Should HR and procurement work together?

Business concept: computer keyboard with word Procurement Management on enter button background, 3d renderProcurement professionals have the skills needed to support the business and help it achieve its vision while HR professionals have the skills to develop an HR strategy that works for the department, whether that’s recruitment, benefits, reward, or training and development.

Procurement professionals try to add value to other areas of the business but sometimes HR professionals can feel restricted by not having a personal relationship with the supplier.

It is at this point you should begin the dialogue between both departments because all too often, HR and Procurement professionals seem to be speaking completely different languages. But the question shouldn’t be, “Should HR and procurement work together?” but “What’s the best way to get the two teams to work together to get the best results?”


What could better links between HR and Procurement mean?
  • Closer relationship to organisational effectiveness
  • More pragmatic solutions that balance global and local needs and opportunities
  • Standardisation in some areas, such as contingent contracts and rates, etc
  • Stronger focus on commercials and scenario planning
  • More flexible governance and supplier relationships
  • More focus on the tracking of benefits and costs
  • Being able to delve deeper into the cultures and values of suppliers
  • Stronger focus on supplier induction into ‘way of working’ of parent company

Source: Henley Business School



 Tips for promoting collaboration between HR and procurement

Both HR and Procurement need to understand each other better and their respective objectives to become partners.

In our experience, the best way to get the most out of HR and Procurement working together is to appoint a key contact/relationship manager for each initiative who is then responsible for the success of the initiative, and therefore getting key stakeholders, decision makers and influencers involved.

Have regular face-to-face meetings, conference calls or one-to-one meetings with people from each department to share challenges, pool ideas, share knowledge, and enable the different teams to get to know each other.

Agreeing on a set of key objectives which links into both teams’ performance can also be highly effective; that way both teams look to support each other where possible and help move procurement away from focusing purely on the cost of buying something towards buying the best HR programme that meets the organisations objectives.


Collaboration between HR and Procurement is the future, and businesses should look to drive this spirit into the heart of every organisation. In our work with a range of companies, we find that our services, whether they be employee benefits, recognition schemes, incentives or communication of key business messages, have vastly different results, which is invariably due to how closely HR and Procurement work together.


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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