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How to address the global talent shortage in procurement

1st Exec Blog

James Tucker talent gap, 1st executive, career...

It has never been more important to address the global talent shortage in procurement as many companies are increasingly faced with doing more with less. A recent survey revealed 52% of procurement leaders have seen their headcount decrease significantly over the last two years, yet 70% face considerably higher expectations to deliver results on sustainability, diversity or innovation. 

CPOs must re-evaluate existing talent acquisition and retention strategies in keeping with changing employee expectations if they wish to remain competitive. Plugging skills gaps in teams and retaining top employees has become more challenging than ever, though there are some sure-fire methods you can take to boost your chances of securing the procurement talent you need, when and where you need it. 

6 innovative talent attraction strategies for growing procurement teams

There are several ways to tackle the prevalent talent shortage head-on while still meeting goals, improving productivity, and recruiting valuable and talented employees, such as:

1. Strengthening your employer brand
Clearly showcasing your values, mission and company culture to prospective employees is key to standing out in an increasingly competitive marketplace, as well as providing a positive candidate experience. A strong employer brand means candidates come to you, you’re more likely to garner referrals and reduce turnover. 

There are several ways to improve your employer brand including establishing a strong social media presence, clear messaging on your careers page (which is mirrored across all your online platforms), commitment to corporate social responsibility schemes, health and wellness incentives, etc. You can also bolster your employer brand with attractive remuneration and benefits schemes. 

2. Implementing a referral scheme
Implementing a referral scheme presents companies with a unique opportunity to recruit like-minded talent through their existing employees, lowering hiring costs and improving their culture by ensuring existing team members feel heard, valued and integral to business growth. 

3. Increasing the focus on staff retention
When competition is fierce, retaining your existing talent should be on the top of your priority list and is a way to keep your hiring costs to a minimum. Ensure your rates align with the current market to not lose out to competing businesses and offer staff benefits that employees value. 

According to study by HR software Ciphr

•67% of employees think having work-life balance is more important than pay

•59% felt that pay and benefits (total rewards package) was the most important 

•57% valued job security 

•42% want a healthy work environment 

•37% want to feel valued and appreciated


4. Leveraging the benefits of working from home

If your organisation has started to allow employees to work from home, don’t be afraid to maximise on that decision by leveraging talent from abroad. The global marketplace allows you to access a much wider pool of talented individuals.

5. Planning a comprehensive workforce strategy
In a workforce planning strategy, you should consider the types of positions and talent you might need in the future as the market evolves and your company continues to grow. Another major consideration is aligning your company resources with your long and short-term business priorities and striking a balance between the two.

One of the best ways to maximise on talent is to make use of external employees and tap into contingent workers. Not only will this alleviate the pressure from your current workforce, but it will also help you become more flexible with your resources and even reduce costs.

6. Partnering with an external talent firm
If your company is having difficulty developing a proper talent attraction and retention strategy, you can partner with an external talent firm to support your hiring needs. That way, your business can quickly tap into a talent pool of pre-vetted, top-tier candidates on demand, reducing your time to hire and recruitment costs. 

The benefits of hiring independent contractors

Leveraging contingent workers/interim talent has many benefits including improved productivity, reduced costs and increased access to quality talent and flexible resources, all while alleviating the pressure on your current workforce. It is a great way to support your business at short notice without adding headcount and, therefore, long-term costs.

They can be hired on-demand to quickly plug skills gaps in your teams, support on project delivery and you can hire temporary expertise at a time where businesses are under pressure to constantly innovate. 

Improve your procurement talent strategy with 1st Executive

We are the biggest advertiser of roles in procurement and have exclusive relationships with top-tier candidates whose careers we have managed over several years. To help plug skills gaps in your teams and find you the right fit for your organisation, we work to a proven seven step recruitment process with a project management plan delivered by a dedicated account team. Get in touch to find out more on how we can add value to your talent acquisition strategy. 

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