Deloitte on Elevating Procurement Talent: The First 4 steps


Our exploration of Deloitte’s paper, Procurement Talent Management: Exceptional Outcomes Require Exceptional People, continues today with exploring the introduction of the first “4 steps” Deloitte suggests to elevate the procurement talent game. Spend Matters commentary is included after each step.

“Talent management is critical for procurement. Here are some steps you can take now to cultivate the ongoing ability to identify, provision and deploy talent, wherever it comes from:

  • Understand what knowledge and skills are important for procurement to fulfill its future role. Filling capability gaps with fresh recruits is no longer enough. Instead, redefine procurement’s talent requirements to align with business goals.”

Spend Matters take: From a talent perspective, procurement organizations spend too much time focused on initiative-specific activities (e.g., recruiting). Taking a step back to examine talent by first considering alignment with the business may take procurement out of its comfort zone, but is a critical first step to improving talent outcomes.

  • “Attract strong talent by selling the value of procurement as a sustainable career in a function intrinsic to 
business performance. Bring in high performers from leading enterprises as a magnet and, of course, offer appropriate compensation.”

Spend Matters take: Procurement needs to actively sell itself to recruits. And don’t underinvest in either the “the pitch” or “the payment/reward.

  • “Procurement is omnipresent, touching most parts
 of the business. So it’s increasingly important to put procurement talent on the work experience rotation list. This can help foster self-selection of future CPOs, while capturing valuable knowledge from existing staff that might otherwise become lost with natural churn.

Spend Matters take: With the most promising procurement talent, once a resource is comfortable in their role, extend their responsibilities or have them shift to something entirely new. Keep “the best” moving at all times (which is likely to reduce the chance of churn as well).

  • “Hire talent from internal stakeholder groups and top suppliers and harvest their knowledge. This will support ongoing alignment of procurement with the challenges facing stakeholders elsewhere in the business.”

Spend Matters take: Sometimes the best fishing spot is closest to the dock. Yet to find the best talent in the business to bring into procurement, it is essential to both partner with HR and develop a network of advocates and recruiters in the business to pluck the right stars into the function.

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