Those responsible for hiring procurement talent, from executive decision-makers to the procurement and supply chain recruitment agencies they commission, should sell the attractions of the function more positively and devise new roles in keeping with the changing nature of the discipline in business, an expert claims.
Procurement industry watcher, Stephen Hall, writing for the Procurement Leaders blog, says that procurement as a function has become so crucial to business success than in its earliest incarnations that there should be no ‘struggle’ in recruiting the right talent for the right roles.
New roles should, he thinks, reflect the changed purpose of procurement, and seek to bring a more business-focused set of prospective candidates to the fore. That also means emphasising the key attractions of new-gen procurement, which Hall suggests should include:
Making the world a better place
Younger applicants, whether seeking permanent roles or contract work as procurement interims, are often principled and idealistic. Procurement has an appealing selling-point here – it has moved from basic cost reduction efforts into making the world a better place, building sustainable supply chain networks purged of exploitative practices such as child labour and small supplier exploitation, while also protecting the environment. Leading a supplier diversity initiative, for example, can appeal to individuals who value their ethical impact over financial reward.
Underlining creative problem-solving
Increasingly, procurement and business skills overlap, and Hall believes that new-generation roles should reflect this and specify where and how they converge. Candidates who exemplify skills that help their teams to become an influential force in their organisation, and who approach problems as opportunities for creative solution-finding, are vital. It means that roles should no longer be as narrow and boring as they were.
Poor marketing has hampered procurement recruitment. Hall recommends identifying and fixing any disconnect between HR, procurement, and the market, and selling the rising automation in procurement to tech-savvy candidates.