Positive supply chain hiring outlook for 2011

by MM&D staff

CHICAGO, IL: Results of a 4Q 2010 survey of hiring managers show 64 percent plan to engage new hires in supply chain and operations roles in 2011. This is up from 2009, when only 48 percent anticipated hiring.

The Operations Management Employment Outlook study was conducted by APICS The Association for Operations Management and the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

This high level of expected hiring, when combined with a 50 percent decrease in expected layoffs (from 14 percent in 2009 to seven percent in the fourth quarter report), indicates the highest level of net job growth in the operations and supply chain management professions since the global recession began.

“Throughout 2010, we saw incremental improvements in expected hiring in the operations and supply chain management professions,” said APICS chief executive officer Abe Eshkenazi. “This significant increase in expected hiring and decrease in expected layoffs in the fourth quarter of 2010, which have manifested themselves in the most recent US Labor Department jobs report, are cause for optimism that 2011 may see increased job creation—at the highest level since the global recession began.”

Further, 49 percent of survey respondents with hiring responsibility are planning to hire within one or more of the following operational areas: execution and control of operations, purchasing/customer relationship management, quality, resources planning, and supply chain management.

“Often, supply chain and operations management are a bellwether for the global economy as a whole. Increased expected hiring at this level across job functions has positive implications for a variety of sectors, including manufacturing,” said Drew Rosen, professor of operations management at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and a member of the research team. “This quarter’s results are very promising for professionals seeking employment.”

Employment Outlook data show demand for employees with “soft skills”—in addition to technical skills. Supply chain and operations management professionals who possess well developed oral and written communication skills and customer service skills, in addition to, the following operations knowledge, will fare best in the hiring process, according to the fourth quarter report.