The digital transformation is well underway and AI/IoT seems poised to bring revolutionary change to procurement. However, the road will not be easy as the technology is still in its early stages of use; according to Harvard Business Review, just 7% of manufacturers are using it to automate production activities and AI has not been widely adapted in SCM. There will also be many difficulties in adapting to new systems as well as transferring and interpreting legacy data.
Corson comments, “From a hiring perspective some professionals worry that AI will take over the field and eliminate traditional procurement roles; however experts recognize that these difficult systems and implementations will actually create a need for new roles and new subject matter experts. Additionally, many of the functions most critical skill sets like negotiation and personal relationship management cannot be replicated by robots.”
Because of increasing consumer awareness, Corporate Social Responsibility is a key concept for companies of all sizes; a recent survey found that 81% of consumers would make personal sacrifices for environmental and social issues. Making the shift is ethically the right thing to do, but can produce challenges to the supply chain.
“To combat these challenges, a number of the world’s leading corporations are developing niche teams of passionate individuals within their supply chain focused on sustainability and CSR. This quickly developing into its own, in demand, hiring market for both clients and candidates,” Corson adds.
Relationship Management and Engagement
As competition intensifies, suppliers can be more selective who they deal with. Procurement specialists will need to forge and foster relationships to help ensure better deals and more reliable service. They will also need to have strong negotiation skills as well as stay in tune with any market developments that can affect business.
Corson shares her experience recruiting in the industry, “As a specialist recruiter, focused only in one skill set, my team and I recognize that the top procurement professionals distinguish themselves with ‘that little something special’ which goes beyond their experience on paper. Often we add the most value to our clients by pre-screening talented professionals on their ability to communicate, connect, and innovate.”
Recruitment of Future Professionals
Regardless of the way technology and other factors will affect the supply chain, finding and developing talent that can overcome any obstacle is perhaps the biggest struggle. This will not be easy as a recent DHL survey estimates that demand exceeds supply by six to one. Companies must attract supply chain management professionals that can literally and figuratively help them deliver the goods.
“No matter how big machines get, they will always need talented procurement professionals to ensure everything is running smoothly.”
What do you see the biggest challenges to sourcing? We would love to chat with industry professionals who address these challenges on a daily basis. If you represent an organization looking to hire talent in this competeitive landscape, or a professional in search of your next career opportunity, get in touch with Christine Corson and the DSJ Global team today.
DSJ Global is a leading specialist recruitment agency for procurement and supply chain professionals. We know that procurement and supply chain is the critical business driver in any business. We exist to take care of one of the market’s most significant challenges: talent acquisition. Today, we provide contingency, retained search and project-based contract recruitment from our global hubs in London, Berlin, Switzerland, New York and Chicago.
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