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Hiring in Supply Chain: Guide and Trends in 2024

Although many companies have put the COVID-19 pandemic behind them and resumed their business expansion activities, they remained selective in their hiring due to uncertainties about economic conditions in 2023.

“However, there was a growing emphasis on sustainable engineering practices,” says William Unthario, who specialises in Supply Chain, Procurement and Manufacturing roles as a Senior Consultant at Robert Walters Indonesia."This was particularly prominent in industries like renewable energy, electric vehicles and sustainable infrastructure, as businesses in these sectors are sensitive to concerns about the environment."

Read on to find out more about William’s expectations for Indonesia’s labour market and hiring trends for Supply Chain professionals in 2024. 

Spotlight on job stability and Pulang Kampung candidates

Over the past year, candidates have demonstrated a preference for more stable companies. William shares that many were selective and hesitant about moving to newly established companies as job stability is a major point of concern – a trend he expects will continue in 2024.

He also anticipates that the interest in Indonesian candidates based abroad will grow. “More companies found candidates with this profile through Robert Walters Indonesia’s Pulang Kampung campaign, which connects employers with Indonesian talent that have accumulated valuable experiences working abroad.” 

Hiring to centre on sustainability, demand forecasting, project management

In 2024, William also expects that more attention will be given to sustainability and environmental practices in supply chain operations. This comes as professionals with knowledge in sustainable sourcing, transportation and waste reduction have been in demand.

Professionals who can lead and manage change effectively are also highly prized as companies want talent who can adapt to an evolving supply chain landscape. 

Skillsets that are in high demand in supply chain include demand forecasting and planning. Specifically, companies are on the lookout for talent that can accurately predict customer demand and align production and procurement capacities accordingly.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has also underscored how important the healthcare and biotechnology sectors are. As such, there will continue to be a healthy demand for engineers in areas such as medical devices, bioprocessing and digital health.

Within engineering, project management skillsets are highly sought after. Companies will prioritise candidates who can plan and execute projects, specifically those who can manage resources, budgets and timelines.

Across the board, communication and collaboration are the most sought after soft skills as candidates will need to work with suppliers, customers and cross-functional teams.

The most in-demand roles for the year ahead are head of project, sustainability head and head of supply chain.

Build trust and engage employees in career development

Employers have to stay on top of their teams’ changing expectations and needs, especially as many companies in the sector faces challenges with talent retention. William lists professional growth and development opportunities, relationship with the management team, benefits, job security and work-life balance as the key factors that candidates consider when reflecting on their job satisfaction.

“My advice for companies looking to attract and retain their talent in 2024 is to address these points, starting with updating their salary benchmarks. Next, provide employees with job rotation opportunities where possible, or keep them engaged by providing them with technical training. Because many candidates prioritise the relationship with the management team, companies will also do well to nurture trust with their teams,” he shares.

Salaries to rise stably

In 2024, salaries are expected to remain stable, and they will increase at regular rates without big spikes.

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Request access to our 2024 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key hiring trends in Indonesia.

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William  Unthario

William Unthario

Supply Chain, Procurement & Manufacturing, Indonesia

William has over five years of regional recruitment experience across Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. He specialises in recruiting roles within the Supply Chain and Engineering sectors.

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