Andrew Daley was invited by Philip Ideson from the excellent Art Of Procurement podcast to discuss two of his favourite topics, Talent Attraction and Career Development, both of which should be of interest to the modern Procurement or Spend Management professional.
The Rules Of Talent Attraction should be of particular interest to any hiring manager who is focused on recruiting the best people they can find into their team. It covers key areas like recruitment processes designed to attract as well as assess strong candidates, the supply and demand of various core procurement skills and how to avoid some common recruitment mistakes.
The Strategies & Tactics You Need To Secure Your Dream Procurement Job is geared towards the procurement professionals personal career objectives. Philip and Andrew discuss the importance of networking, how you present yourself to the external job market and what skills you will need to develop to progress your career.
Both interviews have been very well received by the audience and have resulted in some excellent feedback.
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in either interview, please get in touch directly with Andrew via firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to read more about recruitment market conditions – here’s the latest Procurement & Spend Management Quarterly Update.
One of our Directors Peter Brophy has previously worked as Head of Recruitment / Resourcing in organisations such as Rolls-Royce, BDO and Proxima as well as for Manpower the global recruitment and workforce solutions business. He has also worked within specialist Executive Search and Selection recruitment businesses. He has experienced and implemented different recruitment models and processes across a number of sectors at a senior level giving a deep insight into the strengths and weaknesses of these from both sides of the fence.
Here he offers his expert opinion on the merits of the various recruitment models available to large organisations.
Why A Quality Focus To Recruitment Makes A Difference
One of our key clients is a rapidly growing Spend Management Company that is gaining market share because of the quality of both its product and its people.
It recognises that to attract the best talent and to retain its staff it has to give them exciting career paths, and needs to send a clear message to the market place so that talented individuals understand the opportunities they can provide.
They understand the value that we can bring by acting as their ‘ambassadors’ in the market and the value we add by both Talent Identification and also by how we present a consistent and compelling message about their business.
They have invested considerable time with us to jointly build the relationship so that we fully understand their business and the skills and attributes they require and the kinds of opportunities they offer. They recognise that they need an external partner who can sell their brand and position them well and not just source CV’s. They need a business that really understands a very competitive candidate marketplace.
How Does This Approach Make A Difference?
For one Senior Consultant role we had two offers rejected – one was very aggressively counter offered by their current employer and the other candidate was offered £10k more basic salary elsewhere.
We realised that market conditions may have changed so we undertook some salary benchmarking research on their behalf.
It is easy and all too common for recruiters to drive salary increases and to claim that a client needs to raise their pay bands – we will always advise a client based on real data so that they can make an informed decision.
In this situation based on our research and a full open discussion with the client they reviewed and raised their basic salaries and with them we refined the message we took to the market – the role has now successfully been filled as a result.
Based on this success this approach was adopted further and we have since successfully filled a number of other roles and have candidates in reserve for future appointments such as:
- Account Manager
- Pre- Sales Director
- Senior Analyst
We are currently working on four more roles for this client
It is clearly a success story for us and the client. It proves that even when facing incredibly competitive market conditions because we work together and they trust our advice we have some superb recruitment success and have together driven and produced market leading KPI’s
- Our interview to offer rate this year of 75%.
- Our interview to appointment rate this year is 50%
- Our interview to appointment rate since our client realigned their salary bands using our research is 80%
The Lesson Learnt?
If your organisation achieved these levels of performance in your recruitment process how much time and money would be saved?
Yes we usually cost more than those rates typically quoted on many PSL’s but our value and advice on key issues like process, salary, availability of relevant skills and market conditions makes a significant difference to the actual cost.
Equally our expertise is understood and recognised by candidates and this allows us to influence and persuade the best people to consider leaving their current jobs to join a new team when others may not. Detailed sector knowledge is critical, particularly in a job market like procurement technology.
Ultimately to save time and money and to add real value, you must invest time together with a business that knows the market. We seek to understand your recruitment challenges and give credible advice so that we can deliver candidates that fit your brief.
So ask yourself this, do you want a low price/high volume option for your recruitment or do you want value and a source of competitive advantage?
If it’s the latter, I look forward to hearing from you.
Client brief & Objective
We were engaged by the HR Director of a Fortune 500 organisation to help them identify an outstanding candidate for their newly created European Supply Chain Director position.
The challenge was that the position could be based in any one of five countries in Europe necessitating a broad geographical Search and potentially time consuming candidate and identification selection process.
