ASCM’s 2022 Salary and Career Report is out—with lots of interesting insights about the marketplace for supply chain talent.
At Argentus, we strive to keep you up to date on all the latest developments in the supply chain field, whether it’s through our own hard-won experiences in recruitment, or through broader industry news. And salary surveys are a key data point when it comes to understanding where the industry is at.
To that end, the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) just released the 2022 edition of their annual Supply Chain Salary and Career report, and it holds some very interesting insights about the state of the field. For the report, ASCM—a leading industry association—surveyed 3,489 supply chain professionals globally, from industries including CPG, manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical, transportation, government and others, about a host of supply chain topics.
In particular, the survey has some telling findings about some major issues that we’ve been writing about on the Argentus blog, including:
- The power that job candidates hold in the current market;
- The gender and racial pay disparity in supply chain;
- The tilt towards work/life balance that we’ve seen during the pandemic
- The so-called “Great Resignation” of supply chain employees
And other topics. Pick any issue in the field, and the survey has some interesting findings based on lots of responses from industry professionals.
So today, we wanted to highlight some of the big takeaways, and give our thoughts.
Here are some of the more interesting results:
Compensation remains strong, outpacing inflation
Within supply chain, the overall median salary in the U.S. was $96,000 (measuring base salary combined with additional compensation). Salaries rose 9% on average from the previous year, keeping place with rapid inflation, and overall compensation grew by 12%. In Canada, the median salary was $89,400, but 72% of professionals surveyed received a salary increase, of an average of 8.7%.
Canadian salaries have been slightly lower than their U.S. counterparts for many years, so this isn’t a surprise. But Canadian supply chain professionals tend to enjoy slightly better work-life balance than their peers in the U.S. Overall, compensation is growing, which is to be expected in an environment where candidates are in very high demand following a host of pandemic-related and other disruptions.
Pay gaps continue to narrow
Pay gaps in the supply chain field have been a consistent issue—both between men and women, and for people of colour. Pay gaps have been persistent across industries, but the gender pay gap has been a particular problem in supply chain, which has historically been a male-dominated industry.
However, that continues to change. According to ASCM’s survey, women under 40 earned more money on average than their male counterparts—a remarkable shift as supply chain continues to become a more diverse field. Women aged 40-49—and therefore more likely to be in leadership roles, which have had bigger gaps—earned 8% less, on average, than their male counterparts, but this represents a narrowing from 15% last year.
Salary gaps for people of colour are also narrowing, with the data showing black supply chain professionals earning 9% less, on average, than their white counterparts—down from 12% last year. For Hispanic/Latinx supply chain professionals, the gap was 5%—down from 14% last year. While there’s still lots to be done, these are encouraging signs that the field is recognizing diverse groups with fair compensation. It’s a crucial development, as more organizations are broadening their talent pools to cover talent gaps.
Work-life balance is a priority, and companies who don’t take note will lose out
Burnout has become a big issue for supply chain management professionals, after the unprecedented swathe of disruptions of the past few years. And in a market where candidates are in such high demand, candidates are placing a premium on work/life balance to help navigate the strain. According to the survey, 80% of professionals in Canada work a maximum of 45 hours a week, and 84% have at least 3 weeks paid time off (including 14% with 5 weeks or more). Only 16% receive 2 weeks paid vacation, which is the legal requirement in Canada.
Another, related trend is the persistence of remote and hybrid work in the field. Even almost 3 years after remote work took off in a major way, companies have been slow to transition back to full time on site work. The survey found that two thirds (68%) of supply chain workers in Canada are working remote or hybrid, with only 34% on site full time. While there are many supply chain jobs that require full time on site work, this shows that candidates have been flexing their muscle in this market to demand alternative working arrangements that work better with their lifestyles.
Our takeaway here is that, to win the war for talent, companies need to be mindful of these trends, and make work-life balance a priority. It’s always been good business, but especially so now. Candidates won’t move for a role with less paid vacation, and they’re very unlikely to move from a remote or hybrid role into a full time on site role, unless it’s a significant jump up. So companies who prize flexibility have a leg up on the competition.
Time was, few people went to university for supply chain management. Most people “accidentally” fell into the field. But times change. More and more top schools have built and matured their supply chain programs, and more young people are choosing the career, recognizing it for its strong compensation, growth, and strategic potential to touch on every aspect of a business.
ASCM’s surveys showed that candidates pursuing supply chain education are, unsurprisingly, faring very well in the job market. More than half of supply chain professionals hold Bachelor’s degrees, with a median salary of $84,000. 31% hold Graduate degrees, and those professionals earn $108,000 on average. On the other end of the spectrum, those who hold associates degrees earn $66,811 on average. Interestingly, while supply chain-focused degrees are rare for more senior employees (less than a third of those over 30), 57% of supply chain professionals 29 and under studied supply chain in university, as opposed to related degrees like engineering or business administration.
Pathways to education are a big part of the industry’s attempts to bring more people into the field. So it’s exciting to see that more young people are choosing supply chain disciplines for their education—and that it’s paying off for them.
Despite burnout and the “great resignation,” most people are happy in their jobs
After the difficulties of the past few years, it’s understandable to feel doom and gloom about the state of supply chains—and the supply chain profession. The “Great Resignation” got a lot of attention in 2021, as a trend towards people leaving their jobs for greener pastures. And in our own recruitment practice, we’ve seen a lot of movement in the job market as candidates seek jobs with better compensation, more organizational alignment, work/life balance, and opportunity.
But the picture isn’t dire. Just the opposite. According to the survey, 14% of Canadian respondents changed jobs over the previous year, which represents significant movement (and an increase from the previous year), but not total pandemonium. In general, the professionals surveyed reported that their employers have positive cultures and good work-life balance. Most professionals would be likely to recommend a supply chain career. And most reported high satisfaction with the field. Perhaps most importantly, 95% of Canadian supply chain professionals surveyed plan to stay in the field over the next 5 years.
We’ve picked just a few results that speak to some of the big talent issues in the field. There’s much more to learn from the report. Head to ASCM‘s site to download the report directly, and see more detailed info including detailed salary breakdowns by title and seniority.
Between disruptions, changes in candidate expectations, and all of the other issues we discussed, hiring in this market can be tough. Argentus has been recruiting for over 20 years exclusively within supply chain and procurement. Our specialty is to give companies unprecedented access to a broad base of supply chain talent, while also providing market intelligence to help them navigate these challenges and close the hire.
So if you’re currently hiring for any supply chain function, reach out to Argentus and learn how we can augment your hiring process! Call 416 364 9919 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.