In the frantic world of software development, recruiters are extremely aware that developers are increasingly prioritizing the technology stack they’ll be working with when choosing an employer.
A survey involving 80,000 respondents by stackoverflow found that 54% of developers said “programming languages, frameworks, and other technologies” were their biggest criteria when job-seeking. Working with the latest technology is seen as more important than the traditional EVP factors; salary, perks, team culture, values. Software companies of every size cannot hope to compete for top talent unless they stay constantly on the technological front-foot.
Reading this report led me to wonder about how this trend may translate into the procurement and supply management professions. Can hiring organizations expect future candidates to quiz them about their current #procuretech or #supplychain tech stack? Will the technology offered one day become more important than salary?
It’s an interesting idea and something that CPOs should be taking into account when building their technology strategies.
Why do candidates value working with the latest tech?
What is so attractive about working with cutting-edge technology? The procurement technology market is booming, from the big cloud-based software platforms to smaller players offering AI-based process automation, sophisticated spend analytics, cognitive procurement, blockchain-based P2P, and assisted stakeholder relationship management (procurement chatbots).
I can see four key reasons why procurement and supply management professionals will increasingly gravitate towards employers with the latest technology.
- It’s important for career development and employability. In software development, you will rapidly become unemployable if you are not familiar with the latest programming languages. The same concept applies in procurement and supply chain. For example, a skilled professional who can confidently run a manual sourcing process but has never felt the need to understand source-to-pay software may find themselves struggling to find a new role.
- Technology makes employees’ jobs easier. If you were a procurement analyst considering two near-identical offers from competing employers, which would you choose: a company with spreadsheet-based systems where a compliance report takes over a week to complete, or a company leveraging the latest, AI-enabled spend analytics suite that can do the same job at the touch of a button?
- Technology makes employees look better. Think about the best employee in your team. In all likelihood, the reason they’re so great at their job is because they have access to the latest technology, and know how to use it to get results. Although there will always be a need for the human, ‘craft’ side of the profession, it’s undeniable that #procuretech helps us move faster, smarter, and access deeper insights than ever before. Importantly, technology amplifies the impact a procurement professional can make in the business.
- Technology frees up employee time. What would you do with your time if your manual/tactical tasks were automated? Perhaps you would spend more time on strategic projects, or on tasks that make a positive difference such as environmental or social procurement. I can see the potential for this to become a major reason for employee attrition in the future – procurement professionals will ask themselves why they are spending multiple hours on a manual task at company A when the same thing is automated at company B.
How to turn your technology stack into a hiring magnet
If your organization has invested in a leading-edge #procuretech stack as part of your ongoing digital transformation, don’t make the mistake of keeping it a secret. Shout it from the rooftops to attract top candidates. New hires should not have to wait until their first day to discover the technology they will be working with.
While many job ads will include tech knowledge as a requirement for applicants, hiring organizations often fail to take the opportunity to include a paragraph that “sells” or markets their tech stack as part of their EVP.
Consider creating content (videos or blog articles) about your #procuretech to publish on your careers page or on social media. Finally, be sure to talk about technology (as a selling point) at the job interview stage and demonstrate how it will make the candidate’s job easier.