean, we’re going to talk about this in a minute, but if you’re just taking a resume and your HR team is doing that and then passing it along to, to the person in charge of actually hiring that person. I’ve heard there’s a lot of lag there and we’ll get to that in a minute. But the important point here is that, you know, companies need to do their due diligence when they get a resume. I think they need to spend more time and I’m challenged. I really do challenge the HR community and maybe they’re already working on this and if they are
Speaker 5 (00:38:35):
kudos to them, they challenged them to find more productive ways, um, to be able to pass along to their HR individuals of hiring, of the hiring process, changing that process, changing the mentality, really digging deep and taking a look at what we’re doing and how we can change that. Great play. If I can just weigh in real quick, my call, a former manager of mine, a mentor of mine, um, that is, has been in the, uh, industrial staffing space, manufacturing supply chain for many years. Uh, if, if you heard him say anything, you’d hear him say, Hey, it’s not about how you act and lead when times are good. Right? Right. It’s more what the measure of a man or woman or a business leader is when times are really tough, whether those decisions and actions look like, and I gotta tell ya, you’re seeing that in the marketplace right now without, without naming any names or companies you’re seeing brands and companies and organizations do things they don’t have to do to take care of their employees and the markets and, and other victims of this, of this pandemic. And then you’re seeing organizations and business leaders, so called business leaders going in the opposite direction and being way, um, opportunistic in a negative way and doing things to cut corners and, and not offering safety nets and do some other things that just are less than, um, less than, than savvy or less than savory. Um, so that’s really important. That’s some one things I’m looking at day in and day out as we work our way through the pandemic environment. Yeah. And not making your team members feel valued.
Speaker 5 (00:40:22):
Right. I think that that’s a key key point here. When you, when you go through a crisis like this and you see how your company is working through that, and if they’re not feeling valued, then they’re not going to help you get through this crisis. Right. Wow. Yep. And so it doesn’t work on either side. They’ll then they’ll remember the loyalty or the lack thereof. Absolutely. So, you know, I know we’ve given a couple of examples of, of bad approaches here, and I kind of alluded to this before because I think that there’s a huge gap between HR and business leaders looking for talent. And so I want to talk about that, right. Because I think, you know, you said gone are the days of resume. I mean, are they really gone? Not really because we’re still doing that. Um, but we have to revisit that process. I mean everything on that piece of paper, depending on what they put on that piece of paper really I don’t think is, is an indicator of who they are and what they do. My opinion on that is LinkedIn and doing some due spending some
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:41:34):
more time on each person that is applying to the position. Whether that is, you know, I’m not an HR professional, so whether that is conducive to what they do on a daily basis, I have no idea. But we need to be able to vet better. And I think also, you know, um, talent that is applying for these jobs also need to put themselves out there. And LinkedIn is a really great place, you know, um, they want to, they shouldn’t be able to take a look at your LinkedIn profile. They can see your resume on, on your LinkedIn profile, but they all should also should see your participation. And that’s really going to tell a company and an HR professional who you are, what you’re all about, how you interact with people. You know, all of that really says a lot about a person. And I’m just not sure that we’re going to get that from a piece of paper and a resume that sent in. And then as on top of that, um, I’ve heard some horror stories where, you know, the HR professional is vetting the candidates and they’re coming up with a short list and they’re passing it to the business leader and it’s nothing like what they’re looking for to fill the position.
Scott Luton (00:42:45):
Right. Well, and you know, uh, we’ve touched on job description a couple of times here, but raise your hand if you like writing job descriptions. No, no, no one does, right? No, but it’s so, you know, that basic function and call it, call it a job description or call it a, uh, we’re seeing some organizations kind of do a quick video, uh, of showing what, what they’re looking for, right. Which can lead to a job description, whatever it is. Being able to effectively communicate what type of talent you’re hiring for is so critical in today’s market. Right?
