At today's Procurious Big Ideas Summit, Naseem Malik (Managing Partner, MRA Global) and Lesley Herald (President & CEO, Herald Search Group) called upon their experience in recruiting and talent management for a panel discussion on professional advancement. Moderator Dawn Tiura (President, SIG) opened by reminding attendees how far the Procurement profession has come. "We don't buy anymore," she remarked, "we recognize redundancy and stupidity and we address it." These new responsibilities call for a new set of skills and a new approach to both hiring and inspiring Procurement talent.
All three thought leaders addressed these new skills and offered tips for adopting that new approach throughout their discussion. Here's a sampling of what they had to say.
What Makes a Resume Stand Out?Herald spoke to the value of a broad experience. It's not enough anymore for someone to boast years of experience in Procurement. They need to prove they've work across multiple functions and worn a number of hats. Like experience, the skills that point to excellence have evolved in recent years. In addition to technical know-how, truly world-class candidates are expected to possess soft skills like empathy, creativity, and emotional intelligence. It's these that will ultimately power them to elevate their function and their organization. "Employers struggle to quantify these," Malik added. That makes it all the more important to nurture them internally and, if necessary, partner with a third-party capable of recognizing these qualities in a candidate.
Herald, Malik, and Tiura all acknowledged that employers need to make themselves stand out as much as employees do. "It's not the same market it was several years ago," Malik remarked. Companies that aren't making an effort to improve themselves based on feedback from employees and candidates are doomed to fall behind.
What Problems Might Hurt a Resume?
A resume isn't supposed to look like a list of responsibilities. "A good resume," Herald remarks, "tells a story." The best paint a picture of an active, dynamic professional who is capable of changing the way things are done. Putting these together is no small feat. That's why both Malik and Herald view coaching as an essential piece of their work as recruitment experts. Applicants aren't so different from companies. When they've grown accustomed to doing things a certain way, they're not usually in a hurry to try something new. This mindset has to change. Companies are evolving in their both their capabilities and applications. It's time for applicants to evolve as well.
Even small things like the font and layout of your resume might keep you from making the right sort of impression. Times New Roman might have been the standard several years ago, but Tiura suggests its time has passed. Your resume is your first opportunity to set yourself apart from the pack. 'Standard' fonts, formats, and talking points do the exact opposite.
How Can Professionals Build Adaptability?
"Don't work at the same company too long," Malik suggested. While it's still not a great idea to hop from job to job, longevity within a single organization is starting to look like a bad sign. Staying put in one organization can make a candidate look inflexible, even unambitious. The definition of "longevity" is changing too. While twenty years with a company was once the standard, ten or more is now enough to raise many hiring managers' eyebrows. A variety of positions in a number of functions, on the other hand, will show an organization that you're capable of thriving in an evolving Procurement world.
It's also essential for the next generation of professionals to nurture their own sense of curiosity. Reading voraciously and embracing new experiences, they'll not only prove that they're adaptable, but they'll make themselves into more informed and interesting people. With time, their creativity could prove infectious and result in an organization that's ready to innovate.