How to Find the Right Procurement Talent

Hiring the right talent for your procurement team can be tough. Develop a repeatable process to ease your stress.

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Great news: you’ve just been given the okay to add a new hire to your team! But when you start to think about how long it will take and all the chances of hiring the wrong person, that “great news” can start to feel like a burden.

So what’s there to do? Create your process and identify your allies now. Following are top tips from a roundtable on this topic held at our Minneapolis Synergy event.

Let HR help you in the recruiting process

Build a relationship with talent acquisition team. If you treat them like an asset instead of a tool, don’t be surprised when the recruitment cycle is shorter than you would have expected!

Working with HR to revise the job description builds their understanding of your personnel needs (and makes them increasingly helpful with subsequent hires). Ask for their insight about measurable requirements in the posting; they should be loose enough to not rule out good candidates, but not so loose that you receive hundreds of resumes.

Use HR – and other functional groups – for your interview team. A diverse group of interviewers makes sure you’re not hiring with blinders on.

Ask wisely and listen carefully during the interview

Look for candidates who ask and listen instead of just talk and sell.

Understand how they treat internal stakeholders. Ask about internal negotiation experience and how they adapt their communication style to suit a particular audience.

Pay close attention to their anecdotes of past experiences. If they’re negative about their old team, how will they feel about their new one? If everything was the fault of upper management at their old job, what responsibility will they take for less-than-ideal outcomes in their new role?

Pose an interview question about which is most important: cost, quality, or service. Then see if your candidate understands that the correct answer is dependent upon the needs of the stakeholder.

Know in advance what training and support you’ll be able to offer

Mentoring and cross-functional training, especially at the associate level, can create a confident new employee who’s able to do big picture thinking. Bubble assignments, rotations and participating on project teams that go beyond their everyday duties will help to stretch their abilities.

Peer training can help a new employee get the “real” story, and it helps build team alliances. A trusted colleague can help them navigate the culture, step in the right spots and choose battles wisely.

The direct manager weighs heavily on the success probability of a new hire. They should be able to coach directly, especially when issues arise. A great manager can also empower employees to own the responsibility of finding their own training, development, opportunities and projects.

Managing indirect spend is really about managing relationships. The right tactical skills are important, but so are the right attitude and the right fit within your corporate culture. Help your team stay successful by finding and training new additions with the right balance of technical and relationship skills.

View the Recorded Webinar: How Future-Proof Your Procurement Team...Today!

Hear from industry experts and hiring managers on the modern skillsets and best practices that will prepare your team for what’s coming as the world of procurement changes in 2017 and beyond.

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Annie Lamerand: Director of Member Development at Corporate United