The buying process is one of the most important aspects of any business. After all, it’s what keeps the company running and ensures that it has the supplies it needs to continue operations. You might need a buying manager to purchase finished goods for you to retail, or a raw materials buyer to acquire the materials for the product you need to manufacture. Or, possibly it’s a procurement manager to head up of buying goods and services for the operations of your company. Whatever the case, it’s essential you bring in the right person so they can start bringing in the right products. That, or risk your commercial viability. So, if you’re looking to hire a new procurement manager, read on for tips on how to find the perfect candidate!
What makes a great procurement manager?
We’ve written about what makes a good procurement manager before, but to just give you a quick recap. Your head of procurement is responsible for the company’s purchasing strategy, they could be in a standalone capacity or managing a team of buyers. Their key focus is getting the best deals while maintaining good supplier relationships. And this is a balancing act that requires a specific skill set.
The role of a buying manager or procurement manager is often misunderstood. Many people think that they are only responsible for finding the cheapest supplier and negotiating the best price.
However, this is only one part of the job. A good procurement manager also needs to be able to find suppliers who can provide quality goods and services. To be successful in this role, a good buyer must be detail-oriented and have excellent time management skills. They must also be very astute, able to see beyond the immediate transaction and anticipate future needs. And of course, procurement managers must have mastered the art of negotiation. They should be able to drive hard bargains without damaging relationships.
As can be seen, such a role requires a very specific skill set. A great buying manager is an invaluable asset to any company as they will ensure your business secures the goods and services it needs to thrive. However, recruiting the right head of procurement that can do all these things, is no easy feat.
What to look for in a procurement manager candidate
When you’re recruiting for a senior procurement manager, it’s important to keep the above skills in mind. Here are a few specific things to look for:
Experience in your industry
Obviously, in an ideal world you need someone who understands the nuances of buying goods and services in your particular field. Where this isn’t possible there can always be some flexibility. For example an expert in the field of insurance instead of financial services. But it’s no use recruiting someone who only has experience in media buying if your company sells FMCG or you are in the construction industry.
A proven track record
Look for someone who has a history of successfully negotiating deals and maintaining supplier relationships. An experienced procurement manager with a good track record will be able to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact.
Understands what your company does and what it needs
If your company manufactures products, then you will need someone who knows how to purchase raw materials for manufacturing. On the other hand, if your company sells re-branded finished manufactured goods, then you will need someone who knows how to negotiate a packaged end product price. And the effects this can have on supply chain costs.
Understand the local market
Say, for instance, your company operates in the areas of Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. You will want to recruit a buying manager who knows the local market and already has relationships with suppliers in the area.
Ability to work with different departments within your company
A good procurement manager will be able to liaise with different departments within your company in order to understand their needs. They should also be able to develop good working relationships with these departments.
How to recruit the best procurement manager for your company
A head of procurement must be able to make quick and informed decisions while keeping an eye on the bottom line. They must also have a keen understanding of the market so that they can get the best possible price for the products and services they purchase. In short, the buying manager is a vital cog in the machinery of a successful company. When you are looking to fill this position, it is essential that you find a candidate who has the skills and experience necessary to thrive in this demanding role.
There are 4 vital steps to take when recruiting a buying manager:
1. Define the role and its objectives
The first step is to sit down and define what the role of the procurement manager entails. Once you have done this, you will be able to identify the skills and experience that are necessary for the role. For instance, you most certainly would want someone with excellent relationship-building skills that also has a proven track record of managing budgets and saving companies money on their procurement expenses. If you also need someone who can undertake risk management, predict future trends and buying patterns, and stay one step ahead, then this should be included in the job description.
2. Identify the key skills and experience your ideal candidate should have
As we have already mentioned, a buying manager must have excellent relationship-building skills. They should also be able to negotiate well, be knowledgeable about the market, and have a keen eye for detail. In addition, they should be able to work well under pressure and have the ability to make quick, accurate decisions. At the end of the day, they will be in charge of a large budget, so it is essential that they are able to manage this effectively and not make any costly mistakes.
3. Write a detailed job description
Once you have defined the role, you need to write a detailed job description. This should include a list of procurement manager responsibilities, as well as the skills and experience that are required. Writing down exactly what you are looking for can help give you clarity around the type of person you need to be recruiting. However, when you choose to partner with a specialist recruitment agency, they will be able to come on board quickly and help you to write an effective job description. They will have an understanding of what information senior buyers need to know, and what, if written incorrectly, could cause problems.
4. Advertise the role
The next step is to start advertising the role. You can do this by posting the job on your company website and also on specialist recruitment job boards. However, this can be a time-consuming and costly endeavour. If you’re like most businesses, you don’t have the time or resources to go through a drawn-out and costly hiring process. In this case, working with a specialised procurement manager recruitment agency might be quite beneficial. The best agencies don’t simply post a procurement manager job ad and wait for the applications to come in. The procurement recruiter will actively search their extensive networks to find the best candidates for your company. This means that you can save time and money, while also being confident that you are getting the best possible candidates for the job.
When you are looking to recruit a buying manager, it is essential that you take your time and do it properly. This person will play a vital role in your company, so it is important that you find the right candidate. By following the steps outlined above, you can be sure that you will find the perfect candidate to fulfil the role. And, if you choose to work with a specialist buying recruitment agency, they will be able to take care of the entire process for you, making it even easier.
Rather than relying on a database, the best buying recruitment agencies will go on the hunt for your ideal candidate. The best recruitment agencies know what it takes to attract the very best candidates that match your specific requirements. A great buying recruiter will save you time, and money, and ultimately ensure that you find the best person for the job.
At Cambridge Talent Partnership the logistics and procurement recuitment specialist, we know what recruiting the best head of procurement can do for a business. We understand the value such a role brings to an organisation in terms of buying power, cost savings, supplier relationships, and strategic input. Our team of specialists will work with you to identify, attract and hire the very best head of procurement for your business. We have a proven track record of successfully placing candidates in buying manager roles across a wide range of industries. So, if you’re looking for procurement manager recruitment help, we’re here for you.
We’re proud to serve the Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Essex, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes, and Hertfordshire areas and beyond. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you find the perfect head of procurement for your business.