2021 – A New Year Requires New Skills!


Happy New Year!  Now that we have gotten through one of the most challenging years in ALL of our lives, it’s time to look to the future.  In my last blog, I proclaimed 2021 as the “Year of Procurement”.  One of the key focus areas MUST be Talent.  I shared a snapshot of the Post-COVID Value Creating level of Procurement Maturity for the Talent domain:

Post-COVID Value Creating Maturity Level – Talent

  • Strategic Competencies are even more critical, and  professionals are certified experts in those competencies (change management, critical thinking, problem solving, etc.)     
  • To ensure best resources, Strategic Workforce Planning is in place and focuses on Competency Based Talent Management, flexible staffing, and resiliency   
  • Recruiting is significantly expanded beyond local resources as remote work becomes the norm
  • Leads the effort to be an “employer of choice” to allow the best & brightest to thrive and become a competitive advantage
  • Talent is managed as a critical asset and resource and appropriate investments are made

As you review this list, ask yourself if your Procurement organization is there yet?  Most will admit they are not AND will also ask how they can get there.  I’ll take these one by one.

  1. Strategic Competencies  – the roles we are being asked to play as Procurement professionals Post-COVID are more strategic than ever.  We need to be that internal consultant, change agent and strategic business partner.  That is what our stakeholders are demanding of us.  To be capable of playing those roles, our people need a set of skills that go beyond the traditional functional competencies.  Here is a quick list to consider:

We recommend identifying these required competencies and then providing training on these skills.  Each one of these can be “trained” and we would be happy to discuss how to make that happen 😊!

  1. Strategic Workforce Planning – Now is the time to consider what your resource need will be for 2021 and beyond.  Start  by determining the skills you need and evaluate where your skill gaps lie.  Use this information to determine your future resource needs and develop a Recruiting plan to get there. 
  2. Recruiting – Use your Strategic Workforce Plan to develop your recruiting strategy.  The good news is that COVID-19 has made remote work the norm and therefore provides you with new sources to find people.  You no longer need to be restricted to local resources which is great.   Take this opportunity to find the best resources that meet your competency needs anywhere in the world.
  3. Employer of Choice – As noted above, you will have many more options to find the best resources. Keep in mind that other companies will be thinking the same way SO you need to be putting processes in place to ensure that you can retain your best people.  This new normal will provide many more opportunities for your people so do what you can to keep them.
  4. Managed as an Asset – Lastly, if you want your organization to be a competitive advantage for your company you need to manage your people as an asset.  This requires making investments in those assets with an expected return.  Training and development can be the first step in making that investment. 

2021 is a time for a new beginning and with a new year start to think about providing new skills to your people.  It is an investment with an incredible return if done thoughtfully.  If you need any help – we are here.  Happy 2021 and PLEASE stay safe!

Please join in the conversation and let us know what you think . . . . .


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