HR & LABOR MANAGEMENT
Procurement and Sourcing
Has Talent! Or Does It?
Procurement and sourcing is a
continuously evolving profession. A global Gartner Supply
Chain study of 453 companies
finds 51 percent of procurement and sourcing talent hired
in the last three years was to
satisfy short-term needs, with
a focus on basic, intermediate
and advanced procurement
and sourcing skill sets.
Procurement and sourcing hiring strategies for 2012 shifts
to long-term needs and
advanced skills requirements
in the areas of SRM, supplier
management and analytics,
and financial procurement.
—−Mickey North Rizza, Gartner
Supply Chain Research
rocurement and sourcing talent requirements shifted significantly in 2011 into 2012 to advanced and expert skill sets in supplier relationship management, supplier collaboration,
performance management and analytics, and financial procurement. These skill sets require individuals to have extensive knowledge of broad
processes across the business as they relate to their given area of expertise.
These individuals can serve as subject matter experts for both improvements
and implementation. Unfortunately, these skill sets are often hard to find within
a procurement team that has been focused on filling short-term needs.
To fill the current and immediate gap in 2012, many procurement leaders are
hiring experienced external procurement professionals or from internal job rotation programs that might include finance, engineering and manufacturing skill
sets. Internal job rotation programs bring a broader business perspective and technical expertise that can be applied to procurement and sourcing disciplines.
The procurement and sourcing skill set shift will continue into 2016. Gartner
Supply Chain Research found procurement and sourcing skills required in 2016
will be advanced skills in financial procurement, new-product introduction and
sustainability—but will also require leadership and strategic skills for strategy
and change management, performance management and analytics, and SRM.
Leadership and strategic skills require visionaries who can articulate evolving
and critical trends in the given process, identify new opportunities by drawing
upon extensive experience and business knowledge, and lead the organization
in necessary change management.
Gartner Supply Chain research found that in order to close this larger gap
by 2016, U.S. and UK organizations are integrating human-resource training
programs into the business plan and making extensive use of mentoring programs. In contrast, Asia Pacific countries are using masters of discipline and
masters of orchestration for career development and retention. A master of
discipline is a deep subject matter expert that ensures an individual function
within the supply chain is operating at industry-leading levels. A master of
orchestration has broad supply chain knowledge and an intimate feel for
how the functions enable or inhibit one another in the execution of critical
In 2012, organizations will focus on current needs gap closure but with long-
term objectives in mind. First, procurement and sourcing team expertise must
be assessed; then business objectives and growth plans should be scrutinized
and tied to the assessment.