Procurement is becoming a more strategic function, and it is essential to have a talented procurement team that can effectively manage suppliers, negotiate contracts, and deliver cost savings.

In this blog, we will discuss the best practices for nurturing exceptional people in procurement. We will cover the entire employee lifecycle, starting from recruitment to retention.

The Importance of Exceptional People in Procurement

In procurement, exceptional people are critical to success. They are the ones who can identify cost savings opportunities, manage supplier relationships, and negotiate contracts that benefit the organization.

They also bring diversity to the procurement function. They come from different backgrounds, have varied experiences, and bring unique perspectives to the table. This diversity leads to better decision-making and helps procurement teams identify opportunities that may have otherwise been missed.

Understanding the Employee Lifecycle in Procurement

The employee lifecycle is the process that an employee goes through from recruitment to separation. In procurement, it is essential to understand the employee lifecycle to effectively manage talent. The employee lifecycle consists of several stages, including recruitment, onboarding, training and development, retention, and separation.


The first step in building a talented procurement team is to recruit exceptional people.

Here are some best practices for successful recruiting:

  • Develop a clear job description: A clear job description outlines the responsibilities and requirements of the position. It helps attract candidates who have the necessary skills and experience for the role.
  • Use a variety of recruitment channels: To attract a diverse pool of candidates, use a variety of recruitment channels, including job boards, social media, and employee referrals.
  • Conduct behavioral interviews: Behavioral interviews are a great way to assess a candidate's skills and experience. Ask questions that focus on how the candidate has handled specific situations in the past.
  • Evaluate cultural fit: Cultural fit is essential in procurement. Evaluate whether the candidate's values align with the organization's culture.
  • Provide a positive candidate experience: A positive candidate experience can improve the organization's reputation and attract more candidates in the future.


Once you have recruited exceptional people, the next step is to onboard them effectively.

Onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into the organization, and it can be done effectively by following these steps:

  • Develop an onboarding plan: An onboarding plan outlines the activities and expectations for the new employee's first few weeks on the job.
  • Provide training and support: Provide the new employee with the necessary training and support to perform their job effectively.
  • Assign a mentor: Assign a mentor to the new employee to help them navigate the organization and provide guidance.
  • Set clear expectations: Set clear expectations for the new employee's role and responsibilities.
  • Solicit feedback: Solicit feedback from the new employee on their onboarding experience to improve the process in the future.

Training and Development

Talents want to learn and grow constantly. Having that in mind, you should consider to:

  • Develop a training plan: A training plan outlines the skills and knowledge that the employee needs to develop.
  • Provide ongoing training: Provide ongoing training to ensure that employees stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices.
  • Encourage continuous learning: Encourage employees to take courses, attend conferences, and read industry publications to develop new skills and knowledge.
  • Provide opportunities for cross-functional training: Cross-functional training helps employees understand how procurement impacts other areas of the organization.
  • Measure the effectiveness of training: Measure the effectiveness of training to ensure that employees are developing the necessary skills and knowledge.


Retention is the process of keeping employees engaged and motivated to stay with the organization.

These are some of the ways for retaining exceptional people in procurement:

  • Provide competitive compensation and benefits: To attract and retain top talent you should pay them above average and provide benefits they want and care about.
  • Recognize and reward exceptional performance: Recognize and reward exceptional performance to encourage employees to continue to perform at a high level.
  • Provide opportunities for career growth: Provide opportunities for career growth to keep employees engaged and motivated.
  • Create a positive work environment: Create a positive work environment that promotes collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
  • Solicit feedback: Solicit feedback from employees on their experience working for the organization to identify areas for improvement.

Creating a Culture of Employee Engagement and Retention in Procurement

A positive culture promotes productivity, creativity, and innovation.

Here are some best practices for creating a culture of employee engagement and retention:

  • Develop a clear mission and values: A clear mission and values help employees understand the organization's purpose and goals.
  • Encourage open communication: Encourage open communication between employees and management to promote transparency and trust.
  • Provide opportunities for employee feedback: Provide opportunities for employee timely feedback to identify areas for improvement.
  • Foster a collaborative work environment: Foster a collaborative work environment that promotes teamwork and creativity.
  • Recognize and reward exceptional performance: Recognize and reward exceptional performance to encourage employees to continue to perform at a high level.

Measuring the Success of Talent Management in Procurement

Here are some metrics that can be used to measure the success of talent management in procurement:

  • Employee turnover rate: The employee turnover rate measures the number of employees who leave the organization over a specific period.
  • Time-to-fill: Time-to-fill measures the time it takes to fill a vacant position.
  • Employee engagement: Employee engagement measures the level of employee satisfaction and motivation.
  • Cost savings: Cost savings measures the amount of money saved by the procurement team through effective supplier management and contract negotiation.
  • Supplier performance: Supplier performance measures the performance of the organization's suppliers.

Exceptional people are critical to the success of procurement. By implementing best practices, organizations can build a talented procurement team that drives success.