The benefits of experienced hires

Data released by the Office for National Statistics in February showed that a record number of people moved out of “economic inactivity” – which is defined as people not looking for employment between July and December 2022, as more got jobs.

Fuelling this was people within the 16-24 and 50-64-year-old age brackets – with the latter group leading to the “great unretirement trend” emerging.

Helen Morrissey, Head of Pension Analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown, said, “The great unretirement helped drive a record number of people back to work in the year to October-December.”

Data from CareerBuilder shows the average length of time spent in a role, by generation is:

  • Baby Boomers (57-75 years old) 8 years, 3 months
  • Gen X (41-56 years old) 5 years, 2 months
  • Millennials (25-40 years old) 2 years, 9 months
  • Gen Z (6-24 years old) 2 years, 3 months

Experienced hires can bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, and contacts to a company, as well as positively impact company culture, mentor other employees, and hit the ground running.

Experience brings valuable skills and knowledge

First and foremost, experienced hires bring valuable skills and knowledge to a company. 

They have likely spent years honing their procurement craft, which means they have specialised knowledge and skills that can benefit a company. 

For example, a Procurement Manager with eight years of experience will likely have a deep network, understanding of negotiation, strategic thinking, analytical skills, project management and communication that a less experienced peer might not have.

This can lead to higher-quality work and more efficient processes.

In a period of much change and uncertainty due to COVID, macroeconomic pressures and geopolitical crises, the importance of a safe and dependable pair of hands in your team is invaluable. 

What’s more, many of our clients have spoken of the impact on learning and development that the last three years have had on procurement professionals at the early stages of their career – a more experienced hire can prove to be a true asset to not only plug the knowledge gap but also to impart valuable experience and wisdom to the wider team.

Experienced hires can contribute to company culture

Additionally, experienced hires can bring a different perspective to a company’s culture.

They may have worked at other companies or in different industries, which means they can bring fresh ideas and ways of thinking to a company.

This can help a company innovate and stay ahead of the curve.

Experienced hires may also have a strong sense of professionalism and work ethic that can positively impact the culture of a company.

Experienced hires can mentor and lead others

Another benefit of hiring experienced professionals is that they can mentor and lead other employees.

Because of their experience, they can be valuable resources for younger or less experienced employees across the procurement function.

They may be able to share their knowledge and expertise, provide guidance on difficult projects or problems, and serve as role models for other employees.

This can help to develop the skills and careers of other employees, which can ultimately benefit the company as a whole.

Experienced hires can bring a network of contacts

Experienced hires can also bring a network of contacts to a company.

They may have worked with other professionals in their industry or have built up a network of contacts through conferences, industry events, or social media.

This can be incredibly valuable for a company’s business development or hiring efforts.

For example, an experienced hire in sales may have connections with potential clients or customers that the company could leverage to grow its business.

Finally, experienced hires can hit the ground running.

Because of their experience, they are often able to quickly adapt to new environments and begin contributing right away.

This can be especially valuable for companies that are experiencing rapid growth or need to quickly fill a procurement role.

An experienced hire can step in and start making a difference from day one.

Case study

The Consumer team at Procurement Heads recently supported a business going through a period of investment and scaling.

The client needed a procurement expert with a combination of personality and experience to establish and develop procurement’s role in delivering the business’ overall strategy.

The client seemed to respond more positively to certain profiles that could potentially bring a fresh perspective to the team.

Interestingly, the client offered the role to two candidates of this profile – both of whom chose to join different businesses for a more dynamic role in the big city.

The story does have a good ending!

After meeting a candidate with a wealth of experience across a variety of businesses and sectors, who had been getting frustrating feedback from interviews regarding “cultural fit”, the client instantly felt at ease and extremely confident in the candidate’s ability to bring a safe pair of hands to a business-critical procurement role.

The more experienced candidate, who had successfully navigated and thrived in similar environments, was excited to do what they did best and didn’t hesitate to join the business.

The wealth of experience and calm approach to a seemingly chaotic environment was a testament to the fact that experience trumps potential – especially when the recruitment job market is so candidate-led!

Of course, there are also potential drawbacks to hiring experienced professionals.

They may come with higher salary expectations, for example, however, these drawbacks are generally outweighed by the benefits that experienced hires can bring to a company.

In order to successfully hire experienced professionals, companies should focus on creating a culture that values experience and expertise.

This can mean offering competitive salaries and benefits, providing opportunities for professional development and growth, and fostering a culture of collaboration and mentorship.

Hiring experienced procurement professionals can be an incredibly valuable decision for any company.

They can bring specialised skills and knowledge, positively impact company culture, mentor and lead other employees, bring a network of contacts, and hit the ground running.

Companies that prioritise experience and expertise in their hiring process are more likely to succeed and grow over the long term.

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