Revamp Your Procurement Hiring Process

By Published On: August 28, 2019

Is your procurement organization suffering because your hiring process is broken?
Are your candidates dropping like flies because you’re requiring them to go through too many rounds of onsite interviews?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, then it’s time to focus on optimizing your procurement hiring process.
To stay on top of your procurement hiring demands, it’s imperative that you focus on doing whatever it takes to remove bottlenecks that delay your ability to make quick hiring decisions and can lead to a poor candidate experience. Here are a few ways you can streamline your procurement hiring process:

Use S.W.O.T. Analysis to Breakdown The Current Process

A great place to get started is by breaking down every aspect of your current procurement hiring process. Administer a S.W.O.T. Analysis to better understand the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats within your hiring process. You’ll want to develop a cross-functional team for this effort consisting of key procurement hiring managers, HR business partners, and your procurement recruiter. Here are some questions that you’ll want to review together:

  • Who does what, when and how within our procurement organization as it relates to the end-to-end hiring process?
  • Where do we have bottlenecks in the process that create a negative candidate experience and increases our time to fill metric?
  • How do we kick off a new search opening? What information is captured regarding the opening and are we giving our procurement recruiter the pertinent details needed to effectively source the right procurement talent?
  • How is the procurement organization performing against its hiring objectives and KPIs e.g. quality of hire, time to fill, offer to acceptance ratio, etc.?
  • Is our interviewing process sufficient for quickly vetting candidates and maintaining a positive candidate experience?
  • Is our approval process causing delays as it relates to approving new requisitions and job offers?
  • Is our procurement recruiter alerted the moment we have a backfill or new requisition approved, or the last person in the organization to find out?

Identify Bottlenecks

Through 25+ years of experience in both corporate recruiting and agency recruiting, I have observed two areas where many employers tend to have bottlenecks. The first is with their requisition approval process. For some organizations, it can take several days or even weeks to approve a new position due to requiring too many approval signatures from leadership. By the time the requisition is approved, there’s added pressure on the procurement recruiter to get it filled quickly and the company suffers while the position is left vacant longer than necessary.
The second is making hiring decisions and approving job offers. Delays in extending job offers can lead to losing out on top candidates, as most candidates will have multiple interviews going on when they’re in job search mode. Maintaining a strong sense of urgency when it comes to hiring is critical for success.

Determine Opportunities for Improvement

Once you’ve broken down the end-to-end procurement hiring process, determine where you have opportunities for improvement and develop corrective action plans to close any performance gaps.
It may be beneficial to bring in a talent acquisition consultant or Lean expert that can help map out and optimize your hiring process. You should also benchmark leading companies that are known for having great hiring practices such as Google for example, and apply similar tactics to your hiring process.

Optimize Key Hiring Forms/Documents

While it requires more work on the frontend, make sure you have a detailed “intake” process that captures the right information needed for the role you’re filling. You’ll want to capture more than just the required and desired job requirements such as the key deliverables for the position, company culture, reporting, and organizational structure, challenges the role will contend with, opportunities for advancement and the like.
You’ll want to develop strong job descriptions that go beyond listing out your ideal job requirements and job responsibilities. Ensure that your job descriptions provide a solid overview of your company, pertinent details about the organization/operation that the position leads or reports into, explains how the candidate would benefit from joining your organization and provides other key information that helps to attract top procurement talent. 

Improve the Interviewing Process

When it comes to the interviews themselves, many companies rely on HR to develop interview guides with questions that aren’t always applicable to every role in your procurement organization. Take a collaborative approach to help put together the right set of interview questions that enable you to properly vet candidates based on past performance against the most critical functional, technical, leadership and cultural fit criteria.
Strive to put the right balance of interviews in place that properly assesses candidates and enables quick hiring decisions. We recently worked with a large 3PL that had several procurement director openings to fill, and they required candidates to go through up to EIGHT round of interviews. We ended up firing this client as every candidate that we put through the process became frustrated with the sheer number of interview rounds, and ended up opting out of consideration or accepting other job offers.

Train Your Employees to Master The Art of Interviewing

Due to the procurement talent gap and a tightening labor market, it’s imperative that your hiring managers and interviewers are well equipped to “sell” procurement candidates on joining your organization in addition to assessing them. 
Consider putting together a training session for interviewers and new hires that join your organization on your procurement hiring process so everyone communicates using the same message when it comes to how to sell your company to candidates exploring opportunities with your organization.
Optimizing your procurement hiring process is a great way to improve the candidate hiring experience and make quick hiring decisions. If you’re interested in more ways to improve how to land top procurement talent, grab your copy of “The Art of Landing Top Sourcing & Procurement Talent”. 
Our other useful procurement articles:

  1. Creating an Effective Procurement Leadership Development Program (PLDP)
  2. 8 Channels to Find Sourcing & Procurement Talent Beyond the Job Board
  3. 6 Tips to Create a Successful Procurement Mentorship Program
  4. 4 Ways to Enhance Your Procurement Resume