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Edmund Zagorin’s Three Keys to Attracting and Retaining Procurement Talent

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Procurement leaders are being asked to do more than ever before with very few resources available. There aren’t enough hours in the day to complete everything on their plates. Digital projects are being added to their workload. Procurement is being asked to work harder now to save time eventually.

But what do they prioritize? If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. When you get down to it, there’s too much transactional and manual work that ties up their time. It prevents relationship-building activities and strategic supplier relationships from being prioritized.

The biggest problem procurement faces is attracting and retaining talent. In a recent episode of Negotiations Ninja, Bid Ops Founder Edmund Zagorin shares the three keys to attracting and retaining talent (inside or outside your organization).

How to source talent from within your organization

Bid Ops is competing for the most sought-after talent in AI and machine learning engineering. How do they attract and retain high performers? Edmund notes that research shows that high performers all want the same things, above and beyond compensation packages:

  1. Opportunity for advancement
  2. Autonomy
  3. The ability to define and find purpose in work

They want flexibility in their jobs and the ability to determine when and where they’ll work. Many companies now have a remote workforce. Because of that, the way teams are collaborating is changing. Using digital advancements the right way helps employees feel recognized and seen. Honoring and appreciating their contributions is the key to attracting and retaining talent.

Every high performer values every hour of their time. High performers don’t want to do transactional or repetitive tasks in the long term. High-performing organizations adopt that approach. They want to find activities that can run on autopilot in the background (through predictive procurement and other elements). The best way to do that is to utilize technology.

Opportunities for procurement in 2022

Procurement is being asked to do more than ever before. They’re not only dealing with resource constraints. They’re also being asked to deliver—with flawless execution—predictable cost-savings and a higher percentage of spend under management. But that isn’t it. They’re expected to provide corporate initiatives and focus on supplier diversity, environmental and social governance, and sustainability. Cyber security also falls under their function.

So much value created for customers is contingent on the third-party suppliers that procurement works with. Their priorities are to be customer-centric, be a great place to work, retain top talent, and have a competitive advantage moving forward. This requires excellent supply chain relationships.

That’s where procurement needs a seat at the table. They need to be part of major corporate initiatives and planning. Supply chain is a top priority and conversation for every company in the world. So what do you do with that seat at the table? How do you express the value of procurement for every initiative? You must become an engine to help companies deliver on key objectives. One way to do this is to consistently and systematically predict and achieve cost savings. Edmund shares how procurement leaders can do this in episode #277 of the Negotiations Ninja podcast. Don’t miss it!