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How does an organization attract and retain skilled contract managers?

In the previous newsletter, we wrote about how important it is that organizations can attract and retain skilled contract managers. In that context, we made a questionnaire survey, and the topic was also taken up in our network, NSCCM Professionals. In the Network, we had a visit from Lars Kjærulf, Director Randstad Inhouse Services, specializing in recruitment and retention.

How does an organization attract and retain skilled contract managers?

We have collected 10 important points which, according to our survey and network members' opinion, should be the focus of every management and CM organization that wants to attract and retain the necessary resources - and which at the same time contribute to improving the organization's contract management and create a healthy contract management organization.

These points are confirmed by independent research.* If too many of the points below are not met, there is a clear tendency for organizations to be unable to recruit and retain skilled contract managers - and thus the chance of achieving the desired goals in the contracts.


Top-10 for recruiting and retaining skilled contract managers:

1. Leadership, mandate, and budget: Does the CM function have a clear leadership, has the CM function been given the necessary mandate as well as a sufficient budget?


2. Have clear goals been set for the CM function, with key indicators for good performance, a vision, mission, and a strategy as well as rules for reporting to relevant stakeholders including executive management?


3. Are roles and responsibilities for contract managers, business areas, legal etc. clearly defined and are the necessary adjustments made along the way?


4. Does the CM function have the necessary tools to create effective contract management, including the necessary software systems (Contract Life-cycle Management Software etc.)?


5. Does the organization understand what role and function it has in connection with contract management, and is there effective communication and coordination between the various organizational areas?


6. Do employees and management understand and recognize what contract management is (mindset and culture), and the work that contract managers must therefore necessarily perform?


7. Does the organizational culture support open and constructive collaboration, information exchange and teamwork around contracts?


8. Are all relevant parts in the organization motivated to improve cooperation around contracts, and does this happen in a constructive and non-biased atmosphere, a "no-blame culture" with a focus on quality improvement and development?


9. Do employees and contract managers have access to information about and training in contract management, including a "single point of contact" (e.g. a person or a page on the intranet) they can contact if they are in doubt or have questions?


10. Do contract managers have a coach or a mentor they can liaise with, a management and C-level that backs them up, a clear career path with opportunities for advancement and training and (at least) market-compliant salary and employment conditions?


If the above is not in focus, a clear tendency is seen that the work around contracts becomes more difficult, employee happiness is deteriorating and that in the end contract managers look to other organizations where the above is in place.


You can read more about what contract management is here.


*Literature: See e.g. WorldCC, Benchmarking reports 2021 and 2023; Garrett & Rendon: Contract Management. Organizational Assessment Tool (2005).

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