Societal Damnation 51: Talent

In our last post, we addressed the perpetual damnation of talent tightness in Supply Management, exacerbated by pinchpenny’s who will pay a dime-a-dozen salesperson an executive salary but won’t pay a Procurement superstar a warehouse wage; deep-pocket competitors who will double every offer you make; and IT departments that would rather spend big money on new gadgets than on systems Procurement talent needs to do their job.

But that’s just one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is the talent themselves. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on true talent, then the true damnation beings.

Every Generation Wants Something Different.

As per damnation 4 on Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z, at the tip of the iceberg, Generation X wants stability, Generation Y wants unique opportunities, and Generation Z wants to be jacked in. (Not jacked up, jacked in.) Trying to satisfy all of their different desires is like trying to satisfy all of the different requests that will be received on a transatlantic cruise. No easy feat.

Just because they joined, that doesn’t mean they’ll stay.

The average worker today stays at his or her job for 4.4 years, and that number is decreasing all the time. And in some professions, that’s twice as long as the average. If your job isn’t their bees knees, as soon as a competitor comes along with a sweeter offer, your top talent could be out the door.

If they do stay, they’ll want support. And lots of it.

If you promised them training, they’ll expect it. If you promised they could select the new Source to Pay platform, that project better start ASAP and be delivered in a few months. If it was a senior buyer and you promised them a top notch data analyst to give them all the ammunition they needed in negotiation, you better deliver.

And the more support you give, the more they’ll want.

Top talent wants to excel. No matter how good they do, they’ll always want to do better. (That’s why you want them.) But every tool has its limits, and as soon as the limits is reached, they’ll want a better tool. Every technique has a limit to its usefulness, and when that is reached, they’ll want to learn a better technique. And so on. If you deliver, they will deliver, but you have to deliver. And with the CFO, CIO, COO, and maybe even CEO putting policies in place that drag you down every step of the way …

You get the picture. Talent tightness, and an inability to acquire talent, is a damnation, but so is the talent themselves if you manage to get your hands on them. It’s a can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em scenario.