If your company is in a position to hire procurement professionals this spring — either to work as part of a broader department or a dedicated purchasing team — you have plenty of things to consider. Perhaps most important will be what that hire brings to the table not in terms of qualifications, but the so-called "soft skills" and related qualities that will help them succeed, and give your company a boost.
What are some of the best qualities to look for? We have some suggestions:
1) Good communication skills
First and foremost — in just about any job these days — you will want your hire to be able to communicate quickly, easily and effectively across all channels, according to IndustryWeek. Whether it's in a team meeting, informal sit-down with supply chain partners, over the phone or via email, you want anyone you hire to always represent themselves and the company as well as possible. Fortunately, you should get a good feel for these kinds of skills throughout the candidate review process.
2) High-level organization
This one is a bit tricky to nail down, but it would be wise to make sure you can count on any procurement pros you hire to be extremely organized, IndustryWeek said. While it's sometimes an unavoidable mishap, you don't want any important details to slip through the cracks because someone missed an email or didn't have accurate data to review. Being able to identify these issues before they're even issues in the first place comes naturally to highly organized people.
Supply chain professionals have to juggle a lot of information all the time, keep track of what it means, and leverage it to make the best possible decisions about what to do next, according to Michigan State University. Deep, preternatural analysis skills will be critical to ensuring ongoing success, whether they're handling things for just one department or your entire business.
4) Tech familiarity
It should go without saying that just about any employee today needs to demonstrate technical proficiency of some sort, but for procurement professionals in particular, it's vital, Michigan State University advised. They should be familiar not only with industry-related technology in general (especially when it comes to data sharing with supply chain partners) but with the programs you use in-house to keep everything running. That way, when issues arise — as they no doubt will — this new hire will help ensure the problem becomes easier to navigate.
5) Speaking and persuasion
Finally, while this is very much a part of communication abilities, your next employee will need to be highly skilled in the art of talking to other people to persuade them effectively, according to Career One Stop. The ability to get a supply chain partner to put a priority on a necessary shipment or reduce the price per unit of an order will help ensure they continue delivering value for your company for many years to come.