We’ve already mentioned in one of our previous articles that employees are one of the most important elements of well-functioning company. We tried to indicate that today’s procurement expert is not only able to source suppliers, order products and meet purchasing needs but also is an analyst, project manager, is able to understand what are the business goals and clearly explain to the managers the procurement perspective. Since we know what competencies we are looking for, we are facing two big challenges.
How to find potential employees with those competencies?
And how to make them stay with us?
Marta Basińska, HR Business Partner at OptiBuy – a sister company of NextBuy, which is a procurement consulting company, suggests mixing those two challenges.
„There are two methods – we can search the employee or we can “develop” the employee. I believe that the second method is much more effective. There are many ambitious and talented students on the job market. We just need to present the company and build brand awareness among them. My favorite way to attract the students are workshops at colleges or universities during which we are able to present our company profile, industry and get students interest. After such workshops we can invite the interested students for an interview and eventually hire. Once we have such employee onboard it’s essential to take care of the person in a right way. Sport card and private medical care are standard nowadays. We need to offer something more, such as development program, buddy program and most importantly – instant feedback on the employee performance and progress. According to Universum research, development opportunities are something what attracts young people and keep them working for the same company. Thus it’s worth to invest in such activities in my opinion.”
Paul Jones, Director, Management Consulting, KPMG in the UK says that the development of younger procurement talent has been too often neglected what results in difficulties when searching such people.
Defining duties and responsibilities as well as constant feedback.
If we decide to acquire specialist from the job market, the task becomes a bit more complicated. Finding such experts who will meet the company expectations is really hard. Defining exact duties and responsibilities during an interview makes searching process and keeping an employee at the company bit easier.
Marta Basińska says: „Constant and mutual feedback to see how a new employee feels at the company and how we feel with the new person onboard. This might sound obvious, but communication and positive relations between an employee and the supervisor are something what very often influence on the employee decision regarding staying at the company. Let’s keep in mind that people are joining a company but leave the boss. Let’s make sure during a recruitment process that our goals are coherent. If so, we should precisely define future duties of a new employee, give feedback and ask for feedback. If we can modify something without undermining any processes, let’s do so. Flexibility is really appreciated. If there is a way to move a person who’s excellent at sourcing new suppliers, do not keep the employee in operational procurement team.”
Summing up, search employees on the market, but be sure that you clearly state your expectations. Then you can be sure that your objective is coherent. You may also search for young and ambitious talents and then take care of their development.
How to make the procurement experts want to stay with us for a longer time? Constant mutual feedback which results in valuable conclusions and rights communication may be essential here.