The changing role of a Procurement Leader

Could you categorise your personality into a single type? I recently watched a film called Divergent, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic version of Chicago where people were divided into factions based on the human virtues of abnegation (selfless), candour (honesty), amity (Peaceful), erudite (intelligent) and dauntless (brave). Those that didn’t fit into a single faction were considered divergent and a threat to society.

Of course in today’s global, technology focussed world the opposite is true. Procurement Leaders of modern businesses have to possess a daunting array of skills if they are to successfully lead teams, persuade, influence and negotiate and still display caution and considered judgement against a backdrop of constant change.

If we delve into this in more detail it becomes apparent that the behavioural skills once possessed by procurement professionals are not the same ones needed to succeed in today’s market. We are experiencing a move away from process and a big step towards building strategic relationships. The focus isn’t just about the transactional but about looking at the genuine requirements of the business and creating value in the agreements set up with suppliers. Instinct and feeling are also being put on the backburner as we turn more and more towards data and analysis to increase performance across procurement and the wider business.

Today’s procurement leaders have to be able to operate at two completely different ends of the spectrum. On the one hand they must use finely honed communication and relationship building skills to develop key relationships with stakeholders. On the other they must have the analytical skills to understand, interpret and analyse data.

So unlike the film, modern procurement leaders should crave divergence – for those that can wear the many hats expected of them will undoubtedly be the ones who succeed.

A personal and tailored procurement  recruitment approach, an extensive and exclusive network of qualified procurement professionals and job opportunities, rewarding loyalty and operating locally across Hampshire, Dorset, Sussex, Middlesex, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Surrey  – these are the reasons why people choose to work with Procurement Heads – to join our world visit

About the Author

Helen Harling

Office and Marketing Manager for both Procurement Heads and sister brand HR Heads. Graduating with a marketing degree, Helen has continued her passion by leading our marketing function forward. You will see her blogging, tweeting, posting, videoing about Procurement Heads. You can see this on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram page.

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