What skills do Procurement professionals need?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Earlier this year, CASME conducted a global membership survey which, among other topics, examined the skills that organisations look for when recruiting for procurement roles. 

Responses to the survey showed that organisations are predominantly looking for candidates with previous buying experience, together with industry-specific technical skills and financial or commercial experience. In most participating organisations, formal procurement qualifications are not always necessary, reflecting that professional qualifications can be studied alongside employment, as well as via continuing professional development.   

Some employers prefer generalists who can quickly learn category specifics, whereas others prefer a degree of specialism. Some companies prefer to recruit procurement professionals who have a range of category experiences and who can quickly adapt to new categories, others prefer to recruit professionals with deep experience in their particular category.

Soft skills, such as emotional intelligence and cultural fit, play an important role when recruiting as Procurement needs to be able to “sell” to internal business stakeholders. Consequently, the skills of leadership, problem-solving, influence and decision-making, effective communication and team building, are now considered just as critical as the traditional skills of negotiation and project management for successful career progression.

The CASME survey showed that training and skills development is mainly provided internally, except for negotiation skills, where external training is provided by nearly a quarter (22%) of respondents.

The full results of the survey are included in the Indirect Procurement: Organisational Design and Development Procurement Examiner, which is available now for CASME members to download. For more information on CASME’s research service, contact our team


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