In the previous blog post we looked at the trend for local/ethical sourcing, and the expanded role of procurement as a hub for critical business information. In this post we’ll focus on the third emerging trend, finding procurement talent.
3) Finding Procurement Talent
The third procurement trend stems from the changing workforce. Millennials now make up the largest demographic group, and they are well-informed on sustainability, the economy, and ethical business conduct. In addition, millennials’ awareness of the importance of sustainability, fair trade and social issues, will bring an invaluable fresh mindset to the procurement sector.
With the workforce changing, the biggest exodus will be among mid and entry level employees in areas such as customer service, IT, sales, product development, and marketing. Employee engagement will be a huge focus, as companies look to build and nurture a pipeline of internal candidates, who are eager to move up within the organization and contribute to its growth.
Technology has changed the ideal procurement profile, and with that, procurement talent is seen as an endangered species. From the talent pools’ perspective, talent that considers procurement a career option leans to consulting jobs rather than real-time procurement or sourcing roles, a key reason being the attractive remuneration offered for consulting.
Technology demands that procurement staff be efficient in the utilization of purchasing tools, such as Spend Analytics, eAuction, eInvoice and eRFx.
The use of these tools improves the operational efficiency of the organization through reduction in resources utilized on redundant activities. In addition to the soft and technical skills described, hands-on experience in eTools provides an added edge to obtain a position in leading procurement organizations. This shift in the way procurement operates, and the increase in the importance for procurement professionals, has created a huge demand for talented people with the special skill set to improve procurement organizations further.
There are a few different solutions to finding procurement talent - the first of which being a ‘grow your own talent’ approach (pinching talent from competitors isn’t sustainable nor is it efficient). The second is the focus on hiring graduates, and heavily invested in training schemes to maintain this talent. Thirdly is the use of blended procurement resources, a growing trend of companies that blend their procurement resources between full time employees, contractors, procurement services providers and group purchasing organizations. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and typically this takes quite a bit of tweaking until an optimal talent strategy is found, but a blended procurement organization can be an impressively effective unit.
HCMWorks specializes in Vendor Management for procurement and contingent workforce advisory services. We can help you understand the issues and opportunities of procurement and employment trends, to develop an effective solution that saves costs and generates real strategic advantage.