PL Singapore: Sell the vision; sell the function.

BlogTalent and Leadership

The afternoon track of the Masterclass event looked at recruitment. Chandranath Chakraborty, director at Nike, discussed his experience of building a procurement team from scratch for Nike’s Asian operations.


There was, as you could imagine, significant difficulty in getting a team of procurement professionals to leave successful careers behind, of a known commodity in established functions, and take the plunge in an entirely new organisation. The kind of person that would join a venture would need an exceptional profile, placing more pressure on the need to recruit accurately.


“The mistake we make when we recruit is that we don’t know what we want in a role,”Chakraborty advised. “The most important thing in recruiting is to know thyself.”


Before starting in the round of recruitment, Chakraborty spent significant time in self-reflection and analysis to understand what he was looking for in these roles, to make interviewing more effective and more efficient.


For this, he developed a ‘perfect cocktail’. Of course salary and benefits are key to that, but so is the candidate’s willingness to get involved in the greater project. “If you have a vision, share that vision with the candidate,”Chakraborty urged. “If there’s no buy-in, don’t employ them.”


Lastly, echoing the comments made earlier by chair of the event Jan Piskadlo, regional head Asia-Pacific, global sourcing and procurement services at AIG, the onus is on the procurement executive to sell the function. The more the advantages of a career (as opposed to just a job) that are presented to the candidates, the greater the pool of high potential from which one can select.

Jonathan Webb
Posted by Jonathan Webb

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