MRA Global Sourcing Supply Management Talent Recruiting
In this recurring series, the partners and consultants of MRA Global Sourcing share their learnings, observations, and the occasional rant cultivated from years of experience in recruiting and placement for supply management functions.

As 2017 begins, MRA musings is optimistic the hiring market will continue to stay robust. Through the unprecedented shock and awe of the past year when it comes to politics and social changes, companies kept forging ahead with their hiring plans. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Dale Carnegie Training Leadership Study, with the unemployment rate down to the pre-recession levels, more and more workers may start actively contemplating job changes. They predict that almost 40% of the workforce will be in play in 2017 so that is surely music to our ears.  

For employers, of course it’s a double-edged sword as it means that their other big problem will be exacerbated, i.e. retaining their best and brightest. Just as alarming is another significant revelation in this survey of 3100 workers, and that is why these employees may be leaving. While supervisors are usually cited as a top three reason for leaving, in this case it’s partly that. However, interestingly enough, there was a specific trait that caused the most anguish and it pertained to supervisors not being externally reliable (honest with others). Workers were four times more likely to leave the company if their supervisors were less than forthright with their external partners compared with supervisors that were transparent and ethical in all their dealings. 

Taken in the context of our world of Supply Management, this caught our attention.  Since our function is so dependent on working closely with suppliers, this recent study should serve as a timely reminder that not only are there legal and ethical consequences to what we do, but team members and direct reports are observing and taking their cue from their leaders.  If these workers find their supervisors to be disingenuous and less than forthright, that will be enough of a catalyst for them to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Companies will suffer not only from the brain-drain of talent but a diminished reputation as they seek to backfill these openings. Since a tarnished impression may linger long after these unreliable supervisors and their team members leave the company, it’s important for our function to continually train and live the values we preach, i.e. utmost integrity and honesty, and fair and equitable dealings with both internal and external stakeholders. 

In a recently published book called ‘Why They Do It’, from Harvard Professor Eugene Soltes, he covered the past decade of corporate misconduct and malfeasance and what the costs are to their respective companies.  From the failings of corporate chieftains from Enron to Tyco to inside trading at McKinsey to the Ponzi scheming of Madoff, these occurrences have been regular fixtures across the business world.   Most of these white-collar crimes are not solely based on greed but in fact are driven by intuition and gut feeling, according to Professor Soltes. Just because we feel we may not be hurting anyone by manipulating some savings numbers or backdating a contract, doesn’t mean it’s not wrong. Luckily for us, there haven’t been any high profile CPO’s being hauled away that have made the news so we definitely need to keep it way.

Looking forward, 2017 serves an even more crucial time for Supply Management to lead the charge in our companies on how best to protect our teams and our leaders from falling prey to temptation. By doing so, this will effectively mitigate corporate risk and liability, safeguard company reputation and ultimately help retain talent in a competitive marketplace.

MRA Global Sourcing

MRA Global Sourcing is the preeminent firm specializing in recruitment for procurement and strategic sourcing, connecting the best talent with the best opportunities. Visit them on the web to learn more.
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