Finally, we must not forget that people and talent underpin procurement. Without good people, organisations will fail. But there is a challenge now. We hear about the great resignation, about the challenges of retaining good people and recruiting new people. Much of this is driven by the changing skillset of procurement. While we can establish some of the skills that procurement functions are going to need in the future, many of the people that are currently working in procurement don’t have those skills, so they either need to be retrained or coached.
As a function, we need to have people who can influence and have presence with the new agenda. We’ve got to really help our team with learning and development because traditional procurement skills, such as leading a tender process, are not as relevant anymore. It’s now about data and digital. We need people that really understand the data, and decisions that are made on the triple bottom line.
To attract forward a forward-thinking procurement professional, strong and clear career paths are required. This is what they’re looking for, an organisation that is socially conscious and has a real purpose. People won’t work for organisations that don’t. You’ve got to get the balance of old ways, new ways and future ways. For example, demanding that people come into the office is no longer acceptable, but the office needs to be there for people that want to be in the office. It’s a tricky balancing act to get right.
You also need to invest in digital because if you don’t, your best people will leave. People expect modern systems in their workplace and want to be working with digitally powered procurement teams. They don’t want to be doing the manual procurement tasks of old. For your current team, have a look at your gaps. Assess your team against the skills increasingly needed in procurement and your vision.
With the complexities of this volatile world we’re working in, organisations need procurement more than ever before. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you.