What Is The War On Talent?

Posted on May 13, 2023


Sixteen years after my first article on procurement talent, why is there still a “talent war?”

Response to a timely article by Iain Campbell McKenna

In 2006 Geraint John‘s CPO Agenda Roundtable had execs from NestléDanoneBritish Airways & Merrill Lynch meet to discuss the future of procurement. – https://bit.ly/3LrUlkT

One consensus that got my attention was the exec belief that: “One strategic business thinker with the right skills and capabilities is worth 10 or 12 of your normal, run-of-the-mill purchasing people.”

Fast forward 5 years, and while the view of procurement’s role had evolved, “the prevailing image of purchasing professionals” didn’t, as many execs still believed that “buyers are little more than disposable cogs.” – https://bit.ly/3VSbbMN

Jump ahead 4 years, and we begin to see emerging tech’s impact on procurement, e.g., “The purchasing department headcount of the service organization that had previously managed MRO purchases was reduced from 23 down to 3.” – https://bit.ly/42uhfgS

A follow-up article titled “The Face of Generation Next” a year later showed how the new procurement pros had “upped their game” to become strategic thinkers. – https://bit.ly/41rLwfc

Here is the question – is the problem a paucity of talent, or is it the fact that we still use the same hiring practices to identify and assess talent?

Posted in: Commentary