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30th Annual Salary Survey: Reeling in the talent

Our 2014 survey finds that large companies are boosting their initial salary offerings for new hires by as much as 10 percent. Will this trend help close the logistics talent gap?
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
April 01, 2014

Closing the gender and generation gap?
While the generation gap may be closing, our survey indicates that a similar trend is not taking place with the gender gap this year. The median salary earned by men weighs in at $98,000 while women earn a median salary of $72,250. However, many survey respondents took issue with this finding, explaining in interviews that women continue to make steady headway in the business.

Amber Hilt, a logistics and warehouse manager at Abaxis AVRL in Kansas City, notes that her veterinary reference laboratory has put her on a terrific career track. “I graduated with a degree in biochemistry, but discovered logistics when I left school,” she says. “Now I’m nearly done with my business degree in operations management and human resources.”

Hilt, who has been in logistics management a little more than 10 years, continues to pursue higher education. She adds that managing people is going to be critical in the coming years as more corporations realize how important the logistics function is to the bottom line.

“I speak with other women about the potential of this career path,” says Hilt. “This has been a steady progression and points to the opportunity for women in this business. Furthermore, a logistics manager can live very well in Kansas City on the salary most companies offer.”

Julie Wanstedt, marketing manager for third-party logistics provider Keller Logistics Group in Toledo, Ohio, likens the challenge of finding logistics managers to the search for qualified truck drivers. “Unless the pay is very good for an entry-level position, young people seem to go elsewhere,” she says. “We will consider a candidate with just a couple of years of college if that person has some supply chain experience and seems willing to make a career of it.”

Reaching young people through social networking seems sound, but it’s also time consuming for recruiters. Wanstedt uses LinkedIn when she’s looking for logistics talent, but also goes to job fairs at Bowling Green State University to help fill the pipeline. The school currently offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in supply chain management.

“Once a young person really understands that they can earn a good, middle-class income in this business, they might find it more attractive,” adds Keller.

Brenda Gautier, director of operations and carrier engagement at MW Logistics in Dallas, says social networking is popular among young candidates, but her company’s reputation is the real attraction. “Our clients are principally Fortune 500 companies, household names,” she says. “We are privately held, and very well known in the Dallas Ft. Worth area.”

Now in her eleventh year at MW, Gautier says that many professionals who came to the logistics industry “midstream” in their careers had a work ethic that may be hard to find in today’s youth. “A college degree is important, but we’re really looking for people with a passion for logistics,” she says.

“I need problem solvers, not just someone who can execute. There’s no middle ground in this business,” says Gautier. “You either love it or leave it.” Gautier is active with the Transportation Club of Dallas, CSCMP roundtable, and the Association for Transportation Professionals.

Becky Moss, a 13-year veteran transportation manager at Orbit Irrigation Products in Salt Lake City, says logistics managers are too busy working at desks to get out much, so social networking can be useful—up to a point.

“It’s still important to attend industry trade shows and participate in local association networks,” says Moss. “Our local CSCMP roundtable is very valuable for discovering opportunities and common challenges faced by logistics managers.”

Irrespective of gender, adds Moss, she wants workers who are detail oriented and dedicated to logistics.

“They must also be good communicators. Unfortunately, our industry is still under the radar for many women. Companies still have the get the word out,” she says.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Article Topics

Features · April 2014 · Salary Survey · All topics


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