If your company is thinking about expanding its purchasing department and bringing new workers aboard, there's a lot to consider. Particularly when it comes to unique skills in today's hyper-competitive market, there are some things that should stand out more than others in terms of giving your new hire the ability to hit the ground running.
What are those key indicators of future success? The following should at least put you on the right track:
1) Data analysis skills
These days, everything about your procurement efforts probably boil down to pure data at some level, and your new hires need to be able to quickly look at and interpret any set of statistics or numbers, according to the Oxford College of Procurement & Supply. Being able to spot trends and otherwise get to the bottom of whatever the numbers are saying will help you make the most informed decisions as quickly as possible.
2) Market knowledge
It should go without saying that anyone you hire must be intimately familiar with the world of procurement in general, but you should really focus on the candidates that seem to understand your specific corner of the sector well, the Oxford College of Procurement & Supply said. The more they can tell you off the tops of their heads about your potential partners or industry trends, the better off you are likely to be pursuing a long-term relationship with that professional.
3) Creative problem solving
This is a skill less specific to the world of procurement, but nonetheless invaluable in getting that kind of work done day in and day out, according to Business 2 Community. There are any number of knots to untangle in the course of a week, month or quarter, and you need to be confident your new hire can pull all the right strings to maneuver you out of a problem spot.
4) Team skills
You are likely expecting anyone who's hired will integrate somewhat seamlessly into your purchasing department as a whole; that means they need to be team players who are good with people, Business 2 Community added. That quality has an added benefit: This new hire will also spend a lot of time dealing with people outside the company, and building relationships is a must.
5) Researching techniques
No one in your company should feel as they though have everything about their jobs figured out and, therefore, have to be continually looking for new knowledge and insights, according to Argentus. Do they know where to look? Are they actively engaged in the ongoing conversation industry-wide about the world of procurement? That kind of skill is going to be invaluable as the sector grows and changes.
6) Negotiation skills
Part and parcel with good people skills is the ability to get the best possible deal for your company on every order you make, Argentus noted. Being able to negotiate without causing hard feelings with suppliers and other people in the supply chain is a critical skill for any procurement pro.