9 Proven Ways to Recruit Top Procurement Talent in Today’s Competitive Market

By Conrad Snover

procureabilityOver the past year, there has been an uptick in procurement recruitment, a trend driven by global disruptions that exposed vulnerabilities in supply chains. Organizations, now more than ever, have urgently sought seasoned procurement experts to navigate fluctuating costs, fragmented supply chains, and elevated supplier risks.

Initially, the pandemic led to widespread hiring freezes, but as the situation evolved, a race ignited to secure top procurement talent. This not only energized career advancement within the profession but also sparked a surge in competitive salary offers, underscoring the premium placed on procurement expertise.

Today’s procurement leaders are in pursuit of more than just a paycheck—they’re seeking fulfilling careers that align with their values, enable work-life harmony, and promise opportunities for continual growth and advancement. In this competitive landscape, what strategies can companies adopt to not only attract top talent but also inspire their loyalty and commitment? Discover the strategies companies must embrace to attract elite procurement talent and position themselves as premier employers in today’s demanding market.

The Blueprint for Attracting Top Procurement Talent

“To set the gold standard as a preferred employer, companies must articulate their unique corporate culture, emphasize innovative benefits, showcase their commitment to social responsibility, and highlight avenues for growth and development,” shared Kim Niesen, Director of Talent for ProcureAbility.

Understanding and aligning with what potential employees prioritize in an employer is pivotal. By effectively projecting these facets in employer branding, firms can distinguish themselves within the supply chain and procurement sectors, drawing in the high-caliber talent crucial for success.

This approach doesn’t just bolster recruitment but also fosters long-term loyalty and a vibrant workplace. Here are nine key factors that have proven to enhance candidate experience and boost employee retention.

1. Personalize the recruitment process: Implement a communication strategy that engages candidates on a deeper level, such as with personalized email responses and one-on-one interviews, and provide constructive feedback to candidates at each stage of the process. Relationship-building can enhance recruitment outcomes; 52% of candidates shared they were more likely to continue a relationship with the company when feedback was provided.

2. Optimize the candidate experience: Audit your recruitment process from application to offer, identify any bottlenecks or points of friction, and create a strategy to streamline and enhance this experience. According to a recent survey, a negative recruitment experience can deter even the most enthusiastic candidates with 50% of job seekers declining a job offer due to poor candidate experience.

3. Be clear and transparent about the role: Clearly define the types of projects candidates can expect to work on. A refined approach will not only improve the candidate’s experience but will also position your organization as a transparent and communicative employer of choice.

4. Offer tangible opportunities for growth: Provide clear pathways for upskilling, mentoring, and networking that align with the aspirations of today’s workforce. By integrating continuous learning opportunities that mesh with current industry trends, you’ll not only retain talent but also foster a workforce that resonates deeply with the aspirations and values of today’s professionals.

5. Embrace flexible work arrangements: Move beyond the conventional 9-to-5 template by embracing remote, hybrid, or other flexible work models. By offering remote work options, hybrid schedules, or other adaptable work arrangements, organizations can position themselves at the forefront of modern workplace trends while allowing employees to better balance their other life needs.

6. Design holistic compensation packages: Use a holistic approach to develop an effective and attractive compensation package and integrate vital components such as mental well-being initiatives, access to resources for stress management, and other support mechanisms to promote overall wellness, work-life balance, and job satisfaction.

7. Maintain consistent employer branding: Define your organization’s unique values and culture. Actively seek industry recognition and leverage positive employee testimonials to enhance trust and appeal. This unified approach will make your firm more attractive to prospective talents.

8. Foster an empowered and inclusive workplace: Implement comprehensive initiatives that champion diversity, empower employees at every level, and ensure a harmonious work-life balance. By embedding these values into company culture and processes, businesses can better attract, engage, and retain the dynamic workers they need.

9. Understand and act on employee priorities: Secure prestigious recognitions like ‘Great Places to Work®’ to elevate your brand. Given that 77% of employees value company culture and 73% emphasize work-life balance, according to Glassdoor, it’s vital to regularly assess and refine policies to promote a positive environment and holistic well-being. Engaging with these values strengthens retention and loyalty.

Professional growth opportunities, coupled with an inclusive and supportive work culture, are essential in enhancing a company’s attractiveness. Emphasizing these attributes effectively positions firms as a top employer brand.

Partnering with a Talent Scout

The procurement recruitment landscape is evolving rapidly. As professionals prioritize purpose, work-life balance, and developmental avenues in addition to competitive salaries, firms must adapt. While organically building and communicating an enticing employer brand is vital, collaborating with the right talent acquisition partners can amplify recruitment efforts. Experienced partners bring in-depth industry insights, a vast network, and proven strategies to the table, significantly elevating the chances of landing top-tier talent.

Read our insights featured in Supply Chain Management Review.

About Conrad Snover

As CEO of ProcureAbility, Conrad focuses on client success, employee engagement and culture, and product innovation. Conrad has more than 25 years of experience in strategic procurement and supply chain management. He has deep experience in launching and managing programs focused on strategy design, procurement transformation, category management, strategic sourcing, supplier development, and organizational sustainability.

Conrad has consulted with numerous Fortune 1000 companies in a variety of industries including oil and gas, utilities, technology, banking and insurance, hospitality, and healthcare. Conrad is on the Board of Directors of both the Utility Supply Management Alliance (USMA), and the Utility Purchasing Management Group (UPMG) and is a frequently requested presenter at national supply chain conferences such as USMA, UPMG, Procurement Leaders, SIG, and APPA. Conrad holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Washington. A retired sponsored athlete and aspiring ski-mountaineer, he spends his free time adventuring in the outdoors with his wife and their young son.

About ProcureAbility

ProcureAbility is the leading provider of procurement services, offering advisory, managed services, digital, staffing, and recruiting solutions. For more than 25 years, we have focused exclusively on helping clients elevate their procurement function.

We combine leading-edge methodologies, analytics, market intelligence, and industry benchmarks with our uniquely flexible and customizable service delivery model. The Fortune 1000 trusts ProcureAbility to transform their procurement operations, drive growth, and reimagine what’s possible.

Let ProcureAbility help you reimagine your procurement capabilities.

Media contact:

Kathleen M. Pomento
Senior Marketing Director | ProcureAbility