How should you occupy your slower than usual summer months? Andrew Bartolini has a few suggestions over on CPO Rising. Among them are what he describes as "student outreach," suggesting "it is incumbent upon you (and your organization) to get the word out" to local undergraduate/graduate students. What are the best ways of going about this? For one, why not "invite yourself to be a guest lecturer to a class, group, or club." And while you're at it, "attempt to coordinate your lecture with a meeting with the team in the University's Career Center to develop a relationship, arrange for job postings to be placed on campus, conduct or schedule interviews, etc." While these are worthwhile suggestions -- and I commend Andrew for suggesting them -- recruiting should never be just a one-off summer activity. It's necessary for procurement leaders to stay involved on a regular basis.
Many organizations that recruit at top universities in the US have general management and finance rotations that include stints in procurement over a 2-3 year period. Yet the number of procurement and operations organizations recruiting at the same universities where consultancies and investment banks look for the best and brightest (which unfortunately has nothing to do any more with the "hardest working") still remains low, even if it is on the rise. I think one of the reasons is that many procurement executives, quite often CPOs or VPs in fact, fail to get involved in recruiting at their alma maters in the same way that consultancies, banks, CFOs and technology leaders often do. By the time a procurement executive reaches this level, they often consider themselves too far removed from the recruiting process to make a difference (or they're too busy). And what a shame this is.
In addition to taking advantage of the lull in the summer months to plan on-campus presentations, recruiting events, etc., why not spend some time coordinating with the on-campus recruiting center and your HR department a full-year effort designed to identify a number of potential hires (and potential interns as well, which becomes a key "feeder" in the consulting and banking worlds to full-time hires)? It's always easy to start with the universities you attended, especially if they're within a reasonable distance of where your office is located. This alma mater recruiting bond helps both ways -- even when you're busy, you're likely to not un-prioritize the efforts because of both the potential talent you can bring into your company as well as the obligation you feel to the universities you attended to give something back besides simply writing a check.
Staying committed to recruiting and the future talent in your organization requires continual effort. But for those who enjoy serving as managers and mentors and trustees of the future talent of their companies, there is no better way than making it a regular thing to get actively involved in the recruiting process when it comes to staying in touch with your past and burgeoning your company's future.