Wanted in HRM and SCM: Modern Hiring Personas

interview Drobot Dean/Adobe Stock

Following an interesting conversation I had with a notable human resources guru this past weekend, I reread a recent post of mine entitled “Millennials Will Transform Procurement — Not by War but Attrition.” I did so to check myself, as she took issue with some of what I considered to be the article’s safest assumptions.

Amidst all of the optimism surrounding the impact of millennials on procurement, my friend questioned how seriously we should take such projections if significant improvements aren’t made to the way we recruit and develop talent. Her speculations skewed negative because research reveals little has been done to foster the relationship between human resource management (HRM) and supply chain management (SCM) necessary for such initiatives, and because her professional experience has validated those findings, to say the least.

The way HR approaches hiring in fields like healthcare offers a model for improvement. When clinicians are making a career move, their credentialing is comprehensive and transparent. The required experience, the continuing educational credits, performance and reputation-based scoring — they’re all documented in a standardized way that travels well to any and all employers.

In other words, on the patient-facing side of the business, HR professionals know who they want, where to look and how to hire. On the non-patient-facing side, however, they have no such insights, which isn’t a good thing for anyone.

While healthcare provides a attractive example, is the situation much different across industries? Put another way, if millennials are going to transform procurement, isn’t it time for SCM and HR to collaborate on the development of a more modern, meaningful system to represent and score professional SCM and procurement experience?

The talk these days is all about people, processes and technology. All three must be working in concert for a supply chain to excel. On the people side, while there’s no question the composition of supply chain leadership is changing for the better, the operational gaps between direct and indirect spend management, logistics and supply chain risk assessment persist in ways that are confounding to the kind of holistic improvements we’d like to see, and they’re not intuitive to resolve.

What can HRM and SCM do differently?

For starters, they must recognize the need to work together more closely to develop more modern hiring personas, qualification sets and job specifications. They must align their recruitment practices with their supply chain partners, share candidate pools, conduct cross-organizational training and embrace experts.

A modern, supply chain-centric HRM strategy is an essential component of supply chain excellence. HRM and SCM leadership should be on a first-name basis. Modern hiring personals must be developed. Such matters must be addressed with thinking tailored to the demands of an increasingly mobile, networked workforce.

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