Competition for experienced purchasing talent is at an all-time high. Purchasing superheroes are out there, but you’ll need to move fast and act decisively to land them. Here are eight tips for improving your odds of not just filling a desk, but finding a proven purchasing professional to add to your team.
1. Understand the Hiring Process
Engage with Human Resources to understand the process they go through when filling open positions.
Most HR teams are busy filling customer-facing positions, therefore, purchasing can take a back seat.
Only when you understand HR’s pain points can you suggest improvements that will benefit your search.
2. Compress the Timeline by Improving the Process
Collaborate with Human Resources to figure out ways to compress their timeline. You can offer to take
on more responsibility for screening resumes; if you are seeing resumes for the first time, 5 days, or in
extreme cases, 10 days after they are received, you’ve likely lost any chance to land a top performer.
3. Create an Ideal Candidate Profile
Figure out the competencies that make up a purchasing superhero in your company, and be explicit that
that is what you are looking for. Specify the education, experience, and technical skills you expect your
ideal candidate to bring – as well as the soft skills and attitude you know are the difference makers.
4. Gather Market Intelligence
Know what the market rates are and your candidate’s expectation for compensation. Also, know where
your company stacks up against the competition in terms of benefits (paid time off, retirement benefits,
health plans). Be aggressive with your offer, don’t try low balling high performers and risk losing out to
another offer or even a counteroffer. Recognize that signing bonuses are becoming the norm.
5. Be Flexible
The best candidates are usually already employed, and you can’t expect them to take a vacation day to
do a screening interview with you. You are going to have to make yourself available for after-hours and
weekend phone interviews if you want to land the top performers that everyone is competing for.
6. Leverage Technology
Sometimes a face-to-face interview can’t be scheduled quickly. That doesn’t mean you have to push the
hiring process back weeks – use video conferencing to schedule the interview ASAP. Also, don’t make
candidates wait for feedback – use text to keep them updated on their progression through the process.
7. Use a Sunset Clause
When making an offer, give candidates a short response window – 24 hours can be sufficient. You have
to prepare them by asking if they can commit without first seeking a counteroffer from their current
employer. If they really want to work for you, they’ll respond in time.
8. Leverage Your Team
Let candidates meet with the superheroes on your team. Remember, high performers aspire to work
with other high performers. Be sure to educate your team members about their role in the process –
they need to help you sell the company and the role, but nothing good comes from being less than.