New Logistics Talent Models for 2024

By Published On: January 23, 2024

New logistics trends will immediately help employers when hiring and trying to retain supply chain talent in 2024. This requires an open mind and a willingness to invest in nontraditional compensation plans, organizational charts, and onboarding processes. Also, you may want to consider hiring for aptitude over experience because a lot of the institutional knowledge is aging out of the supply chain labor force. The future of work in supply chain also includes deploying contract, fractional, and interim staffing options to help expand operational capacity. These low-risk tactics help supply chains expand to meet a steadily rising consumer demand amid threat of an economic downturn. All of this can be done, but it just requires the willingness to adapt and evolve.

Approaches to Hiring New Logistics Talent in 2024

Hire for Aptitude and Not only Experience

Most any supply chain recruiter, talent executive, or hiring manager can attest to the fact that there simply aren’t enough experienced people to fill available roles. The jobs have evolved in complexity due to rapidly evolving technological advancements, geo-policial conflicts, more frequent natural disasters, and other factors. However, supply chain is still supply chain. You still need to make something and move it from production to consumer in a profit driven manner. Also, anyone who has worked in supply chain for more than about 10 years knows that the field is being drained by retirements. Baby boomer generation retirements will rapidly increase in the next few years, leaving a larger void of shoes to fill within supply chain organizations. This will make hiring a lot more challenging for employers, especially for middle management to senior executive supply chain roles. 

The institutional knowledge vacuum created by boomers entering retirement is a real problem. Talent pros and recruiters will tell you that being too rigid on job requirements will only limit your hires. It’s good to screen for potential and high ceilings because the likelihood that you’ll find someone who checks all the necessary boxes and has your required and desired experience is unlikely. Maintain flexibility with hiring practices or you’ll significantly drag out your hiring process while pursuing unicorns and purple squirrels. You should also evaluate the risks to your business, should you not be able to hire the right supply chain talent in a reasonable timeframe. Someone else is doing the work when key roles are left unfilled, which commonly leads to burnout, quality or service issues, lower employee morale, and higher turnover. 

A Measured Approach to Tech Adoption

There’s no escaping the technology boom in supply chain. Automation, robotics and machine learning have helped to close the talent gaps in operations and on the front lines, while increasing efficiencies in shipment visibility, tracking and other operational mechanisms.

What a lot of people aren’t telling you is about the absolute barrage of supply chain tech solutions that have flooded the market in recent years. Many claim to have the “silver bullet” for solving complex new logistics or supply chain management challenges. The problem is that the big tech firms can be prohibitively expensive, while the start-ups are unproven and risky.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a guinea pig for unproven tech solutions. Slower digital adoption will help to normalize prices and create industry standards without everyone thinking they have to rush out and purchase unproven tech. 

A measured approach by most will help everyone. Tech is here to stay. Just make sure your pace of adoption suits YOUR needs and not someone else’s.

Hybrid Work is the Best of Both Worlds

The most debated move in a post-pandemic world is how to handle the rapid ascension and normalization of remote working. Supply chain has benefited from remote work by making out-of-market hires more feasible. However, there are a lot of supply chain jobs that cannot be done remotely. Balancing this with needing knowledgeable people to run your teams can create some static in the ranks. Additionally, employers everywhere are trying to figure out how to build and maintain a strong company culture when everyone works from home. 

It seems to be that the hybrid workplace model creates the best of both worlds for employers and their staff. Allowing for a healthy work/life balance while also asking employees to come in 2 or 3 days a week seems to be an effective compromise. 

Mandating your employees to return to the office, especially when they’ve proven they can handle the job from home, can do more harm than good. Instead, work with your teams to formulate the best path while creating ownership and accountability from your employees. Allowing for flexible arrangements can ingratiate leaders with their teams while enabling employers to enhance their culture. Just be sure that when you’re asking team members to be onsite that you’re creating collaborative opportunities for them to benefit from not being at home. Don’t just ask them to come in for the sake of office facetime. Some logistics jobs can’t be done remotely. We get that. But there are some new logistics positions being freed up by remote working technologies that shouldn’t be ignored. 

Your people are everything. You may want to only hire from within but you’ll eventually need to recruit new logistics talent. It could save you a lot of time to trust specialized logistics recruiters with this task.

Interim and Contract Staffing is an Effective Bridge

More tech, more automation, more hybrid workplaces, and now more contract and interim talent solutions. Augmenting your full-time staff with contract resources is a low risk solution for employers who need to expand capacity without sacrificing the operational status quo.

As previously mentioned, there’s not enough available supply chain talent due in part to the boomer retirement trend. While the talent shortage continues to create challenges for employers seeking to hire and retain full-time staff, the silver lining is that the exodus of retiring supply chain professionals is creating a larger pool of highly experienced and knowledgeable independent consultants and contractors. 

Whether you’re expanding production lines, opening up new distribution centers, or implementing an S&OP process, contractors and interim staffers can help you. Also known as fractional consultants, they possess the requisite and specialized skill sets and experience, which can alleviate the need for extensive new-hire onboarding. 

Career Pathing, Work-Life Balance, and Culture Retain Top Talent

As you recruit supply chain leaders, you will find that compensation packages will have to be augmented. Top-tier talent is going to want to know where they can grow. They will want to be developed and have a clear path for career growth. Stagnation is not an option for sought-after leaders.

Work-life balance has also taken center stage again. Employees realize that their time can be better spent working from home instead of commuting to and from an office. Allowing your leaders to guide flexible and hybrid work schedules can create stronger loyalty from your staff, long term, leading to better engagement and retention levels.

And finally, culture is crucial. Hiring in supply chain will come down to who provides these intangibles. The best people will gravitate to situations where they can develop and grow with people they respect. Demonstrable value statements and transparency can be the difference for a lot of highly sought-after individuals. The saying “people don’t leave jobs, they leave bad management” applies to attracting talent as well. The best talent wants to be confident that the stated and demonstrated values of an organization align with their own.

Attracting talent from outside the supply chain will be crucial in 2024 as well. Logistics companies will also fill talent gaps with folks that have transferable skillsets. Employers would be wise to identify these traits early on in order to hone their hiring strategies accordingly.


These logistics industry trends aren’t exact. And none of us know exactly what’s going to happen with our supply chains in the future. But we do know that supply chain disruptions can massively impact logistics operations and logistics companies in an instant.

An aging and retiring supply chain workforce presents a new set of challenges for employers heading into 2024. However, with every obstacle is an opportunity. Adjusting hiring strategies and priorities while innovating with interim and fractional consultants to help expand capacity can help sharpen competitive edges. Technology and automation is also helping to close the talent gap but requires a measured approach to adoption. Don’t be the first out of the gate to try the newest supply chain tech. There’s plenty of time to get in the game once the technology has more of a proven track record. Being risk averse doesn’t mean you’re growth averse and consumer demand will continue to dictate operational capacities. Valuing your employees work-life balance can also help you retain your best people. They will be recruited, eventually, so don’t give them any reason to leave. Ensure that they have an adequately mapped out growth plan and that you’re checking in with them regularly to measure morale. Remember, you can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s broken. Your logistics hiring strategy needs to be ever evolving with the times. Everyone from your VP of Transportation to your Logistics Coordinators will be impacted by these decisions.

Supply chain is complex and rapidly evolving. Staying ahead of new logistics and procurement trends is essential to staying competitive. Many of these trends revolve around how you optimize, retain, and recruit the best supply chain talent.

Need help to hire Logistics Talent in 2024?

Connect with our logistics recruiting firm here at SCM Talent Group to elevate your team’s potential and secure the supply chain leadership talent your organization needs for future success!