How To Attract And Retain Top Procurement Talent In 2020

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The 2020 Procurement Salary Guide and Insights report, produced by CIPS and Hays, revealed the top five factors procurement professionals are likely to consider when consider a new job prospect:

  1. Management team
  2. Salary
  3. The content of the work
  4. Company reputation
  5. Career progression opportunities.

In light of this research, procurement leaders struggling to attract and retain top procurement talent must address the following:

1. Improving management style

According to a Gallup report, one in two employees will leave a job to get away from a manager they dislike. Poor management increases turnover, demotivates employees and ultimately reduces workplace productivity.

No matter how generous the benefits package on offer, the most ambitious procurement professionals are looking for roles in which they will be mentored and inspired by their manager.

The hallmarks of an accomplished manager include:

  • Clearly communicating expectations to their team.
  • Dedicating time for one-to-one meetings with all team members.
  • Regularly asking for feedback and input and actively listening to their team members’ answers.
  • Trusting their team with responsibilities.
  • Acknowledging achievements and expressing gratitude for  hard work.
  • Encouraging collaboration.

2. Does your organisation offer competitive salaries?

If (as a hiring manager) you’ve observed that procurement job offers within your organisation have a low acceptance rate, it’s probably time to reassess your compensation packages. Commit to some thorough research, which must include benchmarking procurement salaries within your team against those at other organisations. If you work for an SME, you shouldn’t expect to compete with the biggest players in the profession, but the discrepancies shouldn’t be enormous.

If you simply don’t have the budget to do anything about it, consider what other benefits you could offer to prospective employees or, better still, ask for their input during the recruitment process. Flexible working hours, remote working, and increased annual leave are all sought-after incentives.

It’s worth being transparent about salaries during an interview. For example, you could explain to the applicant that while there is currently no room for salary negotiation, this will be formally reviewed within six months.

3. Challenging your team

When employees are challenged in the workplace, they’re more engaged, more committed, they have a greater sense of self-worth, and a better understanding of the value they are contributing to the organisation.

Set stretch assignments to prevent boredom and to continually challenge your highest performing team members. This means assigning people to projects that you know are a little outside of their current capabilities and comfort zone, which will help them to learn and grow as a professional.

Another way to stave off employee boredom is to assign leadership opportunities. This could come in the form of mentoring another employee or trusting them to lead an entire team or project.

Finally, talk to your employees about the things they would personally like to achieve. What areas of their role are they finding repetitive or monotonous, and what would they prefer to be doing? It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to accommodate every request on the spot, but it’s important to keep communications open.

4. How is your organisation’s reputation impacting talent attraction?

If communicating sustainability efforts isn’t already a fundamental part of your organisation’s talent attraction strategy, now is definitely the time to review it.

Numerous studies have revealed that employees are increasingly keen to work for sustainable organisations. For example, 40% of millennials say they would take a pay cut in order to work for an environmentally responsible company.  Procurement professionals in particular have an enormous impact on their organisation’s ethics by operating sustainable supply chains, working to eradicate slave labour and promoting diverse suppliers.

You can bet prospective employees will know about your organisation’s history in this area, which is why it’s important to communicate the organisation’s policy throughout the recruitment process – what are you doing to improve sustainability efforts and what are your long-term sustainability goals?

5. Providing room for growth

Your employees and prospective recruits will be eager to understand where there is room for growth within your organisation. Make a point to schedule regular check-ins with your team members to discuss career progression. What goals are they working towards and are there particular milestones that will qualify them for a promotion in the months to come?

If your organisation is small and there is limited room for career progression, it’s still important to help your employees develop and prepare for their next role – even if it’s unlikely to be within your procurement team. If you establish a reputation for providing excellent career opportunities and training, you’ll attract the best people.

About Author

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PASA (Procurement and Supply Australasia) is the leading provider of information, education and networking opportunities to procurement professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. PASA supports the largest community of engaged procurement stakeholders in the region, through its renowned series of events, publications, training, awards and PASA CONNECT membership network. PASA is a trading name of BTTB Marketing Pty Ltd. BTTB Marketing has operated under the BTTB, CIPSA Conferences and PASA names for over twenty years. https://procurementandsupply.com/

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