Deloitte’s View: 4 Steps to Bridge the HR and Procurement Gap for Better Talent Management

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In the past week, Spend Matters has been featuring excerpts and analysis from Deloitte’s recently published paper: Procurement Talent Management: Exceptional Outcomes Require Exceptional People. Today we continue to explore Deloitte’s observations on improving procurement talent, zeroing in on 4 steps to bridging the gap between procurement and HR departments.

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Having examined the potential and the challenges of elevating procurement talent (see previous posts in this series here, here and here) we can explore the 4-step process of closing the gap between procurement needs and human resources, beginning with planning and design of the talent management function.

Talent management is about figuring out what is strategically important and where people are needed. Asking several questions can help determine what type of talent an organization wants to foster:

  • How well equipped is the procurement organization to work with stakeholders in their language and on their level in areas such as finance, HR, IT and, if applicable, manufacturing?
  • What aspects of an e-procurement system [transactional procurement solutions] should procurement staff run?
  • Should procurement personnel manage commodity purchases such as office supplies?
  • How should procurement be involved in talent development and management in high-visibility categories such as marketing and legal, which have historically been managed by the business?

More broadly, what is the purpose of developing procurement talent? Ultimately, talent supports an organization’s overall mission. Some personnel will be nurtured and managed internally, while other resources will come from outside the business.

As we read these observations, it’s clear that procurement cannot expect to delegate these types of questions to human resources teams to answer. Leaders in the procurement function – as well as those overseeing it – need to invest time both to map responsibilities to overall charters (e.g., what will be managed internally or by the business) as well as to figure out the DNA that will go into creating an idealized organization based on the actual roles and expectations of the function and what it must support.

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