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5 Staffing procurement resolutions for 2018

Posted Matthew Dickason, Global Managing Director, Hays Talent Solutions on Thursday, Jan 18, 2018

Blog3_2018staffingJanuary is the one time of the year that you can scroll through any feed and it’s filled with new year’s resolution articles. Whether it be how to improve your fitness routine, how to get that raise, how to save more money or just achieve your goals in general, it’s overwhelming. But unlike many of the ideas in the “new year, new me” articles, we’re trying to keep it as straight-forward (and realistic) as possible. So to kick off the new year here are five staffing procurement changes you can realistically implement in 2018.

1.    Profile and prioritise your stakeholders to improve engagement

Procurement can’t work in a silo and nowhere is this more true than in the staffing category.  To bring functions on board with your processes a simple stakeholder mapping exercise, where you brainstorm who your stakeholders are and their level of power and interest can really make a difference.

Profiling and prioritising stakeholders and their requirements can help you identify and plan for the right level of engagement and communication – for example, who needs an occasional meeting over coffee and who needs a formal monthly catch up to discuss their resourcing and staffing needs.

But if you really want to shift the dial you’ll need to demonstrate expertise, so ensure in preparation you’re aware of the trends impacting staffing in their market, as well as the performance of their key suppliers. By showing how your staffing procurement activity aligns to their business objectives, and that you’ve considered the specifics of their market you can more easily move to a win/win partnership with your internal stakeholders.

2.    Considering raising your rate cards for savings

Now this one may sound madness, how can increasing rates reduce costs? As we see large demand and low supply for talent forcing below market pricing may exacerbate program avoidance, increase misuse of SOW and discourage suppliers. By reviewing market trends and data to align your rates to the market, and by giving trusted suppliers some flexibility to negotiate wages and rates as needed, you develop relationships which deliver real business benefits so there’s no reason for uncompliant overspend.
3.    Ask your suppliers how you could better take advantage of their expertise
Chances are the technology, suppliers and solutions providers you already have in place have capabilities you aren’t using. Maybe you don’t know about them because you didn’t need them before, or maybe they have developed since you first put them in place. Either way be sure to get them in  to discuss your programme and wider business objectives and challenges, where you are now and where you want to go. This openness will allow them the opportunity to talk to you about what else you could be taking advantage of. It may sound scary opening yourself up to being ‘sold to’ but you may find there are things you’re already paying for.

4.    Improve your access to talent by focusing on contingent worker satisfaction
It’s not news to anyone most companies are facing serious sourcing challenges for certain skill sets and this won’t change in 2018. Whilst your company or programme might not be ready for investing in all the tech and tools to support direct sourcing/contingent RPO to better attract this talent, a virtually cost-free way to identify the right action you need to take is making contingent worker satisfaction an active key performance indicator.

We all know the old adage, you can’t manage or improve what you don’t measure. Simply by monitoring performance and satisfaction of contingent workers you will equip your organisation with the information required to improve retention and quality. This may also help the business case for when your business is ready to make the move towards building engaged talent pools with better targeted marketing.

5.    If you make one investment, make it one that means better access and understanding of data

Whether you upskill your existing team or bring in external experts, investing in people, tools and systems that allow you to better understand and analyse the data associated with your staffing is a must.

The increasing digitisation of procurement processes means buyers have more data than ever to help them in negotiations. However, the use of data and analytics in reality is still massively underutilised in staffing, as businesses either don´t have access to relevant data sources or lack expertise when it comes to the actual data science and making sense of it all.

Understandably, many talent professionals are feeling overwhelmed due to the sheer volume of recruitment tools, technologies and data that are appearing on the market every day. We’ve all heard about AI screening and virtual reality tours, but without meaningful data, either to help build the tools in the first case or justify the investment, these tools will fail.

If you focus less on the data and technologies and more on understanding why they’re being used and the context, for example, advanced analytics to better predict high performers or chatbots to provide an enhanced candidate experience in order to better engage talent, you’ll have more chance of realising success.

As a minimum to make sure your approach to staffing procurement moves forward this year as usual it comes back to the basics, identify your objectives, set yourself a plan for how you’ll achieve them, monitor your progress and review and update as needed.


HTS will be hosting a webinar January 25th, 2018 at 12 pm ET. Travis O' Rourke of HTS will be joined by procurement expert Bill Michels of CIPS, the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, as they address your questions and examine how you can align your talent acquisition with your strategic sourcing to ensure a robust candidate pool. Register here.


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