Our Hot Topic for February Is Procurement Talent

Our Hot Topic for February is Procurement Talent. which seems a little ironic given our announcement regarding our Jobs Board, but never mind!

We are open to interesting guest articles as ever, and this month we will be writing about recruitment issues, training and development, a bit about the CPO of the future, and providing more tips for interviews and interviewing.

You will struggle to find anyone who does not nod in agreement if you stand up at a conference and say “people are the most important factor for a successful procurement operation.” The way I look at it is to consider people and tools (largely technology these days) as the only two raw materials we get to use in our procurement “manufacturing” process. So if you don’t get those both right you will struggle ...

So the "people" statement is a bit of a truism, really, although I do remember someone, and I can’t remember who it was, bravely arguing at an event that what the CPO should be doing is to systemise and standardise. That would then enable the function to operate successfully, even with purely average talent! I could see what they meant, however, I think I would still rather have really good people given a choice. And even if you can get adequate outputs from average people, wouldn’t you get more if you could make them better than average?

What is more of a mystery, or perhaps more of a concern, is the number of people, including many CPOs,  who will say that people are important, but if you are unfortunate enough to actually see how they or their organisation operates at close quarters, it becomes clear that they really do not live up to it. Is that hypocrisy, ignorance or just lack of awareness?

Because if you claim that people are your most valuable resource, why is your recruitment process so uninviting and unfriendly? Why do you spend next to nothing on training and development? Why don’t you promote from within in all but the most exceptional circumstances? Why is the appraisal system hated by everybody?

Of course, those criticisms don’t apply to every organisation, and there are some examples of excellent practice around our profession. Maybe we can feature some of those this month too. So, more to come on these topics, and let us know if you feel like writing something for us. Our Editor, Nancy Clinton, is always pleased to hear from guest writers, and you can have a look at her guide here if you are so inclined.

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Voices (2)

  1. RJ:

    Sorry, Peter, you just reminded me of my favourite Dilbert cartoon ever. Always loses a lot in the translation so it’s on http://www.dilbert.com March 3, 1993

  2. b&t:

    If your sausage machine is rusty, dirty, and leaking oil, putting better quality meat in one end wont make what comes out the other end any more palatable.

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