Talent in purchasing

Managing the retention of scarce talent in purchasing

Retaining Talented Procurement Professionals
Retention of scarce talent is a topic that is getting a lot of attention from employers and particularly in the purchasing function. There is a shortage of suitably qualified and experienced people and organizations have to compete for the best of them. Hiring the right people is the first step.

What makes a person stay or leave depends on many factors. Retention varies because of age and stage in life, level, nature of job and culture. Pay and benefits are obviously important but if they are market-related and fair, then other factors come into play.

So what influences the retention of scarce talent besides pay?

Recognition and acknowledgement.
Everyone wants to know that they are valued. Making an employee feel that he or she is important to the company and that their role is vital is a great motivation. Recognizing and acknowledging peoples accomplishments make them feel appreciated and proud to be part of the company. Listening to a person's opinions and ideas and treating them with respect reinforces their feeling of belongingness.

Clarity of the role and reporting structure.
People need to be shown the big picture and how they fit in the scheme of things. The job role and the task assigned must be clear and unambiguous and structured in such a way that an employee can see how they contribute to business success. Reporting lines need to be defined as much of the work in the procurement function involves extensive internal and external relationships. How performance is measured is important in this field.

Career growth and opportunities
Employees need to know what their career growth options are and what future promotional openings await them. Constantly challenging bright people will encourage them to perform well and educational opportunities and personal coaching and mentoring are big attractions for talented professionals. They expect both classroom and on-the-job training within a strong learning culture.

Work/personal life balance and flexibility
More and more employees are looking beyond fixed working hours and rigid schedules and want to be more in control of their working environment. Some employers are slow to grasp this issue which is important to working parents who are looking for how to balance family, work and social life.

They would like on-site day care, flexible working hours, cafeteria, and more tele-commuting opportunities. They also want to break out and have some fun sometimes.

Retention of scarce talent in procurement has been achieved to some extent by providing more varied career path options. Low staff turnover sends the right message to the marketplace making hiring and retention of staff easier.

The Most Important Tip

Ensure that you have a proper SYSTEM in place that trains people to do their job effectively & efficiently. We all talk about retaining talent, but seldom do we talk about creating talented people. Having the right system is a very important way to do that. And Best of all! - You then simply get everybody thru the system - You manage, improve and retain the system, which is always going to be there.

Managing the retention of scarce talent in purchasing