Our Methodology And Solution
The client detailed their criteria, objectives, timescales for the position and we gave our advice on a suitable process by identifying:
- the recruitment market conditions for the desired skill set
- salary differentials across the five possible locations.
We then designed and proposed a solution to meet their specific criteria which had the following key activities to produce an initial long list of candidates
- Searching our existing database of procurement and supply chain professionals
- Networking across a wide range of contacts in each of the local markets where this person could be based: France, Denmark, UK, Italy or Germany
- Use of online research tools to research specific target organisations
After the initial screening the best candidates were then to use an online video interviewing tool to record their answer to the same standard questions. These question were agreed between ourselves and the client in advance.
Their responses were then used to jointly create a shortlist for face to face interviews with the European VP and HR Director.
These have proved to be excellent for sifting when undertaking senior leadership appointments and are particularly effective for international appointments across different locations as it significantly reduces the time and expense required and actually increases candidate engagement with the process.
Eight candidates recorded video interviews, five of which were invited for face to face interviews in the UK.
After face to face interviews with the European MD and HR Directors, the chosen candidate was offered the role and accepted despite a strong counter offer due to the relationship that had been built.
The process was a great success and took up far less senior management time than the client had anticipated.
Our client had never used video interview facilities in this way before, but they will do so again in the future.
The Key Benefits For Our Client
- This project was delivered on an exclusive contingency basis, de-risking it for our client
- Approximately 10 hours interviewing time was saved plus associated travelling time & costs for the two senior executives.
- Three candidates were ruled out upfront by the video interviews
- This equates to 16 flights across Europe costing roughly £5000
- We used several different candidate sourcing processes to maximise interest in the role across Europe resulting in an outstanding shortlist (see client comments below)
Here’s the note sent to Andrew Daley by the HR Director upon completion of the process:
Just a last note to say a big thank you for your support.
XXXX (the European MD) and I were really impressed by your responsiveness, the calibre of the shortlist and of course the result.
Here’s an excerpt from our Procurement Quarterly Market Update for the second quarter of 2015.
The second quarter of the year brought a UK general election and further concern about the economic stability of the Eurozone. At Edbury Daley, we saw a drop in the number of new procurement vacancies coming to the market prior to the election. With opinion polls predicting a hung parliament and political commentators speculating on which parties would be capable of striking a marriage of convenience to create a majority, uncertainty was rife in the business world.
For many businesses that uncertainty manifested itself in delayed hiring decisions with positions pulled or postponed. The unexpected Conservative majority provided a considerable boost to business confidence but also introduced the prospect of a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. For those businesses reliant on trade across EU member states a new uncertainty was created by the Conservative manifesto.
The wider economic landscape had a filtering effect on those business looking to hire. Those truly committed to expansion still went ahead and searched the market for the procurement people they needed. The more tentative recruiters drew back and waited. The impact at Edbury Daley was a surge in conversion from job instruction to placement.
Those businesses which still hired enjoyed the benefit of a window of opportunity whereby the strongest candidates briefly had slightly fewer potential career moves to choose from. Coupled with our advice on salary and talent attraction they were able to strengthen their procurement team during Q2.
The more tentative recruiters made little progress with sluggish recruitment processes and weak financial offers to the strongest candidates leading to offer rejection. The candidate market proved too competitive for those businesses unable to adapt to changing conditions and many still have unfilled vacancies that are months old. Specifically, these business recruitment processes’ were too cumbersome with excessive timescales and too many interview stages which results in a poor candidate experience. Several also suffered from wider company issues such as hiring freezes and changing corporate goals.
To address this issue directly, Edbury Daley conducted a survey amongst one hundred procurement professionals gauging their response to various components to a typical corporate recruitment process. Using the results as a basis for best practice, we have advised a number of clients who have been agile enough to implement a number of changes to improve their time to hire. You can see the results here. Procurement leaders who had endured multiple offers and rejections over the past six months are now getting the people they need in to the team.
The overall picture remains that the very best performers in procurement are hard to attract away from their existing employers. Post recession, businesses are more willing to provide basic salary increases and bonus payments to their best people. In addition, we are witnessing an increase in the counter offer on resignation. This last ditch attempt by the current employer is often too late to prevent the valued member of the team leaving but is a clear indication of the perceived difficulty of recruiting a high quality replacement. This trend is seen in the wider jobs market:
“our own survey indicates that three-quarters of organisations have struggled with recruitment challenges in the last year, particularly when filling skilled or niche roles” Mark Beatson, Chief Economist at the CIPD
If you would like to receive a copy of the full report please contact Simon Edbury via email@example.com