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How Procurement Leaders Can Attract Better Talent


At TalentWave, we work with a number of procurement organizations leading the transformation of their organization to become a client of choice. Often, Procurement has been through a transformation itself and is sensitive to the political and process land mines involved with sourcing contingent workers. As a result, procurement leaders are a valuable partner when embarking on this journey.

How Procurement Can Turn an Organization into a Client of Choice

There are several key steps procurement leaders can take when tackling talent scarcity. Here are some tried-and-true practices used by best-in-class companies:

    1. Partner with your HR, legal and financial management colleagues to build a leadership coalition that owns total talent management for your organization. Much like you might rationalize a supply chain, you must now evaluate the human capital supply chain for the organization.First, look at the work performed across the organization by your current workforce. Then evaluate the workers required to do it. How much of the work really needs to be done by traditional part-time and full-time employees? Consider what work could be done better, or more cost effectively, by temporary workers, freelancers, independent contractors or consultants.
    2. “Projectize” the work. Once you have an idea of the work that needs to be done by employees versus flexible project workers, you can then start to redefine “jobs” into more discrete deliverables that will be delivered on an SOW basis. To accommodate flexible workers, forward-thinking companies are recasting traditional job descriptions from competencies and skill sets, to outcomes and deliverables.
    3. Focus on value. Recognize that total talent management is not just about cost savings. Your objective should be to optimize the traditional value equation of quality-service-cost within the context of a knowledge worker:
      • Quality is the expertise of the worker
      • Service is the results they deliver
      • Cost is not just their direct cost, but the time it takes to get the work done, as well as any additional indirect costs
    4. Streamline onboarding. Many companies choose to partner with an independent contractor engagement specialist, like TalentWave, that brings proven processes, technology, best practices, and engagement options for the flexible workforce. Be careful not to force individuals into engagement solutions that they are not comfortable with, as it will cause disruption and low program adoption. Also, focus on making the contracting process and SOW creation easy.
    5. Make it easy to be a vendor for your company. It is important to recognize that many independent workers truly are a “business of one”. Is it a reasonable requirement for them to have the same levels of business insurance or to accept the same payment terms as your traditional, large service providers? With increasing frequency, we’re seeing contractors electing not to accept projects due to overly burdensome vendor requirements. Remember, top talent has many choices in today’s economy!
    6. Manage your risk. Engaging flexible workers can introduce unwanted risk to the organization if not done carefully. Worker misclassification and co-employment are very real business risks, however they are fairly easy to mitigate with the right engagement program in place.
    7. Reward good work. Aside from competitive remuneration, the best reward for flexible workers who do good work, is more work! One way to do this is to build a talent community of proven resources that you can leverage for future projects across the organization.

The above best practices are helping progressive organizations and their procurement teams to become a client of choice in today’s ultra-competitive talent market. Which ones will you introduce to your company?

Learn more about becoming a client of choice for the independent workforce—download the white paper

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