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How to attract the right talent in 2024

Written by: CIPS Procurement & Supply Jobs
Published on: 8 Feb 2024

Talented procurement professionals are playing a bigger and more vital role than ever before, but approximately 70% of employers are still struggling to find the right talent. Here’s how you can attract and retain the best procurement and supply talent this year. 

Man using computer

Invest in training and development. 

Proven to increase staff satisfaction and retention, improving your training and personal development programmes will not only benefit the organisation, but it will encourage employee retention. Employees and candidates need to feel like there are opportunities for them to advance and ‘climb the ladder’, and training pathways showcase that you’re committed to their personal growth. 

Note: consider launching a sponsorship programme to pay for advanced qualifications or offer paid time off for study leave. 


Emphasise purpose/impact 

The future generation of procurement professionals value purpose-driven work and are more inclined to choose organisations that offer them a career for change. Highlighting how your employees will make a meaningful impact within their role and contribute to your wider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) pledge as a business is key to attracting a wider pool of applicants. 

Consider pre-empting crucial questions candidates might have about your values, culture and progression opportunities – showing you understand what’s important to them and that you have a genuine interest in fulfilling their expectations of you as an employer.   


Update your company branding 

Consider your company’s mission and values. Retention is higher when employee and organisation values align – so ensure your branding is up to date and promoted externally. It’s important that candidates, and employees understand how your business is having a positive impact, so be transparent about both your successes and challenges, and show that you genuinely believe in the importance of the work you do. 


Offer reassurance on job security 

When looking for new opportunities, candidates want to be sure of an organisation’s commitment to its employees, alongside guaranteed job security. Consider investing in employee testimonials and case studies highlighting internal progression and the ways in which your organisation invests in its people.  


Widen your hiring pool 

There continues to be a skills shortage within the procurement profession, and to combat this you need to widen the net when recruiting. Consider expanding the location you hire from, reviewing recruitment strategies to encourage a more diverse range of applicants, and offering increased training to develop the talent you already have. 


Maintain flexible working arrangements 

Working from home is one of the most desired benefits across all sectors globally and can help you both retain talent and attract a more diverse pool of talent. Not only does it increase productivity, but it also shows that you trust your employees to manage their own schedules. With an increased emphasis on work-life balance don’t be tempted to backtrack on remote working without just cause – to stay competitive you need to make sure you’re still offering what people are actually looking for.  


Invest in diversity and inclusion 

Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) at the heart of an organisation leads to increased job satisfaction and improved creativity, innovation and decision-making, leading to better performance. An authentic approach to ED&I builds trust, creating a positive work environment that empowers employees to reach their full potential, and opens the doors to a more authentic hiring process. 

Note: consider simple steps such as anonymising CVs to limit unconscious bias, or eliminating cues that might create preconceptions. 


Offer competitive salaries and bonus schemes 

Salary is still the main driver of employee movement – both in and out of an organisation. And while the current economic climate does make it harder to simply offer more money, you need to be thinking about your salary benchmarks and how they align with other competitor organisations.  

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