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:43:28):
Yeah. But I wonder too, if there’s a gap between the business theater and HR, because the business leader is living it every day. They know exactly, and maybe it comes down to communication and articulation of, of what exactly that they need and what exactly it’s going to be for. And maybe there’s a job description for the HR professional to understand it a little bit better. And maybe there’s a job district description that goes out into the public. I don’t, I don’t know what that answer is.
Scott Luton (00:43:58):
Well, there’s undoubtedly, to your point, uh, we, we’re both well aware of the gap that exists between those two parties you’ve just identified, right? The business leader that, um, will either directly or indirectly supervise or this person will report up through their organization, typically with directly, indirectly, and then the hiring leader and, and that team or, or a recruiter or you name it, that is actively out there talking to candidates based on their understanding of what, uh, what the need is. And Sarah, as you’ve alluded
Speaker 5 (00:44:32):
to Holy cow, that the disconnect between those two parties amongst others, but those two key parties, um, can oftentimes be pretty big. Right. And, and where I see it play out or has seen it play out is Mmm. You’re the opposite job description, the interview process. Think of all that feedback. It goes back and forth. Well, if you’re not operating, if you’re not aligned around the need, clearly your interpretation of, of the interviews, phone calls or otherwise video interviews, you name it, they’re going to be, they’re going to be skewed. Mmm. And so what’s, what’s the, so what here? Well, [inaudible] if you, if you don’t see a problem, then enjoy your communication gap between these two parties, which yeah, I would say and arguably will lead to bad hires or new hires or longing, a longer hiring cycles and certainly more turnover. And if you like dealing with all of that, Hey, live on your Island, you know?
Speaker 5 (00:45:37):
Yeah. Well, and I think there’s a point here too. I mean, um, I had a company on the show last year as well talking about workforce engagement software and apps and different things like that. I mean, I think we also need to take a harder look at the tech from a retention standpoint, especially in supply chain when we’re looking at warehousing and distribution staff that may or may not be on email. Um, you know, looking to take over, um, shifts, right? And being able to do that less manually as well. I think there’s a lot here that we need to take a look at that’s just going to make everything more efficient for everybody. I mean, what do we want to pay people to do? That’s a great point. Greg, what do you, what are you hearing in between some of the things that Sarah and I are talking about as it relates to some of the gaps that exists? What’s your take, you know, a sense that
Speaker 4 (00:46:29):
these problems are very, very different based on the type or size of particularly the size of company that you have.
Speaker 5 (00:46:37):
Um, I’m going to use my favorite
Speaker 4 (00:46:39):
term and say and remind everybody that I’ve been in exclusively in small to medium businesses for over two decades. Um, and not one day more.
Speaker 5 (00:46:51):
Speaker 4 (00:46:55):
had great and collaborative relationships with my HR folks and felt completely in sync. But I guess when I, at the same time when I say that, um, they really let the line managers take the fore on hiring and provided support and collaboration and, you know, screening. But you know, I think that, I think the problem is very different if you’re Georgia Pacific or your GM, um, or, or, or whatever. Right. Versus if you’re, um, blue Ridge or vector or Centrino Centura, sorry. Um, and, and, um, you know, you just have to be very, very conscious of that. I’m a little bit, uh, concerned about people leaning too much on automation and AI. At the same time. If you train the AI the right way, then it can accomplish in 12 seconds, in less than 12 seconds. What a human being never could in, in a minute.
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:48:03):
Speaker 4 (00:48:05):
um, you know, there, there are some possibilities to use data and use automation the right way. Right. And probably be more rather than less inclusive of those
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:48:17):
Scott Luton (00:48:18):
Mm. Good point. There’s absolutely, I think three of us would agree there is not only a place today, a very valuable place for technology and AI to play a role in, in the talent and the in the, in talent acquisition side, but that will probably grow more and more. But I think it’s really important as that, as the role of technology plays that we still maintain a healthy, uh, and diverse way that we look at how we evaluate talent. And again, going back to holistically. Right. Mmm. I think it’s such an important thing to keep, uh, between the ears here. All right. Sarah, any before we start to wrap up here, I know we’ve got some cool things that we want to finish up on. Anything that you want to, Mmm. Double down on in terms of this, this gap that we’ve been, that we have identified between these two general parties within organizations.
