Procurement in 2020: Changing Roles for Recruiters and Talent Managers

Executive recruiters have become the latest rage in the battle for procurement talent. More and more companies are finally investing dollars and time in recruiting the right senior and mid-level management. Yet will this trend continue in 2020, or will we turn to different sources of talent? In the paper, Charting the course: Why procurement must transform itself by 2020, Deloitte offers up the following perspective:

Talent will be looked at individually and globally. Criteria will include not just listed skill sets and capabilities, but past performance, demographic/cultural nuances, and preferences. For example, a system may flag a particular candidate for a role not based on a past similar rotation, but a collection of indicators in a profile that suggests success in the desired new role. Leading companies will likely be able to do this externally — not just internally — mining candidates from social networks, jobs boards and résumé items across public sites.

The role of executive recruiter within procurement (a booming function and third-party role in 2013) may become secondary based on the declining value of general introductions and networking in favor of system and social-driven talent identification and team assembly. By 2020, CPOs will also likely turn to multi-tier succession planning as a necessary requirement to create lasting impact past their tenure and that of their reports, especially as they move into more advanced positions running companies and business units.

It is clear that talent and skills-level strategy and programs will matter at all levels in 2020, not just the top. Talent management and skills development will require the thoughtful blend of outside talent (i.e., recruiting) coupled with skills development and procurement rotations.

In more advanced organizations, HR organizations will team with procurement centers of excellence (COEs) to collectivity help assemble talent. They will serve as human capital integrators, leveraging both internal and external sources for specific initiatives ranging from newly required traceability programs (e.g., the equivalent of Conflict Minerals compliance for 2020) to longer-term initiatives, such as volatility reduction and continuity planning.

For procurement’s overall talent picture, companies must strike a balance of smart, youthful, and malleable talent with seasoned and empathetic management. Ultimately, this type of effort requires a fundamental reset of HR’s role in procurement not in terms of just recruiting talent, but nurturing and growing it as well — and helping strike a balance of roles and the right expertise at all levels of the procurement function.

This post is based in part on content from Charting the course: Why procurement must transform itself by 2020. If you’re interested in learning more about how analysts see the future of procurement and supply chain, register for our upcoming conference, Commodity/PROcurement EDGE.


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