A sneak peek of 2020 recruitment trends and what 450+ end-to-end supply chain candidates surveyed really value in an employer. Because the war for talent is only intensifying…

2019 has been a year of challenging uncertainty mixed with exciting changes for many businesses in Procurement and Supply Chain. From the political circus of Brexit, to technological disruption and IR35 looming ahead, recruitment strategies are changing.

Yet recruitment levels aren’t. In fact, the CIPD’s Autumn 2019 Labour Market Outlook shows that employers are taking a “business as usual” approach to recruitment and 43% said it had been more difficult to fill vacancies in the past 12 months.

So with the war for talent not dying out, we decided to survey over 450 Procurement, Supply Chain and Logistics professionals candidates to find out what they really value from an employer and what would make them look elsewhere. (Along with their views on Brexit and AI.)

We’ll be releasing this as part of our Salary and Benefits Guide 2020 in January. You can register here to be the first to receive it, but for now, we take a sneak peek at the survey results and the recruitment trends for the year ahead…

Survey results sneak peek: what candidates value in an employer

We interviewed over 400 candidates across the end-to-end supply chain in the following functions: Supply Chain, Procurement & Purchasing, Buying & Merchandising and Logistics, Transportation and Warehousing.

We’ll be releasing the results early in the New Year but here are a few of our favourite/surprising results:

Current role: the most and least satisfying areas

  • Work environment: a Top 3 choice for all functions except Supply Chain
  • Work-life balance: a Top 3 choice for all functions except Logistics, Transport & Warehousing
  • Career progression and performance recognition: this made every function’s Bottom 3
  • Training & development: three functions found this to be a Bottom 3 for satisfaction

Reasons to look for a new role

  • Salary, a new challenge and feeling undervalued: all came in the Top 3 for Supply Chain, Procurement & Purchasing and Logistics, Transport & Warehousing
  • Salary: the only Top 3 reason shared by Buying & Merchandising
  • Change of industry, the culture/ethos and benefits: these made every function’s Bottom 3

What is most valued when looking for a new role

  • A new challenge and salary: this made all functions’ Top 3
  • Bonus: It appears no function valued this highly.
  • Flexible working and benefits: these also featured highly in the Bottom 3

The top and least rated benefits

The jury is out on this everything but annual leave, was the most common selected first-choice for all functions.

Click the image below to download your copy of the Salary & Benefits Guide in 2020.


40% of those working throughout the supply chain are a little worried or very worried about the impact of Brexit on their job security. 43% aren’t worried and the rest don’t know.
A survey of 450+ professionals, undertaken by Cast UK in December 2019

Brexit has been a long, drawn-out saga for many businesses, with the uncertainty and changes presenting countless challenges. Now that Boris Johnson has been elected Prime Minister by a landslide, he’ll “Get Brexit Done”. But at what cost?

Our Cast Connect’s Brexit Roundtable Discussion earlier this year was attended by senior logistics and supply chain professionals and guest speaker Terry Murphy, Director of National Distribution Centre Operations at John Lewis.

The key themes of the day (which we expand on in our Salary and Benefits Guide 2020) were:

  • The need to stay agile
  • Understanding the psychology behind consumer behaviour to give the consumer what they want, when they want it and react to their needs
  • Differentiating to win and retain key talent

The rise of robots and AI

77% of those working throughout the supply chain said that they were not worried about the impact of AI/automation and welcomed the changes.
A survey of 450+ professionals, undertaken by Cast UK in December 2019

The supply chain has been historically slow to adopt digitisation. DHL’s Digitalization and the supply chain: Where are we and what’s next? shows that only a small number of supply chains are at an advanced or transformational adoption stage – just 14% for information/analytics technologies and 9% for physical technologies.

But the routine nature of supply chains and manufacturing make them ripe for disruption. Those who can leverage robotics and AI can optimise efficiencies and lower costs, to provide customer-first solutions with a competitive advantage.

We’re seeing a mix of strategies taken by companies with regards to recruitment and retention, which we discuss more in our Salary and Benefits Guide 2020.


The imminent controversial IR35 tax changes that will be rolled out in April 2020 will bring about the largest changes that we’ve seen in the contracting market in decades.

If the IR35 changes to the public sector are anything to go by, then there is likely to be some drop in the number of contractors willing to take the risk of being classed within IR35, something backed by contractor surveys.

Many employers are looking to mitigate this risk without losing access to in-demand, scare skill-sets by increasing their use of Managed Service Providers to shift the legal liability and risks.

So as we look forward to 2020, at Cast UK we want to wish you a Happy Christmas and New Year. Whether you’re looking for work, seeking new talent or are happy where you are, we hope it’s a year remembered for its excitement, where the challenges are fulfilling and a year you can look back on with satisfaction.

To find out more about key recruitment trends, average salaries and the results of our extensive 450+ candidate survey, get your copy of our Salary and Benefits Guide 2020 here.