The race is on. Companies of all sizes, across a variety of industries, are rushing to develop fully strategic Procurement functions. What were once mere purchasing teams are now nuanced units driving enterprise-wide change and dictating long-term strategies. Oftentimes, however, companies find their internal resources insufficient for making the necessary transformations. That's why savvy organizations are continuing to supplement their efforts with the services of versatile Procurement independent contractors.

Contractors aren't a fool-proof answer to a company's problems. They won't show up on-site and instantly initiate the expected changes. Even the best Procurement contractors require considerable investment from the companies they're supporting. In fact, companies will find that contractors require the same level of guidance and support as full-time, salaried employees.

Too often, companies take a hands-off approach to managing their contingent resources. Whether they expect too much of Procurement contractors or demand too little of their own HR departments, they leave their contractors ill-equipped for long-term success. Here a are a few tips for deriving the most possible value from your contingent Procurement resources.

1. Establish a Start Date

It may sound like a no-brainer, but the first step in optimizing a Procurement contractor's performance is establishing a definitive start date. A contractor can't get off to a running start if the starting line keeps moving. Source One's own Procurement recruiter has seen countless engagements fail as a result of indefinite start dates. Failing to set this date in stone communicates a fundamental lack of investment. Companies insist on investment from their contingent talent, but how can they expect to receive it when they can't be bothered to invest in organizing their own calendar?

2. Finalize Your Budget

Again, this might sound obvious. Oftentimes, however, organizations attempt to bring Procurement contractors on-board without reaching an agreement with HR. This is not unlike going shopping without checking your account balance. It's irresponsible, ill-advised, and sets the stage for disappointment. Getting these conversations out of the way early eliminates the possibility of more uncomfortable interactions down the road. Perhaps your company isn't certain what they can afford.  In that case, you may want to consider leveraging the services of staffing consultants. A third-party could bring both the bandwith and lack of bias necessary to accurately assess your companies resources.

3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Communication is everything in managing a relationship with a contractor. A Procurement contractor can't meet a company's expectations unless they've been effectively briefed on what exactly these expectations are. It's important that companies make their contingent resources feel like any other member of the team. That means communicating consistently and enabling contractors to embed themselves within a company's internal culture. This could make the difference when it comes to optimizing a procurement contractor's performance and - perhaps - guaranteeing a long-term commitment.

4. Put Yourself in their Shoes

If there's one thing that might keep a business from leveraging contingent resources it's the (misguided) idea that contractors are somehow disloyal. What these companies should realize is that they can only encourage loyalty by showing loyalty, It's essential that companies attempt to see the on-boarding and hiring processes from the contractor's point-of-view. They need to display the same level of engagement and commitment that they ask of their contractors.

Is your company in need of temporary procurement, supply chain, or sourcing talent? Reach out to Source One's Strategic Sourcing experts today.  We'll help you identify and optimize the resources you've been missing.  Interested in becoming a Procurement contractor? Check out Source One's Career page for a look at opportunities.

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