It can be dispiriting when you advertise for a procurement role but only a handful of mediocre candidates apply. You could either settle for the best of a poor bunch, or you could reconsider your approach, widen the net and try again.
This article will look at three ways to improve your chances of attracting the best-possible candidates to build a world-class procurement team.
1. Is the role attractive?
There’s no point complaining that you can’t attract quality candidates if you can’t offer a quality salary range. There are plenty of salary benchmarking reports available to help you make the call about whether you’re offering below the market rate, an average salary, or a better-than-average salary for the role. If your organisation is reticent with salaries, consider building a business case to demonstrate how a small percentage increase in salary can attract a procurement professional who can save the company a vast deal more than that in cost savings and other value.
Other fundamentals to consider include:
- The job title – is it “made up”? Or is it a standardised job title that procurement professionals would know and recognise?
- The job description – rather than handing this task over to HR, it’s a good idea to write this yourself as you know what’s attractive to procurement talent.
- Extras and benefits – while the salary is the first thing many candidates will consider, it takes benefits such as flexible working or attractive training and development programs to convince the undecided.
2. Are you running a modern procurement function?
Candidates are often asked about their technology skills in job interviews, but today, this question is often turned back on the employer. Candidates want to know what sort of technological environment they’ll be walking into. Does the organisation still use Spreadsheets? Is a lot of time wasted on manual, repetitive tasks that could easily be done by procurement software or AI? Candidates know that an organisation’s technological maturity will mean the difference between them sitting at their desks for most of the day populating cells in spreadsheets versus spending time on strategically important, value-adding projects instead.
However, having great procurement technology won’t help you attract top quality candidates unless you advertise the fact. Ensure this aspect is incorporated into job ads, talk about it in job interviews, and spread the news through other channels such as blog articles or social media. Ideally, this will help attract quality workers who are frustrated by manual or repetitive tasks in their current jobs.
3. Spruik your ways of working
The way that a team works will often only be revealed to a new hire when they turn up for their first day in the new role. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Again, a procurement team can build up a public picture of how they get things done.
For example, you could advertise the fact that you run an 80/20 principle in your office where the team spends only 20% of their time at their desks and the other 80% visiting stakeholders and suppliers. Or if you’ve embraced an exciting new way of getting things done such as Lean/Agile Procurement, there’s really no need to keep this a secret. In fact, it would be better to spread the news (through blog articles, social media and word of mouth) to become known as a cutting-edge procurement function and improve your chances of attracting candidates who are familiar with both Lean and Agile methodologies.
Of course, some factors that impact the success of recruiting (such as your overall organisation’s reputation) might be out of your control. But by addressing those elements that are in your control and shouting the benefits of working in your procurement team from the rooftops, you will soon see an improvement in the quality of candidates knocking on your door.