In Procurement, the talent gap is really more like a gulf. The function's leaders aren't confident that their teams have the skills necessary to deliver on their goals and objectives - let alone carry businesses into a new, tech-powered era. More than half of the executives surveyed for Deloitte's last Global CPO Survey reported these concerns. That's an improvement over last year, but it still suggests Procurement's talent gap has gotten wider as the function has evolved throughout the decade.

As both soft skills and digital savvy grow more important, Procurement's talent gap could grow even wider over the next several years. Still, most organizations aren't investing in their teams. 72% of organizations spend less than 2% of their budgets on training and development programs.

Closing the talent gap doesn't have to mean breaking the bank. What it will require, however, is a new, more strategic approach and a new understanding of what Procurement excellence can mean. Here are just a few of the ways your organization can begin to better nurture the right skills and build a more effective Procurement team.

Introduce a Mentorship Program 

The Society for Human Resource Management suggests that mentorship programs can reduce turnover, boost recruitment efforts, and provide for a more productive workplace culture. These programs are also one of the easiest ways to ensure your team members can exchange insights. Whether you're looking to get new hires up to speed or provide long-time employees with a crash course in new technology, a mentorship program can transform your business. 

Strengthen Procurement's Brand

Young professionals are eager to make an impact by working on dynamic, innovative teams. At a glance, Procurement doesn't usually fit the bill. More often, it strikes applicants and emerging professionals as a tactical business unit that's set in its antiquated ways. Organizations can change this by defining a clear, compelling mission for Procurement and communicating it throughout the recruiting and hiring processes. 

Encourage Cross-Functional Collaboration

Today's Procurement teams require a far more diverse set of skills than in generations pass. The best aren't just well-versed in Procurement best practices, but understand the ins and outs of every unit within the organization. There's no better way to build these skills than by encouraging Procurement to step outside of its comfort zone and work closely with its peers in Marketing, IT, and other functions.

Discuss the Talent Gap with Procurement Leaders

ISM-Chicago's Emerging Leaders Committee is hosting Bridging the Talent Gap, a panel discussion featuring several Supply Chain staffing and recruiting experts. They hope to provide the next generation of professionals with the insights they need to refine their skills and elevate the Procurement function. Register today.
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