Why Top Procurement Teams are Ditching Hiring for a Hybrid Approach

Jennifer Ulrich
By Jennifer Ulrich | September 14, 2022
About Jennifer

The Great Resignation (or Reshuffle, Rethink, Reassessment – whatever you call it) has exacerbated a procurement hiring and staffing process which has never been overly simple to start with. Since the start of the Covid pandemic, the people who were already hard to find have gotten even more so. And retention? Good luck.

And this situation may not change anytime soon, if at all:

According to McKinsey, only about a third of workers who have quit their job in the past two years have returned to the same industry1.

This talent shortage morass comes at a dicey time in global supply chain uncertainty, with lingering pandemic effects and geopolitical tensions on the rise. Having fewer experienced people to chase increasingly difficult to secure goods is not the recipe for business success. But, as companies are staring down the barrel of shrinking budgets, it may actually be the greatest opportunity to happen in Procurement in a long time.

Procurement hiring is hard; Hybrid Procurement is easy

As it turns out, the best way to optimize your Procurement process may not be to focus on replacing people, but reinforcing the team you have with “insourced” expertise.

Maybe what you really need is a hybrid procurement model that leverages your existing in-house knowledge base, bolstered by dedicated professionals who have years of experience in all facets of the procure-to-pay continuum (and likely strategic sourcing, invoicing, and payments, as well). Call it hiring without hassles, or headcount without the headaches.

What that means is, you can fill the (widening) gaps in your Procurement function with people who already know the ropes and bring with them the latest in procurement best practices. That gets you — or keeps you — up and running without all the downsides: the disruptions and delays of onboarding and training, necessary human resources input, and the exploding costs of adding full-time employees to staff.

As McKinsey states, “Even when employers successfully woo these workers from rivals, they are just reshuffling talent and contributing to wage escalation while failing to solve the underlying structural imbalance.”2

In other words, it just creates an endless loop of talent gain followed by talent drain – a trend that is predicted to last well beyond 2022.

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The Great Resignation is a great time to optimize procurement

Beyond being the faster, simpler, more cost-effective solution to talent searching or taking your chances with gig workers, integrating the expertise of a professional services firm or strategic advisory practice will have the knock-on effect of raising the level of your procurement capabilities. As they say in sports and music, if you want to get better, play with people who are better than you.

That’s not to denigrate your own in-house skills, but to highlight the continuing knowledge accumulation of procurement professionals who are constantly working with a wide variety of companies across a broad range of industries. This creates opportunities to learn and adopt practices and techniques that you might not otherwise have access to, but which can bring proven benefits in terms of procurement process streamlining, automation, software and technology optimization, category expertise, and more.

There is also the option to consider technology enabled managed services (TEMS), a plug-and-play procurement model that incorporates outside expertise, services, and technology into your existing procure-to-pay process. This empowers you to leverage your in-house talent with the added benefits of a dedicated services team to ensure the latest software solution capabilities are fully realized – all without having to implement the technology itself.

Of course, like any other critical change in your business, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about incorporating hybrid procurement. You need to know which roles to consider using advisory services for, and what responsibilities are best suited to this type of model. It’s all about defining the business needs and outcomes you want, then working with your outsourced team to identify where they can add the most value.

If you would rather focus your time on raising procurement’s contributions to the success of your company instead of wandering the talent wilderness looking for new hires, we invite you to join us for our AOP Live session, “Could the Great Resignation Lead to BETTER Procurement Talent?

It’s a great opportunity to find out more about how a procurement hybrid model can actually help optimize your procurement capabilities through an informative live Q&A with Joe Payne, SVP, Source-to-Pay and Jennifer Ulrich, VP, Advisory of Corcentric. You’ll gain a better understanding of how the Great Resignation is expected to impact procurement in the year to come, which roles are most suited to advisory services, and how to ensure the greatest advantages of working with an “insourced” team of experts.

1 Fortune, The top reasons people are leaving their jobs right now, according to McKinsey. Hint: It’s not all about pay. July 25, 2022

2 McKinsey & Company, The Great Attrition is making hiring harder. Are you searching the right talent pools? July 13, 2022

Join us for our AOP Live Session on September 20, 2022:  “Could the Great Resignation Lead to BETTER Procurement Talent?”

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