Finding the right talents for a procurement team is no mean feat, but if you manage to secure the best talents who work well together, your procurement management efforts will pay off handsomely. When hiring talents for a procurement team, it’s important to take a hands-on approach to the hiring process and focus on the talent themselves – it is a well-known fact that the biggest assets of a company are its people. In the area of procurement, a lot of emphasis is placed on cost reductions and value-adding as companies increasingly focus on bringing in higher profits while keeping overheads low. Naturally, the procurement team must understand this key priority and be able to meet management’s expectations. Knowing this, it’s imperative to lay the foundations for building the best and the brightest of procurement teams. So, what exactly are the attributes to look out for when determining the next-generation of procurement talents for the company?
Look for good financial acumen
Contrary to popular belief, finance isn’t the only department that manages the company budget. As the department responsible for purchasing, a big part of a procurement professional’s role involves negotiating with suppliers to secure quality goods and services for the company at the lowest possible prices. To carry this responsibility well, the candidate should be able to evaluate the supplier’s performance, assess the company budget, and manage financial risks in procurement to determine whether the supplier’s products and services are meet the expectations of the company in all considerations. The true value of procurement data is only realised when procurement professionals can glean the insight and information behind the data and use the findings to aid decision-making for procurement. Because procurement management is a fairly new area for the younger generation, talents with good financial acumen are few and far between. To close this skill gap, recruiters can look to financial analysts, who are adept at handling cash flows and budget-related matters, to bolster the strength of the procurement team.
Emphasise solid analytical skills
The use of eProcurement software is fast gaining ground in the area of procurement management today. This highlights the need for procurement professionals that are well-versed in analytics to optimise the many capabilities of the software. The ability to glean actionable insights from reports generated by eProcurement software is vital to make better procurement decisions that strengthen the company budget. Procurement teams should understand qualitative and quantitative supplier data analysis and use them to pinpoint opportunities and manage risks in procurement operations. Procurement management candidates should also be able to understand data in procurement reports and translate it into information to produce actionable results. The data made available to the procurement team can be used to improve procurement operations, improve strategies and plans to manage suppliers, and enhance procurement management efforts. Data analysis skills are a must-have in every procurement professional worth their salt, and something that hiring managers should look out for when selecting talents for procurement teams.
Seek out relationship builders
As a procurement professional, it’s important to be able to connect with others, especially suppliers and stakeholders. The procurement team is very much in the front line, and is expected to liaise with multiple internal and external stakeholders across the business. Therefore, procurement professionals must have the tact and diplomacy of a good communicator. They are, ideally, people-persons and individuals with likeable personalities. Good communication skills are necessary to facilitate procurement deal negotiations with suppliers, and play a big role when influencing upper management to support procurement plans. Earning your suppliers’ trust by constantly communicating, listening to their concerns and suggestions, and involving them in the procurement process helps to form firm business relationships and makes them vested business partners. Look for candidates who practice active listening, take a keen interest in their roles and responsibilities, and are courteous and pleasant. Ask candidates about their experiences in negotiating deals, and their thoughts on how stakeholders should be treated. A procurement team that emphasises relationship building engenders trust and respect among team members and between stakeholders, leading to stronger relationships and better business outcomes.
Highlight the importance of innovation and technology
The procurement management sphere today is fraught with new challenges, but it also presents many great opportunities to grow a business. A strong procurement team is one that is capable of balancing the two and delivering strong profits for the company. To assist procurement teams everywhere, there are a range of procurement software providing tech solutions that promise to facilitate decision-making and simplify existing procurement processes. Many eProcurement systems available today can help with supplier bidding processes and streamlining administrative tasks such as creating purchase orders and invoicing. Recent improvements to eProcurement platforms also include the ability to optimise analysis reports and purchasing data to drive higher savings and profits.
With many tech solutions available to enhance collaboration and communication between procurement team members and stakeholders, it’s important that procurement professionals are technologically savvy and comfortable working with technology. To understand a candidate’s level of expertise when it comes to technology, ask about the procurement software that the candidate has used in the past, and how the technology assisted him/her and the company to streamline procurement operations. A keen understanding of current procurement technology and the willingness to embrace it is key to a procurement team’s efficiency, so look for candidates who are comfortable working with technology. These innovations help to reduce workloads, optimise resources, and drive cost-savings for the company.
A strong cooperative team is better than any team, together united it will be able to bring you success and benefits you may struggle achieving alone. For more related articles as such, come on over to ThunderQuote
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