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:49:14):
Um, yeah, I mean I have a bit of a takeaway. I was in, in response to this episode, I was doing some research and an HBR article came up building a game changing talent strategy that I thought really resonated. And there was a few things that they spoke about. You know, having a clear picture of your talent, roadblocks in the tech space is the first step in transforming your human resources success. And I thought that that was really, um, particularly important, whether you’re in the tech space, whether you’re in the supply chain space. Listen, there are roadblocks and I think we need, it’s about time we’d be mindful of it and it’s a about time that we, you know, kick those down and figure out what that looks like so that everybody can win in the future. And then the last thing that they said was the best talent policies respond to changing conditions on the ground and to cultural differences across the globe. And I think that that’s super important right now as we’re going through the pandemic and what we’re looking to do and not only from a company’s perspective, but also from the talent perspective as well.
Scott Luton (00:50:21):
Yep. Great point. Great point. Um, all right, so I’ve gotten a little, uh, I want to wrap up before, uh, I got a couple of questions for the two of you. So get ready for the lightning round. Uh, Greg real quick. The him, Malcolm got back to me as you mentioned, and it is, my hope is built on nothing less. And that’s a reframe. That is, it was ingrained in my brain back when I was a kid growing up in Aiken, South Carolina. All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand. And when you were talking about foundational, the front end, I could see, I could see Ray barber, my music minister, my beloved music, music minister growing up, uh, leading our congregation sing that song. So good stuff there. And one heck of research, Bob, Malcolm, Malcolm, Holy cow. The parable of the house built on stone versus sand is Matthew seven, three 24. So, you know, regardless of your, of your, uh, spiritual experience or however you feel led, um, those parables, I’m from all of the religious books, but that one in particular has always stuck with me. So you know, there can consider it whatever you want. Considered a historical or a teaching journal. Right? Man, those are such valuable lessons. Sarah, did you think you’re going to church today?
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:51:45):
Well, you know, I did pipe in with that Harlan [inaudible].
Scott Luton (00:51:53):
You know, regardless, we all have our different ways that we seek comfort and serenity and, and faith and you name it and you know, uh, different strokes for different folks. But I really appreciate everybody’s approach on this conversation here and, and it’s needed more than ever as we get to these, these uncertain times. So we’re going to finish up with the lightning round here. Uh, I’m gonna, I’m gonna two questions for both of you and then we’ll get you to weigh in on very succinctly reader’s digest version. A yes, that reader’s digest still exists. Good, accurate information is in demand right now and in high demand right now. So, Sarah, starting with you, what are your go to sources? Give me a one or two sources that you know, you look at if not daily, weekly, and there’s always great insights there.
Sarah Barnes Humphrey (00:52:43):
Well, obviously I listened to you guys, but I also have a guide that is coming out. I don’t know what this episode is coming up, but we already have it out. Lisa Fenton put a new ebook together for us and she’s all about negotiation and it’s called your return to work negotiation masters guide. And they can find that over at let’s talk supply chain.com under our eBooks negotiations. And so I would highly recommend that one
Scott Luton (00:53:11):
love that. And negotiation is uh, that was something folks were trying to find out more about in the months prior, certain years prior to the pandemic and that will the art and the negotiation will be really relevant in months to come.
Speaker 5 (00:53:26):
Absolutely. Alright, so let’s, uh, Greg, your take, what’s your, uh, give us your secret sauce, your, your go to resource for information. Mmm, my go to source is either direct to Reuters if I want news information. Um, and then Google news because I, I tend to triangulate every single story knowing that every, uh, I find Reuters to be the least biased among the news, um, groups. What I’ve realized is that when, by the way, magazines or newspapers, they buy stories from Reuters and then they retitled them. Oh by the way. And so, so that as a good source is great. And then I’ll triangulate it with two or three other, uh, entities, man in supply chain. I got to tell you, supply chain dive, those industry dive publications are great quality. Those are knowledgeable writers. You stole one of mine, Emma Cosper over there in particular, but spot Shane Dobbs, a great, a great resource supply chain digest, which has recently updated its look and feel is a good one.
