New Podcast: Recruiting The Non-Conformists For Executive Supply Chain Roles – ON Partners

Mar 30, 2023

Everything is Logistics podcast speaks with supply chain recruiting expert and partner, Heidi Hoffman 

In this episode of Everything is Logistics, host Blythe Brumleve speaks with Heidi Hoffman, partner at ON Partners, about her strategy for recruiting when it comes to procurement and sustainability in the supply chain industry.

During the conversation, they discuss the importance of nonconformity and how it can lead to innovative solutions. Hoffman explains her approach to recruitment and finding the best candidates, not just based on traditional qualifications but also considering strategic mindset and new industry developments.

{Related article: The Evolving Legacy of Women in the Supply Chain}

In addition, they also discuss ON Partners’ new 2023 Executive Women Impact Report and the company’s findings on the growing role of women in leadership positions.

Listen to the full podcast today, hosted by Digital Dispatch.

Supply Chain Podcast Highlights


A few highlights and excerpts from Heidi Hoffman in the recent Everything is Logistics podcast on supply chain include:

“So I’ve been doing search now for 25 years, it’s a very long time. And the profile of people that go into supply chain has changed so much in that period of time, that we’ve had to adjust the way we look for them and actually recognize the value that different people, different profiles, different backgrounds, different everything, bring to these functions to really drive it to a more strategic level. So yes, just kind of thinking differently about what the background would be.”

“Supply chain went from a back office, just tactical role to much more of a general management role. If you look at a psychological profile of a chief procurement officer, for example, it really very closely matches a CEO, or CEO in the strategic thought process, and kind of thinking two or three steps ahead.


So now we’re seeing supply chain executives sitting on boards of directors, which I think is a spectacular idea. Because you got to think differently, where are we going to get you know, where do we have alternates to our supply? How do we do risk management? And really, how are we going to be prepared for the next pandemic, tsunami, you know, hurricane, whatever it might be. So yeah, they’re definitely getting that seat at the table.


And procurement for specifically, which is a big passion of mine, chief procurement officers are really becoming kind of the tip of the spear for sustainability and ESG strategies in organizations because of all of the multitude of relationships that they manage for a company. I mean, you consider, it’s all the suppliers, it touches all of the customers. And so if you think about a company’s carbon footprint, or their DEI initiatives, it’s not only kind of what are you doing, but it’s what are your suppliers doing? What are your suppliers, suppliers doing? How are they treating people? Where are they getting their raw materials from? That really starts to expand and so when the the really good CEOs realize that their chief procurement officer is the person that’s that’s truly impacting their sustainability and ESG then they give them that seat at the table. And so we’re just we’re getting there. We are definitely getting there.”

“I want to make sure we’re very clear about some of the more innovative people coming into this world. We did just published our 2023 Executive Women Impact Report. And my piece specifically in that report is about the supply chain, and how women are finally getting to those top-level roles.


There were some things that were holding women back from these roles in the past, for example, a lot of them came that a lot of the roles required an engineering background, there weren’t a lot of women in engineering programs, then you had to run a plant and then run another plant and run another plant, which meant moving every couple of years. And it just was not conducive to creating the lifestyle that a lot of executive women wanted to have.


So we’ve been over time as the roles have evolved, and you needed different types of backgrounds and different types of leadership styles, the ability to collaborate the ability to multitask, and the ability to sort of see the forest for the trees, that strategic capability is something that women kind of come with, regardless of whether they have the engineering degree or not. And so it’s allowed some kind of what I call the the trailblazers that came up and really are sitting in those top roles and really being these fantastic role models giving back to young women coming into the supply chain. If you can see someone that looks like you sitting in a big in a top role, it absolutely makes you wonder okay, well maybe I can achieve that as well and attracts more females to those roles.”

Heidi Hoffman is the Partner in Supply Chain Management of ON Partners, the only pure-play retained executive search firm building diverse C-level and board leadership teams across industries and functions. With more than 20 years in executive search, Hoffman is recognized as an expert on executive hiring in the supply chain, procurement, and operations space, working with growth companies and Fortune 500 organizations to place board, C-level, and senior executive searches.

For more insights from Hoffman on supply chain executive hiring, view her thoughts on the evolution of supply chain leaders, part of the NEXT series.

About ON Partners

Since 2006, ON Partners is the only pure-play executive search firm building diverse C-level and board leadership teams. We rebuilt the institution of executive search for the way you work. Our approach includes present partners who engage with their clients from the first brief to the final decision, individually crafted solutions that are unique to each client, and an easier experience all around. Named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms and to the Inc. 500/5000 Lists nine times, ON Partners is consistently ranked among the top 20 retained executive search firms in the U.S.

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