Procurement Spark Blog

Upskill to Compete

The Procurement and Supply Chain job boards are up and running – please keep checking in on them, since a lot of new opportunities show up every week. There’s still a lot more that to do to help upgrade, not just your job search, but your skill sets too.

Recently we had a chance to partake in a webinar hosted online by GWPP (Global Women Procurement Professionals) where we addressed the topics of turbocharging your career and career search. This takes on a whole new dimension in the post-pandemic era. Some of the feedback we shared was around the hard and soft skills enhancement that employers find appealing. In the former, beyond just the technical skills around Procurement, being tech-savvy is more important than ever.

For example, becoming proficient with Zoom, Slack, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams is all but mandatory now. Candidates shouldn’t expect training on what are now considered standard tools, so it’s up to them to get comfortable using them. No less critical are other high-tech skills that are affecting jobs today. There are plenty of buzz words to describe these advanced skills: RPA, Big Data, AI, data analytics, and machine learning.

The point is that automation is rapidly changing the required skillsets for procurement and supply chain professionals. It's important to stay abreast of these changes, so that you're best prepared to get found by companies as they relentlessly seek scarce talent.

Another key focus area is building your brand when it comes to writing or creating useful content in your area of expertise. The online world is now over 4 billion people, so view it as a marketplace where you can actively contribute by sharing your unique perspective. This enhanced visibility will lead to speaking and consulting engagements as you demonstrate your area of expertise and develop your niche. This can also extend to volunteering opportunities with non-profits and charitable organizations.

Additionally, it would be smart to pursue industry certifications and take every opportunity to continue online education. There are so many webinars and classes out there that can help candidates hone and keep their skills sharp.  These skills should also help practitioners become better communicators as the Procurement function emphasizes superior communication skills. A compelling storyteller, both written and verbal, will be a prized employee. The ability to sell, present, and collaborate with diverse stakeholders never goes out of style.

If there’s one common refrain we hear from CPOs and CSCOs the past few years, it’s that talent is their biggest challenge. They’re all aware that it’s not going to get any easier, pandemic or not.  While there’s always plenty of labor out there, the right talent continues to remain elusive.