Speaker 5 (00:54:41):
Fast company is a little different. Mmm. But really represents a forward looking view. And I’ve found some great insights there. And then really the GoTo that I look at every day is a wall street journal logistics report. And you know, we all have our favorites. Uh, but Jennifer Smith, uh, not only for supply chain, but business in general. If you want to follow someone that always gives you an insightful take and no nonsense and, and, and the important stuff that should be on your radar. Uh, Jennifer Smith has a wonderful job, but just used one of her articles this morning for the buzz. And you can check her out on Twitter too at Jen Smith. WSJ to make it easy. Mmm. Okay. Second question. This is in the not so lightning round. Uh, let’s, what’s one, what’s one story under the ground? That’s right. Rolling thunder round.
Speaker 5 (00:55:35):
What is one story, Sarah, that our listeners we really need to be paying attention to right now? Inspiring. Yeah. I think that we, you know, based on talent, I think we need to do our due diligence on reshuffling of talent and what that looks like from a holistic perspective. Take a look at your talent strategy and change it now. Hmm. Love that. We could just about wrap on that. Greg, what’s, what’s one thing focusing to be watching for? I think as consumers we all need to be concerned about, uh, what Amazon is doing. Um, particularly as regards there sellers. Um, you know, the wall street journal, you’re your favorite. Um, the wall street journal just reported that they are in fact what I think
Scott Luton (00:56:23):
all of us suspected them of doing, which is copying the items and private labeling, uh, the best items on, on their platform and undercutting prices of brands. And we’ve seen a flow of brands, the big brands, Nike and several others away from Amazon. But I think we’re going to continue to see that. And I think we’ve got to decide, we’ve got to vote with our wallets and decide whether as consumers we want to, we want to continue to condone and urge and enable that activity. And, and as it needs to be, uh, it isn’t perhaps paramount there and not that moving to a second episode is the integrity issue. Right? Uh, cause cause there’s been one message being communicated to Congress and other bodies and then we see the investigative reporting come out with the wall street journal. So there’s a lot more to that story.
Scott Luton (00:57:18):
But I could have swore about a year and a half ago, Greg white told me how this was going to play out. So your crystal ball, once again, always accurate. So, um, but definitely a story to be tracking. Yeah. Um, I, I gotta tell I, and we’re, each of us are tackling this from different angles, which is good. Okay. As someone, okay, as we were talking this morning, Greg, we try to separate the noise from true signals. And I think one of the dangerous things right now is all the, a wide variety of smart people that disagree on where we are, at least in this country with COBIT 19. And that, you know, we’re not gonna settle that here, but, um, just to see the meatpacking, uh, the meat plants struggle and more operations go down and, and some of the analysts weigh in with some of the words you’re choosing to use, which, um, gets more and more stark.
Scott Luton (00:58:20):
I think consumers need to be tracking that and the consumers need to really kick the tires on, are we over the hump yet? Especially based on where they live, you know, cause every, every part of the country certainly has, has different elements in and every part of the world has different elements in their fight against this. Yeah. The coronavirus. So it’s really important. So do your homework and, and be mindful of what challenges still exist, um, when it comes to Mmm, you know, the stores and the supply chain and all the people that it takes to keep things on the shelves and, and then allow you to, to buy things essential as another other and other things out in your local community. So really keep it, watch that meat packing plant, you know, between the meat, um, beef, pork, chicken, uh, some of those plants are, are, are cycling up and down and, and I’m really curious to see, Mmm, yeah. Is this a blip on the radar
Speaker 5 (00:59:22):
or are we going to have some, um, some challenges two or three weeks ahead in terms of no selection at the grocery store. Hopefully that makes sense. Sarah and Greg.
Speaker 4 (00:59:33):
Yeah, it makes perfect sense. I totally get it.
