The talent landscape is changing, and we need to be ready. Our research has shown us that by 2020, more than one-third of the workplace skills currently considered necessary will change. This means procurement executives must adapt – and those in leadership positions should think about how they are going to get these skills into their teams. We recently hosted a Future Procurement Leaders virtual roundtable, a 60-minute teleconference hosted by Procurement Leaders, attended by Procurement Leaders members who are focused on the future of talent. Here are the key takeaways from the discussion.
Procurement departments have to create a culture where agility can thrive. Procurement leaders need to understand the agile methodology and embed this through all levels of the procurement organisation. To keep up with the demands of business, procurement need to move faster and react quicker. With ‘speed to market’ cited as one of the most important elements to the wider business, procurement needs to be able to support this successfully.
There was a recurring view that hard procurement skills can be taught, whereas it’s much more difficult to teach data and technology skills. Negotiation is now also driven by data and analytics, however, and it’s integral for procurement to have the correct data and a plan of what to do with it.
Hiring data teams to feed category teams with the data they need could be a solution, although completely outsourcing your data analytics or hiring someone with no procurement knowledge can cause difficulties.
Some attendees strongly felt that not everyone can move into procurement and excel in the function. To be successful, you must understand the best approach for a multitude of situations. But without technical procurement knowledge of the company, or the suppliers you work with, this can be a struggle. If you don’t understand the processes and methodologies in the background, how can you begin to be strategic?
To ensure continuous development of your procurement teams, experiential learning is key. In our Future Procurement Leaders Q1 research report, we found the most valuable learning experiences for procurement professionals were new opportunities and greater responsibility. The virtual roundtable attendees agreed with this, sharing that experiential learning has been most successful for them.
While having top-down support in this venture is crucial, there are things procurement teams can be doing to change mindsets.
Leaders need to understand the skills required for each job role within a team and regularly review this. What’s expected of procurement professionals is expanding and changing. If you keep hiring or training for old skillsets, you will be left behind.
Procurement Leaders members should work directly with their account manager to dive deeper into the takeaways and receive supporting materials.
If you would like to learn from Procurement Leaders about talent or other topics, please contact us.
This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.