Finding Procurement Talent – Finding Young Blood

When it comes to hiring, recruiting and developing organic talent in procurement, the best apples usually come directly from the tree. But while many existing procurement staff “have the chops” to support modern procurement requirements in theory, the “barrel” of legacy staff often contains some overripe or even rotten apples. Yet is there a middle ground between looking externally and finding the perfect “Honey Crisp” varietal internally?

Perhaps. But looking outside first is not a bad idea – especially with the best and brightest recruits. More and more, top procurement functions are aggressively recruiting at universities to attract the best minds. They are paying top dollar, often in excess of 6 figures and are touting the multi-disciplinary nature of procurement and supply chain to future executives. As one example, consider the salaries of Richter Scholars coming out of ISM – these future leaders go for a very high premium compared with typical graduates. But even “run of the mill” graduates from top operations and procurement programs can command the same (or more) than engineers coming from similar universities.

Obviously one of the best places to acquire the best and brightest is at universities that are aligned to the firm based on geography, industry, R&D focus, etc. This is not just tactical acquisition of interns and entry-level staff. Rather, it is a true partnership to provide guidance and curriculum development and research support in areas where other groups within the firms could also benefit. Consider MIT, as one example, for innovation and supply risk, and a number of others with top supply chain programs for procurement fundamentals. The “alumni effect” is multiplied with universities, and there might even be some funding you can tap into for such collaboration. It’s also good corporate stewardship and important from a broader innovation standpoint.

The investment in developing these resources is as important in finding them in the first place (a topic worth delving into in detail separately). In fact, there is overlap here with looking to the internal “talent orchards” to find and develop resources. This approach also brings benefits, which we’ll get to in the next installment in this series.

See also the previous posts in this series:

Rethinking Procurement – and Rethinking Talent (Part 1)

Rethinking Procurement – and Rethinking Talent (Part 2)

Reforming and Rethinking Procurement Talent From the Beginning

Mind the Talent Gap in Procurement

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