CIPS: Hybrid working in procurement grows in popularity

According to CIPS, hybrid working can support the procurement industry by widening the talent pool and keeping in touch with employee expectations

Across industries, hybrid working is becoming a welcome part of the new normal. Survey results show that this cultural shift is welcome in procurement, as the industry struggles to source new talent. 

Procurement leaders believe the pandemic has created a permanent hybrid working model

Consulting company Gartner said that it was essential for procurement businesses to provide hybrid working models to maintain their competitiveness. In a survey conducted by the company, results showed:

  • 61% of supply chain leaders believed the pandemic had created a permanent hybrid-working model in procurement teams
  • 62% said they were currently investing in providing policy and communication tools for seamless in-person and remote work relationships to aid hybrid working
  • 56% said they were investing mainly to enable flexible work

According to the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2022 guide:

  • 42% of employers who hire supply chain and logistics professionals said they will be offering hybrid working options to staff
  • 32% said they won’t
  • 26% said they were either unsure or still reviewing their decision

Hybrid working can solve procurement talent shortfall

Suzie Petrusic, Director of Research with the Gartner Supply Chain practice, knows that supply chain leaders must take note of the new expectations of their employees.

“In an environment of talent and labour shortage, supply chain leaders anticipate employee expectations to become more demanding and feel that they must prepare to meet those expectations – or lose to competitors that do,” said Petrusic. 

“Companies can invest in technology to reduce their reliance on humans for frontline operational execution, where work is most inflexible, and they can find ways to increase frontline worker flexibility,” added Petrusic.

Fabrice Lebecq, Regional Managing Partner of the Industrial Practice across EMEA at recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles', is aware that talent availability is a major issue within the supply chain and procurement industries.

“We think both hybrid work and on-demand talent will sharply increase in the near future to meet the talent needs in supply chain roles,” said Lebecq. 

“Enabling hybrid working practices can widen the talent pool as it gives people more flexibility. It is important to bear in mind that accountability is vital in the supply chain function given the endless disruptions that businesses are facing. Organisations need to ensure that accountability is not diminished by new ways of working, be it hybrid or on-demand talent. The lines of accountability within teams must remain clear even if they are not together in-person full time,” added Lebecq.


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