« Innovation: creativity within financial constraints is the key | Main | The Campbell chronicles: an exclusive interview »

Jun 01, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The article is a great read! Thanks very much for the insights on the recent trends in career opportunities and hiring initiatives in the sourcing industry.

Pick up a rock and you'll find an executive recruiter . There are many very good recruiters in the business. Nevertheless, what is unique about Larry Jannis is his 100% focus on the outsourcing market and the long time relationships he has built with all the players in the business. But what I admire most about Larry is his marketing and branding skills which are world class for any industry . Larry has built a personal brand that no other recruiter has been able to match.


Rebecca makes a very good point about ineffective communication.

Having led a sizable outsourcing initiative for a Fortune 50 company, I also feel that the following lessons learned might be valuable for all of us, whether we are on the client's Governance team or on the outsourcing company's team:

1. Service comes first in a Service business
2. Wow your customer
3. Deliver on commitments with a sense of urgency
4. Take charge
5. …… but ask for help
6. No upward delegation
7. Complete staff work
8. Collaborative versus combative relationship
9. Always take the high road
10. No finger pointing
11. Support employee engagement and team building activities
12. Be organized
13. Help drive improvement in systems and processes
14. Drive a Quality mindset across the value stream
15. Adaptability and flexibility to change
16. Take ownership of your career and personal development
17. Highest level of integrity and ethics
18. Finally, even though we may have two Masters; we serve one common customer

Great interview, gentlemen! I've also recruited BPO, procurement and SCM roles for about 13 years and strongly agree with most of Larry's observations with perhaps one exception. I have personally seen cuts at Big 5 firms that have run much deeper than merely "changing out the underperformers", but that have also affected the performers as well. While I don't have enough data from across all sectors to make more than just an anecdotal observation, I've definitely seen high quality mid-senior level sourcing execs displaced and their duties distributed to less experienced staff. In some cases, companies have clearly taken advantage of the Recession in order to affect strategic change in their sourcing departments leaving key positions unfilled for extended periods of time (and not just to lower their cost), while others have indeed needed to reduce headcount to meet c-suite mandates on departmental cost reduction. I do expect organizations will be seeking high-quality/highly-experienced sourcing talent again as the rebound continues - although departments may remain leaner for quite some time (all the more reason for them to make hiring for quality their top criteria).

Footnote - a couple bright spots where companies have continued to actively recruit have been in Federal Government BPO and Defense contracting, and in raw materials commodity management (energy, food, chemicals...).

Hi Phil, great blog - I read it regularly even if this is the first time I post a reply. On the topic of talent management in sourcing, I have the feeling that companies have underinvested in the area of training for the soft skills required to manage sourcing relationships - namely communications, cross-cultural psychology and foreign languages. If you want to succeed in being a strong sourcing manager, you will need these soft skills more and more - but very often sourcing management gets handed over to project managers with quantitative skills who lack communication skills. We should encourage end users and providers alike to set up more of these soft skills training. As you know in the world of offshore sourcing projects often fail because of ineffective communications.

What a great idea -- Larry interviews Phil, now Phil interviews Larry! Both have a lot of great insight and advice to offer to the sourcing community. Thanks guys!

A brilliant post! I was working on contract with a consultancy for a while - but then things started slowing down. So, I took a completely different approach - I started a job board for procurement professionals. Now I'm hoping to help others out of "the fix" I found myself in.

Regards, Ben Sorensen

Now I know why I’m connected to Larry on Plaxo, without having met him, what a networker!

I’ve recently been thinking and writing about the opportunity that the current recession provides for sourcing professionals. I began my outsourcing career in the recession at the start of the 90s, and I guess I got lucky – a growing outsourcing business is an amazing place to start your career and learn your trade.

In amongst all the doom and gloom of the recession, there are real opportunities for sourcing professionals to shine. Many people will define their careers helping their organisations respond innovatively to sourcing issues over the coming months. And the stars will be at all levels – not just the leaders that make it into Larry’s black book.

One of the key aspects of a career in sourcing is that it is necessarily marked by surprises and dislocations. No person is wholly in charge of their destiny in this industry. This can lead to some uncomfortable times, as I know some readers of this column are facing. But despite the cost pressures, organisations need our skills and experience now. They may not want to spend top-dollar on consultants, but they need structure and rigour in the way that they approach their sourcing decisions, otherwise they will waste much more than they save. This is where the opportunity lies for all of us.

Great post, many organizations are looking for niche talent in the sourcing arena. In this challenging economy you must show value. You must know your viewing audience when submitting your resume.

jay hofmeister

The comments to this entry are closed.

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Follow me on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter


    My Photo