Top competencies for procurement professionals

Top competencies for procurement professionals

Gearoid Collins 22.09.2016

Interviews aren’t supposed to be an interrogation, they’re an excellent opportunity for you to relay your competencies.

So you’ve been invited for an interview. Okay, what now? This is your chance to shine, that’s what! Being called for an interview is a sure sign that the employer likes the look of your CV. Now all you need to do is prove it’s real. 

Below is a list of what I would consider to be the top competencies for procurement candidates.  All you need to do is have an example prepared for each. These should ideally be taken from experiences in your previous working environments and should show that you have the desired knowledge, skills or behavioural traits. The right examples will show the interviewer that you have the competencies which companies see as essential in the very best procurement professionals.

Top 10 competencies:

Strategic industry management:

Establishing long range business plans which can anticipate the global market. This is particularly important for commodity procurement.

Category management:

 Arranging or categorising your spend according to specific goods or services (direct & indirect); and keeping in mind quality, service, risk and cost.

Project management:

Driving the procurement process by designing, implementing and managing projects to a successful conclusion. Establishing accountability, establishing timelines and establishing goals are paramount.

Relationship management:

The ability to leverage interpersonal skills to establish rapport and develop relationships with all key stakeholders: suppliers, customers & colleagues.

Negotiation skills:

The ability to persuade, influence and explore positions and alternatives to reach outcomes that will gain acceptance of all parties and will also meet your organisation’s strategic procurement objectives.

Financial acumen:

The ability to apply a broad understanding of financial management principals and other quantitative information to ensure decisions are fiscally responsible and based on your procurement budget.

Analytical skills:

The ability to visualise, articulate, and solve both complex and uncomplicated problems and concepts and make decisions that make sense based on all available information. Particularly important in the selection of vendors.

Aptitude for technology:

The ability to apply and improve extensive or in-depth specialised knowledge, skills, and judgement by assessing and translating information technology into responsive and effective procurement solutions.

Results-focused:

The ability and drive for achieving and surpassing targets against an internal or external standards of excellence. This is about showing a passion for improving the delivery of services with a commitment to continuous improvement in your procurement process.

Professionalism:

The ability to think carefully about the likely effects on others of your words, actions, appearance, and mode of behaviour. The consummate professional selects the words and actions most likely to have the desired effect on the group or individual in question.

The best way to demonstrate these competencies is by using the STAR technique to give your answers. This is a proven technique that we advise all of our candidates to practice and use. Two websites I can recommend on competencies are:

  1. National Institutes of Health Office of Human Resources
  2. Syracuse University Human Resources.

 

If you need any further advice, please feel free to get in touch with the supply chain recruitment team at Morgan McKinley and we will be happy to prepare you for your next interview.

Gearoid Collins's picture
Consultant | Supply Chain & Procurement
gcollins@morganmckinley.ie