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Super Skills for Super Procurement

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Procurement is a specialist area so there is a strong case here for specific industry skills or product experience, but with the continuing growth of the procurement profession, employers will look for candidates who are educated to degree level for procurement jobs.

For the most part they will be interested in degrees related to engineering, logistics, supply chain management and business management.There are niche MSc degrees available that are highly sought after by procurement employers. The top three are: Procurement and Contract Management Operations,  Procurement, and Logistics and Supply Chain. If you want to rise to the top in procurement and secure the most senior, well-paid roles, it’s advisable to acquire one of these specialist degrees. Doing so will automatically increase your employability and will attract the interest of hiring managers and procurement head hunters alike.

Researching skills aren’t necessarily essential within procurement, but they’re often the added bonus that can tip the scales in your favor come decision time. You’ll be required to research rates and suppliers and any targeted research skills you can demonstrate in your application will certainly be beneficial. Flexibility is another component that can boost applications for procurement jobs. Whether its flexibility with regards to skills, hours, locations or sectors, employers value a tractable candidate. Demonstrating self-development can really help to further your procurement career, as it’s tenacious, invested professionals who tend to win top-tier procurement jobs.

Recognizing and understanding new trends is a great way to improve on your skills. Procurement is a very fast-paced industry, meaning changes are always on the horizon and being aware of them will make better equip you to hone your skill set and climb the career ladder.It’s also  important to embrace new technology to stay on your toes. The procurement arena is changing as technology advances and keeping your finger on the pulse of this is what the more successful do. It’s advisable to attend industry networking events and participate in peer discussion topics to boost skills and experience. Don’t become stuck in your ways in this versatile sector, meeting and learning from peers can be enormously beneficial.

Analytical skills are among the most important skills a procurement manager can have. That’s because procurement is often a balancing act between the priorities of the company, the needs of the customer and the supplier’s abilities. Procurement managers often evaluate how efficient their supply chain is from a cost and productivity perspective, and make adjustments as and when they are needed. They must also perform quality control to ensure the materials they bring in meet certain standards and take action if they don’t.
Developing relationships, communication skills and influencing are vital to a procurement manager, although communications skills are especially important because misunderstandings can result in procurement errors, costing organizations valuable time and money.

Culture fit is all-important in procurement roles, working across all functions within a business and mastering internal relations. Ambition and passion are essential personal qualities for any procurement professional but they have to blend well with personality, attitude and integrity. Procurement is a role which requires problem solving and organization. To succeed in the industry, you need to be confident, creative and comfortable communicating at all levels. Skills are important, but to impress procurement recruiters you also need to have a winning attitude and an engaging personality.

Negotiation is a key requirement in procurement jobs; recruiters look for individuals who can influence and inspire. Being a strong influencer requires high levels of empathy and understanding as well as a good degree of personal authority and professionalism, so these qualities are necessary too. Recruiters tend to also look for flexibility in procurement professionals due to the demands of the role and the sheer diversity of the industry itself.

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