Speaker 5 (00:59:36):
Yeah. I just saw it on the news that said that the food supply chain is breaking down as per Tyson foods. I’m not sure if you know, it really needs to go that far because that, that really, um, it’s going to really not help anybody. Not in supply chain, not panic. Um, and I think that there’s ways around it and things that we could be doing. And I just hope that the right people in the right places are having those discussions.
Speaker 4 (01:00:03):
Good point. Excellent point, Sarah. Because I think, look, when we’re only talking about politics, it’s one thing to be, uh, to have inflammatory and, and the hard part, hyperbolic language. But when we’re talking about people who are concerned about their actual livelihood, it’s [inaudible] Mmm. It’s start, it’s a stark realization for me, but the people are being hyperbolic and particularly news sources are being hyperbolic. And we talked about that this year, this morning. And I think at the highest level, one must always recognize that as much as other people and organizations and your government and whoever cares about you, no one understands your situation and understands what’s in your best interest except you. And you must always keep that in mind.
Speaker 5 (01:00:55):
Yeah. We’ve been going out. Don’t go out
Speaker 4 (01:00:58):
right. If you are comfortable, um, good on ya and know, hope, be with you. So,
Speaker 5 (01:01:07):
and do your homework. Don’t, uh, you know, I think that the lesson here is, is not be a a warrant. Um, don’t just stick to one source for getting your news and, and, and spin on things. I think, you know, look at, look at it. Okay. Lots of folks opinion, especially lots of credible folks. Penn yet Sarah, I think that, um, undoubtedly there are some members of the media globally that are choosing certain words so that okay, some folks are tuned in or click here, click there and, and you know, there, there’s some irresponsibility going on there, but um, anyway, uh, we, we’ll see. We’ll, we’ll keep our finger on the pulse, uh, in the weeks ahead. And Sarah, a pleasure to have you back on for episode three of four. So how can Sarah Barnes Humphrey, let’s talk supply chain and uh, and ships. How can our listeners get in touch with you? Well, I love LinkedIn, so follow us on, let’s talk supply chain LinkedIn page. Connect with me, Sarah Barnes. I’m free on LinkedIn. We’ve also got a ship’s page on LinkedIn as well. We’re all over Twitter. I’m be victorious on Twitter and Instagram. Check out our website, let’s talk supply chain.com or ships.com that’s ships with a Zed or Z.
Speaker 5 (01:02:24):
Just to make that clear. And I would love to connect with everybody and see everybody on social outstanding. Uh, Sarah Barnes, Humphrey, founder of let’s talk supply chain and ships with a Z, the pride of Toronto, Canada. Sarah, always a pleasure to have you back. Thanks for having me on. I can’t wait for number four. I mean guys, if you got number three was good, just wait until we get the super trend. Number four, Greg. Great, great conversation. Uh, always a pleasure. Um, what, uh, I wanna I wanna put you on the spot one last time before we sign off here. One clear cut, key takeaway, 20 seconds or less,
Speaker 4 (01:03:11):
the tables have turned in in um, hiring and human capital and, and the game has changed whether we recognize what it’s changed to or not. It has definitely changed. So everyone, candidates and companies alike need to be flexible and open as, as we come back into a hiring phase and be ready for anything.
Speaker 5 (01:03:37):
Be ready for anything. Absolutely. On that note. Lastly, of course, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought leadership at supply chain now, radio.com hopefully you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as we have. You can find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from on behalf of the entire team. Certainly this group here, the whole extended team, Scott Luton, wishing a successful week ahead. Please stay safe, brighter days. Undoubtedly lie ahead and we’ll see you next time here on supply chain.
Would you rather watch the show in action? Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Sarah Barnes-Humphrey to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.
Greg White serves as Principle & Host at Supply Chain Now. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory: www.trefoiladvisory.com
Scott W. Luton is the founder of Supply Chain Now. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, CNN Business, AJC, Dice, and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott formerly served as Executive Vice President of APICS Atlanta and was recently named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive. He founded the Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and serves on the advisory board for the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Connect with Scott Luton on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter at @ScottWLuton.
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