According to the experts, procurement recruitment can sometimes be like finding a needle in a haystack. But what are the trends in this area in the coming years?
One of the key topics at the Big Ideas Summit 2016 was people, and more specifically, how to attract and retain the best talent in procurement. Our experts and influencers discussed a number of ideas and concepts procurement could consider. You can read all about them here.
However, we also wanted to hear what the Procurious community thought were the Big Ideas in procurement recruitment, now and in the coming years. Here is what they had to say.
Tony Megally, General Manager, The Source Recruitment
Specialist roles – Procurement needs to consider promoting the profession as an exciting career path to non-procurement professionals already in relevant commercially focussed roles. For example, finance and legal (great for contract management), and possibly agency recruiters specialising in procurement.
Commercially focussed accountants are highly numerate, analytical and offer great business partnering skills, and, in some cases, they are supporting sales teams with commercial analysis of bids and tenders. In house legal advisors are often partnering with Procurement overseeing contract terms, and could transition well to contract management roles.
Procurement recruitment consultants are generally great at negotiating, building relationships, are equipped with sound knowledge of the profession, and maintain strong soft skills all round. (I’ve know of a couple of recruiters who have made a career change to Procurement!).
The challenge will be getting CPOs and Procurement Heads to think outside the norm of recruiting just from our profession. Non-procurement pros are not typically thinking about procurement as a career change. But if we promote it on both sides this could change!
Senior and Exec Leadership Roles – Procurement should be recruiting for senior and executive leadership capability, rather than technical expertise. We have a great recent example in Australia, where Qantas has appointed a new CPO, Lisa Brock.
Lisa previously occupied executive roles with Jetstar as Chief Commercial Officer, and previously with Qantas in Strategy and Corporate Development, and she has a background in Corporate Finance at Ernst and Young.
She knows the business, is highly people focussed, is a great change agent, is financially literate and has built strong relationships across the organisation at a senior level. Perhaps this is easier to achieve with internal leaders with a proven track record of leading cross functional teams.
Succession Planning – Succession planning is crucial for future leadership capability. There is a lot of material out there on this topic but it is relevant. The point to be made is around the changing demographics of the workforce, and the fact that Millennials now make up a significant number of the workforce. They generally want faster career progression and development opportunities.
If we want to retain outstanding talent then it’s necessary for CPOs to actively identify a strong bench of potential leaders, and to actively provide opportunities that will enable a future leadership development path to those who are capable of attaining it.
Anna del Mar, Head of Learning & Development, Future Purchasing
With enormous pressure on businesses to streamline their operations and find ways of driving performance in increasingly competitive environments, the need to improve capability and maximise returns from L&D investment is critical.
A leading private equity firm confirmed to us that more than 75 per cent of value creation in their portfolio of companies comes from operational performance improvement.
Procurement has a large contribution to make to any performance improvement programme and increasing capability is often a critical step achieving this.
The procurement recruitment market remains increasingly challenging, and finding people with both the technical and change management skills to create performance improvement is often likened to ‘finding a needle in a haystack’. Future Purchasing is not a recruitment agency and as such we cannot comment on the state of the recruitment market. We can however, observe the methods our clients are deploying to get the best talent.
We have seen three interesting trends:
1. We are seeing some organisations recruit from other functions, and train individuals in Procurement approaches. The behavioural skills required to drive change and implement real category management are so important and less easy to learn than procurement process skills. Whilst that can work in some cases, in practice the value of real experience in commercial scenarios cannot be underestimated.
2. Finding people who will drive real change can be made much easier by using Network Analysis. This approach lets recruiters assess the level of connectivity and impact people have across the networks in which they work. Those people who are well networked, are often well suited to change management roles, as it is their natural tendency to drive change.
3. Thirdly we see procurement organisations recruiting excellent skills from other markets, in particular central Europe. One leading CPO who has outsourced transactional activities to Poland sees this location as a real talent pool for the rest of the global team.
Food for thought!
Tell us what you think about the future of procurement recruitment on Procurious. Even although the event itself is over, there’s still time for you to get involved with the Big Ideas Summit 2016. Visit theBig Ideas Summit website, join our Procurious Group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing exclusive and unique thought leadership, Big Ideas, and discussion that will shape the future of procurement. Don’t miss out – get involved, register today.