HR & Procurement – A Match Made in Heaven

HR & Procurement – A Match Made in Heaven

Since writing my previous blog which explored who the rightful “owner” of contingent labor is inside an organisation, I’ve been taking a look at how and why more procurement leaders should be sharing that responsibility with their HR counterparts.

From experience working with a range of different clients I have seen very little integrated working between HR and procurement in the contingent space.  One of the main reasons for this disparity is the way technology has advanced, providing software and tools available for HR that are designed purely to manage people, whereas the procurement tools have evolved to offer management of vendor profiles, contracts, and invoicing.  Many of the integrated working practices in talent management are now shaped by technology, so if HR and Procurement and working from different platforms and applications then it is no wonder that they fail to interconnect very deeply at an operational level.

But as an outsider looking in there is such a natural affinity between the functions.  Both are typically cost centres. Both face similar challenges in getting air time and respect in the C-Suite.  Both need to influence a diverse number of internal stakeholders and both are professions that want to make a more strategic impact on their organizations. 

So what could establishing more concrete links between HR and procurement mean to your business?

  • Closer relationship to organisational effectiveness and risk agenda via HR
  • More pragmatic solutions that balance global and local needs and opportunities
  • Standardisation in some areas, such as contingent contracts and rates etc
  • Stronger focus on commercials and scenario planning
  • More flexible governance and supplier relationships
  • More focus on the tracking of benefits and costs
  • Being able to delve deeper into the cultures and values of suppliers
  • Stronger focus on supplier induction into 'way of working' of parent company

Source: Henley Business School

As the world of work continues to evolve and managing talent across an organisation becomes ever more complex, the issue still remains of who or what it will take to bring HR and procurement together. Stay tuned to my next post which will discuss potential models and ideas around the closer integration of HR and procurement to drive better business outcomes and unlock the value in the talent supply chain.