Leveraging a blended Procurement workforce has been a growing trend in recent years as organizations seek to realize cost savings without compromising on quality in an effort to respond to rapid changes in the market. Procurement and Strategic Sourcing contractors provide the flexibility and expertise necessary to solve short and long-term Supply Management workplace challenges with speed and precision. But how does an organization go about choosing the right fit when hiring a freelance Procurement or Supply Chain resource?

To achieve the maximum benefits and ROI of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing contractors, organizations must align their goals and strategy with the unique skillsets and expertise of the contractor. This strategic alignment begins during the interviewing process when hiring teams are starting to assess the cultural and capability fit of candidates. By implementing these 5 questions into the initial interview, companies can find a Supply Management expert that is engaged and interested in the organizations ongoing key initiatives.

1. How many projects have you done similar to this assignment in your career in terms of size and scope?

Depending on the complexities of the assignment being outsourced, it is important to understand how deeply the Procurement Contractor is entrenched in the day to day procurement and strategic sourcing activities they will be filling. Hiring Managers will better be able to identify whether a procurement contractor can effectively supplement the current talent landscape and fill the necessary skill gaps by developing a thorough understanding of the contractor’s similar project experience and qualifications.

Bonus Question: How many projects have you done similar to this assignment in the past 2 years?

Although the first question is fundamental, this question adds more color to how relevant the contractor’s supply management experience really is. If they worked on a similar project early on in their career ten years ago, but haven’t worked with that spend category or work stream since, it may be best to find someone whose skills are immediately transferrable.

2. What was the reason for leaving your last few assignments?

When dealing with Procurement and Strategic Sourcing contractors, it is important to recognize that they are similar to free agents; they can go where the money and opportunities are, and are not penalized for doing so. By asking why their assignments ended, Hiring Managers gain insight into whether the contractor sees assignments through from beginning to end, or if they have their sights on the next best opportunity. Longevity of assignments and the ability to see them through to completion also indicates whether the Procurement and Strategic Sourcing contractor has been successful throughout their career. If the contractor was brought on for multiple Supply Management assignments, and only left because the client did not have any additional work, it can be inferred the contractor is a high-performer with significant subject matter expertise to leverage.

3. Are you a full-time contractor, or open to contract-to-hire opportunities?

Understanding whether the contractor truly wants to work for themselves and run their own small business versus temporarily entertaining contract assignments while looking for the right permanent fit can help both parties understand whether there is mutual gain. Depending upon the need, some organizations prefer to evaluate talent before considering bringing them on as a fulltime resource, and permanent contractors may not be the best fit in these instances. Alternatively, if a contractor is looking to secure a fulltime role in their wheelhouse while the organization is only looking to fill a short-term need, an honest conversation can allow the contractor to pursue other opportunities that may land them a career.

4. What is your hourly rate?

You get what you pay for; automatically choosing the Supply Management Contractor with the lowest rate does not guarantee you get the best ROI. If cutting costs is your primary goal, you may need to identify a generalist contractor with adaptability and potential. If getting the right expertise and exceptional delivery within the shortest amount of time is a higher priority, identify a subject matter expert with a competitive rate.

5. Can you please provide a list of references?

This one isn’t rocket science. If any interviewee cannot provide at a very minimum, two references, this is a red flag. Ask that the references be former clients, with a preference being whomever they reported to for the duration of the assignment.

If the idea of interviewing multiple contractors to find the right fit sounds daunting, let Source One’s skilled procurement staffing experts source the best contingent workforce talent aligned to your specific strategic initiatives and organizational needs. The high-performing contractors at Source One are available “on-demand” -when you need, for as long as you need. Are you in need of not just one, but an entire team of contingent labor resources? Source One’s Contingent Labor Strategic Sourcing experts can customize an approach to bring spend under management, and collaboratively identify the best staffing model to manage your contingent workforce. Contact Source One’s Recruitment and Staffing experts to learn more about how we can build out or supplement your current staffing plans.

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