We've all heard about Procurement's widening talent gap. It's important to remember that a talent gap and a talent shortage aren't the same thing. Quite the opposite, in fact. While the right mix of skills and experience aren't easy for any Procurement team to come by, the market is actually more crowded with promising candidates than ever before.

As business innovators ambitiously pursue top talent, it's increasingly challenging for small and mid-sized organizations to set themselves apart. Check out some of Source One's tips for developing the qualities that'll attract top-notch Procurement professionals.

1. Innovation
The emerging generation of Procurement professionals takes technological innovation for granted. They've grown accustomed to fast-paced advancements and expect their future employers to reside on the cutting edge. Even if your organization doesn't have the budget to pursue every new technology, you can still strive for innovation in your processes and procedures.  Make it clear to applicants that you're always open to suggestions from talent at every level. Procurement hires will instantly feel invested if they're confident their voice will be heard.

2. Challenge
Think millennials are lazy? Think again. The incoming generation of Procurement talent just needs to feel challenged to feel engaged. Employees who are only presented with repetitive or needlessly simple tasks are unlikely to take pride in their work. ReportLinker found that 83% of survey employees  are more likely to remain with their employer if they are consistently challenged by their day-to-day tasks. You're not looking for run-of-the-mill candidates, you shouldn't offer a run-of-the-mill experience.

3. Investment
Procurement teams hoping to encourage employee investment need to walk the walk. Developing clear career paths and providing consistent feedback shows your hires that you've taken an interest in their continued professional development. An overly hands-off approach, on the other hand, suggests just the opposite. No one likes to feel micromanaged, but the appropriate level of oversight is essential for ensuring each member of your team gives you their all.

4. Recognition
According to SocialCast, nearly 70% of employees suggest they would work harder if they felt their efforts were appreciated. Your organization doesn't need to break the bank to say thanks. Acknowledging a job well done can be as simple as offering a verbal thank you. Recognition should be about more than just tenure. Work to develop systems for continually rewarding success, and make sure to discuss these systems when interviewing candidates.

5. Reputation
Promising Procurement professionals want to join leading Procurement departments. A world-class candidate is far more likely to join a company where Procurement is afforded respect and a seat at the table. Work to develop Procurement's brand within your organization. Communicate Procurement's value during the interview by repeatedly linking its goals to enterprise-wide strategy.

6. Compensation
Money isn't everything, but it's often the deciding factor for applicants. Few companies can compete with the blue chip players where monetary compensation is concerned, but paychecks aren't the only option. Consider introducing low-cost incentives to improve workplace culture and encourage retention. Get creative. Strive to introduce benefits that your competition has not considered.

With time, your Procurement team will become known for providing a positive work experience and nurturing the qualities that make for long-term strategic value. Looking for additional support? Contact the staffing and recruiting team at Source One today. 
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