It seems that Australian businesses have begun to realise the value that a highly functioning procurement team can bring to an organisation.
Obviously, this is reliant on the ability of procurement leaders to attract the right talent to the function. How do you feel about the current stocks of procurement talent in Australia?
There is definitely a short supply of high quality procurement professionals across the local market. It seems that organisations are either doing their best to retain top procurement talent or competing to attract talent. Industry related experience in some sectors, for example FMCG and Retail is increasingly becoming an essential requirement, and that is adding further challenges in the recruitment process.
Organisations are focussing on the talent shortage by looking to hire from offshore markets. We are increasingly receiving mandates from our clients to reach out to procurement communities across the UK and South East Asian regions.
As the procurement function continues to mature, what do you see as the critical skills and capabilities that procurement professionals need to possess today?
No matter how technical and analytical your skills are, employers are looking for commercially minded procurement professionals with strategic agility and strong business acumen who can communicate, influence and add value to stakeholders.
A great procurement function serves the whole business and the traditional procurement skill set is not enough. Procurement professionals should look to continually develop their interpersonal, strategic thinking, networking, influencing and leadership skills.
There is a lot of talk about Millennials at the moment, both in terms of how to attract them and once you’ve done that, how to motivate them to perform. Do you have any insight into how procurement teams might manage employees from different generations?
I think the challenge for many CPO’s and Senior Procurement Leaders is understanding which generations are represented in their team and what their expectations are, and how they will best perform and progress their careers. This will all help with succession planning or more broadly, talent management.