Even in an age of rapid digitization and technological advancement, there's no tool more important than the right people. For Procurement teams to reach their full potential and become business leaders, they need to attract the perfect team of professionals and establish programs for developing their talents.

The right candidate isn't always the best educated or most experienced. What's more, the ideal candidate isn't necessarily the one with the most obviously impressive resume. Like athletes, world-class Procurement professionals distinguish themselves with intangible qualities. The business equivalent of hustle, these are those intangibles that coaches talk about so often.

You can't teach these qualities, but with a little digging you can identify them in your interview candidates. Source One's recruiting experts share some of the essential qualities they search for while assessing applicants.

1. Personality
Whatever their industry, hiring managers are constantly on the hunt for good 'culture fits.' While the term culture means something different for every company, a candidate's culture fit almost always comes down to personality. A candidate's personality should come across from their very first interaction with a recruiter. Are they engaged and engaging? Can they effectively hold a conversation? If so, it's likely they'll distinguish themselves as an asset to company culture and effectively build relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

2. Work Ethic
A recruiter or hiring manager can quickly assess this quality based on a candidate's responsiveness. If they're quick to follow-up, or take the time to reach out independently, it's likely they're a hard a worker who's excited about the position. This quality also reveals itself in the candidate's preparedness. An applicant with a good work ethic will conduct considerable research prior to an interview and come prepared with thoughtful, relevant questions.

3. Strategic Thinking
Strategic thinkers see a job opportunity as just that, an opportunity. The position they're interviewing for represents far more than a paycheck. They'll ask thoughtful questions about how they'll fit into the company's operations and how they can contribute to its future growth. The tone and relevance of their answers can also reveal this quality. A truly strategic thinking will answer questions directly and concisely rather than trailing off-topic or returning to rehearsed talking points.

4. Consultative Mindset
Training programs can help an employee mature into a good consultant. Great consultants, however, are born. You can recognize a born consultant based on how they speak to their weaknesses and past failings. No one likes answering these questions during interviews, but they've become standard for a reason. A run-of-the-mill candidate will fixate on problems without effectively speaking to their solutions. An outstanding one will do the opposite. They'll confidently describe their methods for turning negative situations into opportunities for professional development.

5. Assertiveness
An assertive candidate won't talk over their peers, but they'll have no problem speaking their mind when necessary. Without getting cocky, they'll use an interview as an opportunity to succinctly and confidently describe their strengths and accomplishments. When discussing these, they'll take care to reveal the tangible results of their efforts and emphasize how their experiences have prepared them to accept this new position.

6. Accountability
In all likelihood, the candidate isn't interviewing for their first job. That means they'll need to discuss the reasons they left previous employers. If their answer focuses exclusively on what past managers did wrong or failed to do, the candidate lacks accountability. An accountable candidate will admit that they were ill-suited or unfulfilled in past positions. Without wallowing in negativity, they'll acknowledge past disappointments and describe the ways they've matured throughout their career.

Remember, these qualities won't jump off a resume. They can, however, make the difference when it comes to differentiating between two similarly-qualified and experienced candidates. Every Procurement team boasts smart and dedicated talent. Only the best possess the qualities listed above.

Source One's staffing and recruitment teams can understand that qualities that make for excellence in procurement because they've helped define excellence in procurement for decades. Reach out today. Together, we'll work to construct a world-class team.

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