How to Hone in on Your Untapped Sourcing Talent

There’s only a limited number of ways you can quantify the idea of “success” – it isn’t always tangible or straightforward. And with the transformation of today’s procurement space, the expectations of what makes a “successful” sourcing hire continues to shift, making it harder for companies to succeed in procurement recruitment. In fact, managing skilled talent will be the number one concern facing most global companies for the foreseeable future, according to a recent KPMG study.

As the industry resets its standards for success, so do the standards for the hires that steer that ship.

Recently, sourcing leaders from the top Silicon Valley giants came together to tackle this idea in an interactive roundtable setting at Uber’s HQ. Let’s dive into the biggest and brightest ways leaders can engage today’s top talent in the procurement space.

Build a Strong Foundation for Your Procurement Recruitment

“Top talent, especially those in the millennial generation, will not choose to work for an organization that is significantly behind the latest trends and technologies.” – Lucy Harding, Partner and Global Head of Practice, Procurement and Supply Chain, Odgers Berndston

There is no one-size-fits-all model for building a successful procurement org. What we’re continuing to learn is that strategic sourcing does not always equal category management, and that sometimes strategy and operations never even talk to each other. How do we close this gap in communication?

New-age sourcing orgs now focus on prioritizing visibility and collaboration among the greater business, creating a sturdy foundation for their procurement teams and, in turn, opening the floodgates for automated sourcing.

The good news?  Hiring and promoting from within means procurement leaders won’t have to look very far for fresh sourcing talent.

Strong Sourcing Hires May Be Right Under Your Nose

“Organizations that are able to prioritize succession planning and career pathing by making it part of their company culture will be better able to respond to changing employee demographics over the next several years.”– The 2017 Hiring Sentiment Study conducted by MRINetwork

Procurement recruitment resources can be found a lot closer to home. In the field, fast-paced companies are starting to look within for these ideal candidates as most organizations don’t have the luxury of taking two years to develop a “strategic thinker.” Leaders are now seeking high-performing individuals, already well-versed within their procurement ops, and priming them for their shiny new sourcing side. And promoting from within also has its advantages – hires have that pre-existing industry knowledge and, more importantly, loyalty for their company.

With these assets in tow, candidates can hit the ground running, and management can sleep well knowing that the organization is being structured correctly. However, there are other avenues where one can find top procurement talent: millennials, who now make up the largest demographic group in the changing workforce.

Looking at Procurement Recruitment, the Next Generation Values Impact and Collaboration

According to Deloitte’s 2018 Global CPO Survey, 47% of procurement leaders found it more difficult to attract talent in the last 12 months.

The incoming workforce wants to feel purposeful – they want to make a lasting impression and a positive impact in their chosen workplace. And with today’s new-age sourcing orgs prioritizing collaboration among the greater business, this is a huge win. In the earlier days, procurement recruitment would bring in engineers who were data-focused and isolated from the rest of the company.

Now, leaders are no longer hiring for years of experience or level of spend, but for the inherent ability to create and sustain great relationships both inside the business and outside with suppliers.

Because by bringing in malleable motivated people, companies ultimately create that strong foundation from the get-go – and from there, the rest is history.   

Learn More about the Sourcing Leaders

We loved hearing from so many procurement professionals at this past Silicon Valley Sourcing Leaders event. And side note, SVSL is about to turn two! We’re not slowing down any time soon, so if you’d like to join Silicon Valley Sourcing Leaders and stay up-to-date on new events, join the SVSL LinkedIn group.

PS: Traveling to Chicago or New York City in the near future? Make sure to check out these regional sourcing communities, especially if you frequent (or live in) the area.

Join the Chicago Sourcing Leaders LinkedIn group

Join the New York Sourcing Leaders LinkedIn group


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