New Canadians do soften the Supply Chain & Procurement Staffing Crunch

October 5, 2012

Written by Rosanna Palermo

Find out what Argentus’ Rosanna Palermo (who is extremely well known & well networked in Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain circles and who runs a very seasoned SCM practise) has to tell us about the value well experienced Supply Chain & Procurement Professionals new to Canada can bring to your organisation.

One of our functions as Specialty Recruiters in Supply Chain and Procurement is to advise companies on solutions in finding top talent in a very high demand, low supply employment sector. Daily, we work tirelessly with our customers to find ways to bring to the table the right selection of candidates that meet their needs for their particular open roles. Each of them comes with their unique set of challenges.

Location is always a huge issue – great candidate for a role but lives on the wrong side of town. Canadians by nature take work/life balance very seriously so for example, trying to fill a Logistics role in Whitby or Oshawa is tougher because most of the good candidates with the right qualifications live West as are where most of the employers. This usually means a premium needs to be paid to lure the best candidate to the role.

Compensation is another mine field to be handled with care. Hiring Managers want top skills in Procurement, Vendor Management, Category Management, Contracts to name a few, but are strapped by the salary bands of internal equity. While Supply Chain Management and especially Procurement/Strategic Sourcing verticals are booming and the need for skilled labour continues to outstrip supply, companies still lag behind in being able to attract the talent they need at the salaries they must pay. One shouldn’t be surprised to find Recruiters in this space networking and sourcing for Procurement professionals at sometimes 20% less than their true market value.

Poor title quality of roles coming on to the market, inflexibility on issues like telecommuting, companies not embracing the work/life balance flexibility workers need such as staggered work hours to manage children’s schedules and such, round out the field in making the search for candidates in a high demand market more and more challenging.

But there are still some great opportunities to hire fantastic talent in SCM but companies still hold back with great resistance.

Here’s the challenge, Talent Acquisition Specialists and Hiring Managers continue to be reluctant to champion the new Canadian into open Supply Chain or Procurement roles. In all honesty, yes we get this is a harder sell into companies because everyone wants the Canadian experience but given the chance to make a program like this fly – it is full of rich rewards.

I speak from experience in the field – New Canadians are candidates who are truly BEST OF BREED and come with a plethora of deep and rich expertise from Global companies:  Johnson & Johnson and Huawai, Husky, General Electric, Philips and Amex are just a few examples of global companies where new immigrants come to Canada with strong Supply Chain and Strategic Sourcing expertise. They are very good and often they bring a greater wealth of knowledge and experience to the table than their experienced Canadians counterparts. To our clients, we strongly recommend new Canadians for the eagerness to jump into the Canadian business game. It is certainly a philosophy to be rethought as part of an overall hiring initiative in Strategic Sourcing, Supply Chain, Logistics, Distribution & Planning.

Given the opportunity to prove themselves in Canadian companies, new Canadian candidates represent the super value with the greatest return. They are eager, passionate & enthusiastic to prove themselves.  Hiring Managers need to face the staffing challenges head-on and embrace the possibility of how to mine the talent that is right in front of them.




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