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Adam Ipsen | 02 Jun 2022 | 4 min read
How The Right Systems Can Help You Get Great Procurement Staff
Looking to expand your procurement team? You’re not alone – according to Procurious’ Great Procurement Reset survey, more than a quarter of procurement leaders are seeking to expand the number of team members they have. But finding quality staff can be difficult, let alone keeping your current reports.
Unfortunately, this struggle has increased over the last few years. Even as staff are reporting a rise in the internal status of procurement, their interest in the field has dropped. Australia is also facing a general talent shortage in procurement.
Perhaps it’s no coincidence this comes at a time when procurement professionals are reporting they’re being asked to do more with less.
Why Having Talented People Is Vital
Having skilled procurement staff can make a massive difference in how efficiently your team operates.
According to studies, the more complex the role, the greater the productivity gap between an average employee and a high performer.
The performance gap between a procurement professional who is okay at their job compared to a high performer can be between 85% to 125%. That’s a huge difference in delivery times. Not only that, but talented employees are also typically more autonomous and easier to manage.
So, as a procurement manager, how do you attract specialists with the right skills and experience, and keep those you have?
While it might sound strange, having the right procurement system in place can make a world of difference.
News Flash: Skilled Professionals Judge You on Your System
“What sort of procurement system are you using at your organisation?”
This is the sort of question that can come up in an interview if you’re dealing with a savvy procurement professional (which is exactly the sort of person you want to attract).
The answer is incredibly pertinent because it tells them a few things. Firstly, if you reply that you don’t have a dedicated procurement system and that you’re just using Excel spreadsheets and email, it tells them about the maturity of your procurement function. They could conclude that there is little innovation going on, or the business doesn’t want to invest in procurement tools.
Every applicant has a pro and cons list they're making about working for you, and lack of innovations or willingness to invest are big cons.
However, the biggest thing it tells the applicant is they’re going to be doing a lot of nitty-gritty work, manually handling supplier data. There’s going to be no easy way to get insight into buyer spending patterns and ensure compliance. In other words: a massive headache.
In contrast, if you can tell them you’re using the latest procurement software, this sends an entirely different message. You’re an organisation that’s not afraid to innovate and invest in the procurement function. They’re not going to have to worry about the minutiae, but instead, they’re being hired to focus on strategic wins – a bonus for their resume and their overall job satisfaction.
If they’re new to the system, you can also offer them training, either in-house or by the vendor. As a procurement specialist, this adds to their skillset and helps keep them engaged.
If you were the applicant, and these were your two options, who would you pick?
According to an IBM study, 47% of Gen X and 42% of Millennial employees would leave their current job for a more innovative employer.
A Key Differentiator in the Public Sector
This sort of toss-up is especially relevant in the public sector where wages are set to fixed ranges. For example, if you’re hiring a VPS4 in Victoria – a senior professional – you’ve got to offer a wage that falls within a set band. Not only that, but you’re also competing with every other government department, which is offering the same wage.
This makes it hard to stand out. The job perks are also very similar across the board. For these reasons, career government employees often consider things like what training opportunities you have on offer, if they’ll get to use a new and interesting system, and what their workload is going to look like.
The Shift to ProcureTech
According to Deloitte’s Global CPO survey, three out of four CPOs have listed “digital transformation” as their top priority for 2022. One of the biggest drivers is innovation (72.9%), and as mentioned earlier, innovation is a key factor in attracting talent.
But the biggest benefit is often just making life easier for everyone involved in the procurement process.
According to Marnie Benney, Senior Procurement Advisor for Stonnington City Council, implementing made a massive difference to productivity.
“I have found VendorPanel to be simple to use, innovative, approachable and flexible,” Marnie said. “Before VendorPanel was implemented, it was really hard to look at a report on how much was spent locally. It was a very time-intensive task.”
“Now we can look at things like local spend and pull up this sort of information a lot easier.”
If you're having trouble with procurement hiring, consider the environment you are going to provide, including your existing procurement system and processes. Being an innovator is not only a great way to attract talent but also to improve your business processes.
Looking to Innovate? Let's Chat
Here at VendorPanel, we’re always looking for ways to help our partners improve their existing processes. One example of that saw our client DET Victoria recognised for PASA’s “Procurement Innovation of the Year 2021”.
Contact us today to learn about how you can implement solutions that will impress potential hires, support future innovation, and minimise your manual procurement and contracting processes.
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