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Procurement’s Skills Needed for the Digital Age – Martin Smith from Talent Drive

  • 3 min read

Although it may not seem that way as we emerge from Covid-19, the war for talent is just about to get real. The thing is, it’s the war for the right talent. If you’re in a fairly generic, operational procurement role then I HIGHLY recommend you listen to this episode and take ACTION before you find yourself in a role that’s becoming obsolete, thanks to the unstoppable march of technology and automation.

In this episode I’m joined by experienced recruiter Martin Smith of Talent Drive, a UK based recruitment agency specialising in Procurement and Supply Chain roles.

We discuss the impact of Covid-19, immediate and longer term trends as the importance of “bums on seats” in the office from 9 to 5 every day diminishes and as technology plays an ever more important role in how procurement teams achieve their results.

Recruiting Procurement Talent for The Digital Age – Martin Smith from Talent Drive


Martin goes into what the market is likely to look like post-lockdown and how employers will be forced to move with the times if the marketplace for top talent stays competitive.


We explore the impact this could have on salaries and benefits, and how employees could value softer benefits going forward as access to technology and telecommuting becomes the norm.


Will salary become less important as time goes on, as employees tend to value flexibility over remuneration?


I ask Martin his thoughts about fixed-term contracts and the increase of interim managers, as companies become more savvy about having flexible resourcing to cover peaks and troughs in demand and workload on a project-specific basis.


Martin and I go (educated) crystal ball gazing into how procurement organisations of the future may look. If you’re worried about whether your skills are relevant, or if your role could become redundant or obsolete in future, this is something you REALLY need to listen to and define an action plan. A robot may be able to do your job in 10 years time. This is your wake-up call.


We discuss how operational and tactical procurement roles will likely not exist in a few years time in more progressive companies who are focused on added value and driving the business forward, rather than technocratic, process obsessed procurement teams.


I have a bit of a rant about how procurement professionals are still predominantly tied up in non-value added tasks and administrative work! Then I ask Martin about his thoughts on the biggest change in skills that employers will seek from procurement professionals as we go full speed ahead into a digital age, where soft skills and the ability to influence stakeholders will play an ever-increasing role.


We round off the interview looking at how certain roles currently not in procurement may at some point be part of the organisation, and also discuss where procurement’s reporting line is likely to be as we move more into Industry 4.0.


Finally, I ask Martin for his 3 tips of how procurement professionals can improve their relevance (and their employability) in a changing market.

How to connect with Martin:

Talent Drive website

Talent Talks podcast

Martin’s LinkedIn profile

How to connect with James:

James Meads Consulting website

James’ LinkedIn profile

Book a Call with James

Follow The Procuretech Podcast on LinkedIn