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October 2013

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Your career specialist

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CONTENTS Anna Scott gives some pointers to handling those interview questions

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WORKING OVERSEAS How should buyers go about getting an exciting role abroad?


DIRECTORY A helpful list of recruitment agencies and training firms



WELCOME Introduction from editor Anna Scott and group managing director of REED Tom Lovell

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ROUTE TO THE TOP Three CPOs reveal how they worked their way to the forefront of their organisations

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ESSENTIAL SKILLS What are the qualities CPOs are looking for when hiring?

CLOSE CONNECTIONS Getting your LinkedIn profile right is crucial to getting on. Mark Williams has some tips

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SALARIES IN PROCUREMENT Remuneration has remained stable and bonuses are expected


BECOMING AN INTERIM We highlight how interim management can be a beneficial career choice

EDITORIAL 020 7324 2746 Special projects editor Anna Scott Editor Andrew Pring Rebecca Ellinor (on maternity leave) Acting managing editor Paul Snell Sub editor Kathryn Manning, Claudia Elliott Design Mark Parry, David Twardawa Picture researcher Akin Falope Production manager Jane Easterman Sales executive Jade Warren Publishing director Joanna Marsh Career development is a supplement to the October 2013 issue of Supply Management. Published on behalf of The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply by Redactive Publishing Ltd, 17 Britton Street, London EC1M 5TP. © Redactive Publishing Ltd 2013. All rights reserved. This publication (and any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in any print or electronic format (including but not limited to any online service, any database or any part of the internet) or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Redactive Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein. Printed by PCP Limited.



QUESTIONS TO EXPECT AT INTERVIEW Great news, you’ve landed an interview for that dream job. NOVEMBER 2012 | SUPPLY MANAGEMENT SUPPLEMENT

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SOME INSPIRATION FOR CAREER SUCCESS W FIND OUT MORE Find your next role at Sign up for job alerts by email at Follow Supply Management Jobs on Twitter @SM_Jobs Sign up to the Supply Management Daily email newsletter at enewsletter


elcome to Supply Management’s Career development supplement. Aimed at established procurement professionals, this guide will help you develop your skills and experience as you look to climb the career ladder. Whatever your path into procurement and supply chain management, it is an exciting area to be in. Buying and supply chain roles across all sectors are expected to increase in the coming 12 months. Opportunities for procurement and supply chain professionals are popping up across all sectors, with a variety of challenges. Private sector companies want professionals to manage tighter budgets and introduce sustainable supply chains. Public sector organisations need the skills and experience of buyers and supply chain managers to deal with change management programmes across government. This means there is an appealing range of possibilities when looking for a new job or promotion. Working overseas, for example, provides not just a life-changing experience of different cultures, but invaluable understanding and knowledge of how procurement and supply chains work in other countries. Our feature on page 22 outlines the benefits of taking a job abroad and how to go about getting one.

If flexibility is important to you, moving into interim management could be an attractive option. Providing a great range of experience of different roles, companies and sectors, the interim market is not just there to act as a stop-gap when people are looking for a permanent job, but a career choice made by an increasing amount of people (see page 33). Whatever the next step in your career, making yourself as attractive to recruiters and managers as possible will be essential. Ensure that your procurement skills are up to scratch, but also that you know what expertise is needed to get you noticed by the CPO (see page 14 for an outline of the skills CPOs are looking for). It’s also important to make your profile as good as it possibly can be to the wider world of recruiters and peers (see page 25 on how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile). Once you’ve got that all important interview, make sure you’re prepared to give the right kinds of answers (see page 17 for our top seven interview questions). To read about those who been there and done it, read our inspiring interviews on page 8 with three CPOs to see how they got to the top of procurement in their organisations. If you are not sure what your next move is, this guide should provide you with some food for thought. Anna Scott, special projects editor


