In today’s economic environment, doing what you have always done as a company is no longer acceptable in order to succeed. Within manufacturing, one of the major areas in which we have seen companies look to make changes is supply chain management, and more specifically, in procurement. During my five years of recruiting, I have witnessed first-hand the evolution of supply chain unfold, and I can say, now more than ever, is an exciting time to be in the manufacturing sector.

In some cases, this shift in supply chain can be as simple as taking a proactive approach to purchasing by creating and implementing a new strategy. On the other hand, it can mean full centralization efforts with purchasing being handled at the corporate level. Since it does not make sense for all companies to centralize procurement, some organizations opt for a third design—a hybrid approach with the strategy developed by a corporate leadership team and the execution handled by the facility, business unit, etc.

So what does this mean for you as a candidate or employer? This shift in procurement means employers are looking for the “best in class” talent who can drive these initiatives and implement change. Companies are looking for professionals who have experience developing a strategic procurement plan. And at times, employers have a blank canvas and are looking for the right individual who can come on board and assess the needs of an organization.

As a passive candidate seeking a new opportunity, you have the world at your fingertips. With manufacturing being a candidate-driven market, there is definitely a sense that invaluable talent comes at a premium. The top professionals with whom I work have multiple opportunities on the table, and they tend to choose the company that will provide them a platform for long-term success. If you are considered a company unwilling to employ innovative strategies, your best talent will ultimately seek advanced opportunities elsewhere.

As a recruiter, we add value to our partnerships, because we not only find talent, but gauge their interest and enthusiasm for an opportunity. On the candidate side, I speak to many individuals who are unhappy with their current employer’s view on the importance of purchasing, and they are in search of a progressive opportunity where they can make more of an immediate impact and influence a company’s strategic growth.

Do you work in the manufacturing sector? Have you enacted changes within supply chain and procurement? Share your stories with us below.