Procurement recruitment – detailed experience or fundamental skills?

We have probably all seen advertisements for procurement roles that say something like this.

“Must have at least 5 years experience of working in the  Pharma industry (Primary care trusts / aluminium widget industry / whatever) .  Must know 7 step category management, six sigma and lean processes. Must be a graduate with MCIPS membership essential”.

Now often the salary for this amazing person is then around £25,000, which does raise some questions, but it is not the money that we’re talking about today.  And if you talk to recruitment firms, you will find that it is usually the employing organisation who insists on this specification, not the recruitment consultant.

But, salary apart, is this really the right approach?  Compare that recruitment advert with the case of 21 year old Lawrence Okoye ...

(You can read the rest of this article here at search4 procurement, our jobs website).

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Voices (2)

  1. bitter and twisted:

    ‘5 years widget experience’ gets you a manageable list of applicants.

  2. RJ:

    Can’t comment on the job site, Peter, but you make a really good point here. A few years back graduate recruitment was focused exactly on these points – otherwise I have no ide how a specialism in 16th century Spanish poetry would have got me a job anywhere at all!

    Nowadays, however, I’d struggle to advise anyone with ambitions to end up in the commercia sector to study anything without a “Business” component for their degree. From my experience, though, the detailed content of such degrees is of limited use in building business relationshps and conducting negotiations and the actual performance of candidates in real-life environments is patchy. Personally, I’d rather take on an articulate and numerate candidate whom I can teach the finer points of tender analysis and contract law than a business studies clone any day.

    But I do seem to be in a minority.

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