PSquared – our new personalised talent management programme

PSquared is all about the talent management of procurement and supply chain professionals. At a time when organisations are losing their best employees, investing in your existing capability has never been more important.

We offer a personalised talent management programme, with our rapid capability assessment, talent management framework and coaching experience.

There is a huge opportunity to improve retention and positively impact the bottom line. This is why we have created PSquared.

What is PSquared?

PSquared is a talent management service offering. It’s all about working with organisations to move from a talent acquisition strategy to a talent management strategy. Helping organisations retain their best people and enable existing teams to flourish, significantly reduce the cost of hire and protect the internal customer experience.

PSquared combines the hands-on, practical experience of CPO-level leadership, with recruitment market and client knowledge, insight and expertise.

We understand talent, our collaboration is about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts and PSquared is challenging existing talent practice and a perfect dovetail fit for contemporary talent management thinkers.

We’ve learnt from working in and with many organisations where talent management was a tick box exercise. That’s not what PSquared is about. It’s forward-looking and tuned into the practical challenges of creating and leading great teams. Our engagement style, capability assessment and talent management framework service offering are built with strong talent management foundations, then personalised for each customer than the typical talent one-size-fits-all approach.

How has PSquared come about?

The pandemic has shone a spotlight on talent management challenges.

Skills obsolescence is a nerve-racking reality, so talent management is more important than ever before.

Procurement organisations increasingly face a high level of competition for talent as the demand for talent outstrips supply and the demands and expectations of key stakeholders in organisations continue to grow.

Procurement leaders are challenged more and more to develop strategies that map closely to business priorities.

CPOs invest significant time, cost and effort to find the required level of technical and analytical competencies externally, as well as essential leadership and professional competencies required for executing high-level strategies.

Demand for soft skills, coupled with analytical insight, is where capabilities need to be enhanced further.

Companies that excel at talent management increase their revenues and profits much faster than talent laggards.

As the demand for talent outstrips supply, organisations that do not invest in their existing capability lose their best talent first and incur significant costs to hire replacements if they are able to recruit the new skills required.

The cost of hire is six-nine months of a fully-loaded salary on average.

There are also significant hidden costs and impacts too. None more so than the internal stakeholder impact. You really don’t want to lose your best people. Procurement leaders increasingly talk about customer-centric strategies. As reassuring as that is, losing your best talent hits hard.

Investing in existing capability is a significantly lower cost solution, one which internal key stakeholders and existing team members embrace, and one which will release significant leadership time to focus on the high-priority strategies.

What are the key benefits of PSquared?

The benefits are all about the triple bottom line: People, profit and the planet.

Talented people working together is the catalyst to deliver profitable growth, for the benefit of all stakeholders and customers.

We eliminate talent process complexity, enhance manager coaching styles and capability, motivate great people to stay than leave.

So, we reduce attrition levels, improve employee engagement results, and impact the bottom line positively.

When you experience the customer or stakeholder consequence of losing your best people first and work out the maths to often see as much as a 60% cost of a fully-loaded salary to hire a replacement if indeed you are successful, then add in your personal time and other hidden costs, which takes you away from focusing on the strategic agenda, you know that a change of approach is non-negotiable.

Who would benefit from PSquared’s services?

We can work with any organisation wanting to move from strategy and cost first to people first.

We’re industry sector agnostic. Between us we cover a vast range of geographies and industry sectors and have worked with many procurement and supply chain teams, ranging from startups to world-class.

Contextually, mastering talent management comes down to the challenge of addressing the complex features of the procurement talent market:

  • Its shortage of well-suited applicants
  • The cost of hiring to replace lost talent
  • The gap of current employees’ skills against the capabilities to execute
  • And the increasing importance of digital procurement skills. These are not just about technical skills.

Procurement and supply chain teams must make three critical moves to enable their talent to flourish:

  • The most vital people must be in roles where they can create the most significant value
  • They must be freed from bureaucratic structures designed for a different era
  • And they must be afforded the training and opportunities to continually expand their skills.

We help organisations address both the complex market features and make the critical moves.

How does PSquared work?

Leaders recognise the competitive advantage of talent, yet the talent practises their organisations’ use are often of another era. Ones designed for predictability, traditional ways of working, where lines and boxes define how people are managed.

Our service offering is tailored around people, profit, and the planet. Procurement and supply chain leaders who place equal importance on all three enjoy stronger teams, improved retention levels and enhanced company-wide collaboration.

Firstly, we provide a capability assessment where people, not process comes first. Our approach is forward-looking, focusing on competencies that matter now and in the future. It’s a rapid assessment and includes the development of a competency blueprint for individuals, based around simplicity and business value. When we talk about the competencies we assess being built around the skills of the future, we’re particularly talking about digital, agility, customer centricity and collaborative working.

Secondly, we’ve developed a talent management framework, one which people welcome than fear or dread. An approach that is inclusive and relevant to leaders and their teams who embrace learning and development. An approach that will help CPOs to see how even more of their team can become confidently engaged in developing strategies, than focus on transactional procurement matters.

Tangible bottom-line value add is what we are all about. The framework locks into existing performance management practice yet retains its uniqueness.

In terms of ways of working, we work openly and collaborate at pace. There are no surprises, no black box talent solution. We get to know the team quickly. We actively listen to the team and organisational challenges. As all situations are different, we have the experience to adapt to different cultures and environments, with no loss of authenticity. We believe strongly in situational learning experiences, rather than the chalk and talk approach.

We make talent management engaging.

How can organisations engage PSquared’s services?

For an initial conversation please contact Tom on 07999 007350 or email Tom at or contact David or Rupert directly.

Click here to contact David about how PSquared can support your organisation

About the authors

Tom Lewers has more than 25 years of procurement and supply chain experience, operating at a CPO level for many years and has worked within manufacturing, financial services, technology, insurance, oil and gas and rail industry sectors, at organisations that include Rolls-Royce, Barclays, BT, HP, LV= and Network Rail.

Tom founded Procurement Potential, an advisory services business, that is focused on supporting the success of the CPO and specialising in change and transformation programme leadership, supplier and procurement collaboration strategies, bid support and talent management matters.

Procurement Potential selectively collaborates with other organisations to deliver these services and Procurement Heads is one of those organisations.

Tom Lewers Procurement Potential

Image of procurement recruitment consultant David Hazeldine

David Hazeldine has spent more than 15 years specialising solely in the appointment of Interim, Contract and Temporary candidates and a further 5 years appointing Retained or Exclusive Executive Searches internationally.

David has a deep specialist network of Procurement/Supply Chain/Logistics and Distribution/Change and Transformation practitioners, I regularly partner with FTSE100, FTSE250, SME and PE/VC backed businesses on an international basis and has secured and appointed mandates throughout Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, Australia, South America and the USA and Sub-Saharan Africa. He brings international experience, context and market insight to his clients as well as a network of career interims and those just embarking on that journey.

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