As a procurement professional, you know that talent in procurement has been a hot topic in recent years. Here at WNS-Denali, we have seen more organizations grapple with talent issues, so we decided to dive deeper into the key talent concerns for retail companies at SIG’s Global Executive Summit last fall.
The all-star packed panel with procurement leaders from some of the largest retail brands in the world came together to such questions as:
- How does your hiring profile differ now and why?
- Where are you finding your talent?
- What are you looking for in new hires?
- Specialist or generalist, which is a better hiring strategy for your team?
Even if you work at a company beyond the retail industry, these questions and the learnings from the panel still apply to your company. As you strive to gain a competitive advantage and influence more spend strategically, refreshing your approach to talent can make a big impact. Below are the top seven creative hiring strategies that came from our panel of retail experts.
Hire from within
This classic retail trick applies to all industries. Promoting from other areas of business up into a corporate role brings a wealth of knowledge and perspective on the core business and ability to relate to stakeholders. Most importantly, it will add a level of credibility to your procurement team.
Hire for cultural fit above all else
You can’t teach culture, but you can teach most other best practices, processes and platforms. Focus on uncovering the key attitude and personality traits that make your team culture what it is, such as “passionate, approachable, not shy, willing to advocate.”
Weaponize your brand and unique company perks
Sometimes you can’t compete on salary or benefits, but you can use company perks and brand elements, including social responsibility, reputation, cache and lifestyle to attract the right talent for your procurement team. Be creative and work with all levels in your team to embrace your procurement brand.
Raid your stakeholder teams
Make procurement an attractive place to work, and your stakeholders will want to join your team to diversify their experience and learn new skills. This hiring tactic has worked for all of our panelists!
Search in your supply base
When you need a specialized skill set, look to your trusted suppliers and their competition to find the right skillset.
Specialist or generalist?
The answer is both! But you must deploy these roles effectively. Think of it this way: generalists are your best advocates and coaches. Specialists are necessary for niche categories, direct procurement and winning over your most skeptical stakeholders.
It’s okay to get help
Overall, when the pressure to innovate is high, you need nimble teams and nimble talent. Finding procurement talent can be difficult in a competitive job market, which is why you should deploy these creative hiring strategies for building a top-notch procurement team.
David is a Director with 15+ years of experience in procurement advisory and managed services. In his 10 years at Denali, David has overseen a portfolio of Fortune 500 Retail and CPG clients focused on delivering global Source-to-Contract managed services. David has a MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and resides in Seattle, WA.