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4 ways to welcome women into procurement

By Scott Dance, Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain

The value of procurement is becoming increasingly recognised, creating more opportunities for talented professionals. While this is a great sign of the health of the industry, demand for procurement experts is often outstripping supply, leaving many employers with a severe shortage of skilled staff.

In the Hays Ireland Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide, 75% of employers said they have experienced skills shortages in the last year, impacting on productivity and stretching teams to their limits.

To meet the challenge, we advise employers to consider casting a wider net outside of their ‘normal’ recruitment circles when searching for procurement professionals. One of the most untapped resources, is that of female professionals.

Start diversifying your teams

Hiring more women into procurement will create a more positive, diverse and equal working environment. This, in turn, will encourage greater innovation, better financial performance, improved candidate attraction and a boost to workplace culture ultimately leading to increased chances of staff retention.

But what can you do to encourage more women to apply to your organisation? There a number of factors considered more important to women than men when searching for a new role. Getting these right can help your organisation to stand out against the competition and encourage more women to apply for your roles.

1. Balance your Salaries

Salary is always an important issue, and as it stands procurement has pay gaps that it needs to overcome, especially in more senior positions. Increasing awareness of this disparity may be contributing to a greater percentage of women than men saying salary is their top most important factor when considering a new role.

Undertake salary benchmarking to make sure salary offering is in line with others in the market and is competitive enough to attract the talent you need.

2. Offer career progression, training and development

Career development is highly important to procurement professionals. Any investment your organisation makes towards training can be a big asset when trying to recruit more women into your workforce, so be sure to promote this clearly when promoting your available role.

3. Refine your company’s reputation

Be clear on the brand values of your organisation and ensure your team embody these values in their day-to-day work. Invest enough time to build a positive reputation and make your brand values clear on your organisation’s website. Also, make sure your hiring managers are comfortable discussing your brand values at interview so that candidates are fully aware at this crucial decision-making stage.

4. Consider location

Many women working in procurement say that location is an important factor to them when considering a new role. When advertising for the role, be upfront about where it will be located. If you don’t already, consider offering flexible working opportunities to make your role more attractive to those who might otherwise be put off by the commute.

Improving diversity in procurement will prove to be an important aspect of overcoming growing skills shortages. Adapt your recruiting strategy accordingly to alleviate skills gaps in your organisation and help to build a pipeline of diverse talent for the future.

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant

About this author

Scott joined Hays in 2002 as a Trainee Consultant, and is now Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain. With over 15 years’ experience, Scott advises clients on workforce management solutions, works with the industry institute CIPS as a trusted knowledge partner, and provides strategic leadership to Hays’ procurement and supply chain recruitment experts.

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