Don’t Make These Hiring Mistakes in Supply Chain and Procurement

April 30, 2024

A bad hire is tremendously expensive. So is failing to hire after putting time and money into a recruitment process. So how do you set yourself up for success? Here’s our take on the most common pitfalls in supply chain hiring, and how to avoid them.

As every hiring manager or HR manager knows, a bad hire is tremendously costly to a business. Many of the costs of a bad hire are only revealed later on–in headaches for senior management, and in the lost resources as part of recruiting and training, not to mention any major mistakes the individual might make. But getting into a hiring process, only to fail to secure the right candidate, is costly as well. Sometimes you have to scrap a search and move on. But it’s worth thinking at the outset of a recruit: what are the possible pitfalls? If we don’t secure the right candidate, what would we wish we had considered? 

At Argentus, it’s our mission to help companies hire better in supply chain management and procurement. As part of that mission, today we’re sharing our experiences about the biggest mistakes that companies tend to make in hiring. 

First of all, what are the costs of a bad hire, or a failure to hire? 

  • Lost financial resources. Executing a hiring process takes thousands of dollars, on average, even when working in-house as opposed to working with a recruiter. 
  • Lost time. Hiring can take weeks to months that a hiring manager will never get back. 
  • Opportunity cost. Companies that fail to hire after beginning the process, or companies that hire the wrong person, lose out on cost savings (in supply chain and procurement) and overall work product that a good hire would bring. 

From our perspective, here are ten of the biggest mistakes that cause companies to fail to hire, despite being highly motivated. These mistakes stop a company from identifying the right candidate, or stop that candidate from actually accepting the job, maybe because of another job offer or other factor.  

1. Being rigid about experience requirements as opposed to overall business acumen.

Sometimes the best candidate for a job hasn’t done that exact job before. Being too conservative, and demanding that candidates meet every single experience requirement, unnecessarily tightens your talent pool. 

2. Over-emphasis on a candidate’s previous job titles.

A job title doesn’t tell the whole story. Some organizations—or industries—are title light. Others are title heavy. If a candidate has the “wrong” previous title but seems otherwise promising, have an initial interview to get a sense of their overall responsibilities. They may align, even if their previous title seems a bit too heavy or too light for the role you’re trying to fill. 

3. Not looking at highly skilled newcomers.

The Ontario Government is banning the practice of requiring Canadian experience in a job posting on human rights grounds. If you refuse to evaluate skilled newcomers to Canada, you won’t just be breaking the law. You’ll also be missing out on a huge talent pool, often with experience at global Fortune 500 companies. 

4. Scheduling too many interview stages.

It’s reasonable to have multiple interview stages, especially for a senior role. But you shouldn’t need an interview with every major stakeholder to make a decision about whether a candidate is right for the job. 

5. Letting vacations and scheduling delays slow down the hiring process.

Sometimes the process languishes because key stakeholders are on vacation, or waiting for schedules to line up. Having a firm timeline to hire at the outset, with clear expectations of availability for all stakeholders, can help ensure that a candidate doesn’t take another job offer while they wait. 

6. Going to market before being ready to hire.

This is the opposite issue: sometimes companies are so eager to hire before they begin the process that they fail to get all the necessary internal budgetary approvals, or align on the key requirements for a role and how it fits into the organization. Once you start interviewing candidates, this lack of alignment can hurt the process. At worst, it might cause you to have to go back to square one later in the process. 

7. Putting candidates in silos.

The best supply chain and procurement professionals break down siloes across an organization to find value and innovation. If you confine a role’s responsibilities to a narrow box, it’s hard to appeal to these game-changing candidates. 

8. Failure to have formal work/life balance or work from home policies.

In a post-pandemic world, the question of work-from-home vs. in-office policies always comes up in an initial conversation. If the policy is ill-defined, or only defined at the last minute, many candidates will run in the other direction. Like with so many things, it’s all about expectations.

9. Failure to research market compensation.

As we blogged about recently, salaries in supply chain and procurement have had a lift. Sometimes companies go to market with salaries that reflect the job market in 2019, rather than 2024. Misaligned salary expectations can send you right back to square one late in the hiring process, so it’s worth taking the time to accurately benchmark your role’s salary before you start interviewing.

10. Failure to recognize it’s a candidate’s market.

Despite years, at this point, of prognostications of a recession, the job market in Canada remains very strong for supply chain and procurement. Candidates are often fielding multiple opportunities at once. Above all, companies set themselves up for success when they respect a candidate’s time, and recognize that they’re a hot commodity. 

If your organization has made some of these mistakes in the past, it’s not the end of the world of course. Hiring is a complex process, and it sometimes gets stymied by factors outside of our control. But hopefully this post sheds some light on common issues that you can account for in your process.

Of course, we’re also happy to clarify any of the above points if you want to have a chat! And if you have any upcoming hiring needs in supply chain management or procurement, reach out to Argentus! Call 416 364 9919 or send an email to


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