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The baby boomer generation is retiring. This isn’t news. We’ve been talking about the impending procurement software and services knowledge and skills gap for years now, trying to find ways to quickly and effectively replace outgoing talent with fresh faces that bring new insights and skill sets to the table.

An underused approach for accomplishing this, but one of the simplest and most effective answers to this industry problem, is collaboration with human resources.

HR professionals search for and nurture talent for living, so why not tap the experts? They can help you find candidates that bring a spirit of innovation and the new knowledge and competencies procurement needs to thrive.

Which attributes are most important for laying the foundation of next-generation procurement teams?

  1. Flexibility: The procurement space is constantly being inundated with new challenges and opportunities. Teams need to be able to handle these while simultaneously delivering results that drive the organization forward. Today, being able to balance competing objectives, prioritize projects and make big decisions at a moment’s notice are pre-requisites for a job in in the field. HR can advise which candidates fit the bill and which would likely need a bit more nurturing before they’re fully ready to jump in.
  1. Analytical skills: Understanding and manipulating data — and applying it to solve every day problems and glean actionable insights– is increasingly becoming a requirement for the procurement professional. Our world has gone digital and the procurement field is no exception. Data analytics skills are now an expected resume item and something that hiring managers are looking for when selecting their teams.
  1. Relationship skills: As with many other professions, supply chain and procurement managers need to be able to connect with others, especially suppliers and stakeholders. Building trust with colleagues when bringing a product to market is critical as procurement often finds itself the middleman that has to balance various competing interests. Solid relationships with suppliers Is also fundamental for success. If a procurement practitioner can’t relate to their supply base, establish a strong connection and maintain that relationship, then their success and growth in the career is likely limited.

Finding, investing in and nurturing the right talent not only sets your organization up for success, but the entire industry. Procurement is the backbone of the organization and the more we work together to attract and maintain best-in-class teams across the board, the better off we are as a procurement community.

To learn about how to deliver value in your first few days on the job, check out our whitepaper: Quick Wins for New Procurement Leaders.