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OUTLOOK IS HEALTHY FOR PROCUREMENT T FIND OUT MORE REED Procurement & Supply Chain jobs/procurement

he unyielding focus on costs during the global downturn has arguably been of some benefit to procurement professionals. It’s been an opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of the function’s capability. This ranges from improved category management to strategies for offsetting a volatile commodities market, developing more collaborative relationships with suppliers, to drawing out innovative cost saving solutions, or even controlling personnel costs. REED Procurement & Supply Chain’s Salary Guide and Market Insight 2013 reveals a rise in purchasing’s profile over recent recessions – increasing numbers of procurement directors and chief procurement officers (a role that is commanding a salary of up to £220,000) are being appointed to the board, in recognition of the value of the department and its impact on the bottom line. However, it’s not just senior roles that are enjoying greater kudos. Other sought-after roles by businesses include experienced strategic sourcing specialists and supplier relationship managers because of their value-adding capacity – reducing costs without compromising quality or service. Because of the flexibility and expertise that interims can offer employers adapting to changing market

conditions, this group has also been in increased demand. Procurement has not, of course, been untouched by the large number of redundancy programmes that have hit the labour market. But even against that backdrop, job satisfaction rates within procurement remain on a par with those in the general jobs market. More than a third of purchasing professionals have been awarded a pay rise in the past 12 months and salaries for middle and senior purchasing managers remain ahead of their counterparts in marketing, sales, HR or IT. Even more key is the focus on talent management. Our statistics highlight that almost half of organisations are using internal promotion to grow talent, and 60 per cent use training and development. Overall, perhaps this is an opportune time to be thinking how you can advance your career in purchasing and supply. A combination of optimism that growth will stimulate recruitment in procurement in the later part of 2013; the function continuing to gain visibility; and employers looking to bring on talent from the inside makes the outlook a healthy one. Tom Lovell, group managing director, REED


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PROCURING TOP TALENT? We’re 1st for a reason The forefront of international procurement & supply chain search

Interim Management | Permanent | International Surrey | London | Frankfurt 0843 216 30 30

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LADDER Three CPOs tell us how they rose up the ranks

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OUR ROUTE TO THE TOP Three CPOs, all from varied backgrounds and disciplines, reveal how they worked their way to the forefront of their organisations NICOLAS PASSAQUIN


Vice-president of global sourcing and head of APAC & EMEA at Thomson Reuters, Nicolas Passaquin has worked his way up the news and business information giant over the past 10 years. He started his career in 1996, but not in purchasing...


LIKE MANY IN THE PROFESSION, I FELL INTO PROCUREMENT by accident. I started out working in the hotel industry, in a role very specific to hospitality management – cost control. The purchasing manager left and I asked my boss if I could try out the job. He said he would give it to me for three months and if it worked out I could keep it. I passed my three-month probation and, after two years, became purchasing director of the hotel. Much of my career success has been down to being in the right place at the right time. When opportunities have arisen, I have raised my hand and said ‘I’m here’. There have been only two occasions when I have got jobs through recruitment consultants, and in both those instances they have contacted me with jobs that suited me at the time. The softer skills, as well as the technical ones, have been essential for me to progress. You have to know the basics – negotiation, tendering, the legal and contractual issues – but a lot of success is down to attitude. Openness in communicating with everyone in the organisation and clients is essential. The ability to work across boundaries and cultures is increasingly important, too. I am French, living and working in Switzerland for an American company. They way things are done today in the world of work is different. You need to be able to do the job, and that definitely involves

technical ability, but the difficult part is creating the right kind of relationships within and outside your company. This is why networking is so important to success. The most valuable lesson I have learnt has been the importance of working with the best people. When I have recruited staff I haven’t chosen clones of myself, but people with a variety of qualities. It’s also important to let people know exactly what direction they need to take with work projects, but to just let them get on with it and not micro-manage. One of the challenges of my job is leading my team remotely. I have seven direct reports that work next to me, within an overall team of 65 people. Finding the right individuals for the job when they are thousands of miles away can be difficult. I’ve


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NICOLAS PASSAQUIN: CV 2010 to date: Vice-president global sourcing, head of APAC & EMEA, Thomson Reuters 2008–2010: Vice-president global sourcing, head of APAC & CEMA, Thomson Reuters 2007–2008: Head of APAC & EMEA sourcing, Reuters 2006–2007: Head of EMEA sourcing, Reuters 2005–2006: Regional sourcing manager, EMEA West, Reuters 2003–2005: Sourcing manager for Switzerland, Reuters 2001–2003: Senior procurement manager – contract manufacturing, Royal Numico (infant nutrition provider with brands including Nutricia and Rexall Sundown) 1998–2001: Senior purchaser – catering purchasing manager, Air France 1996–1998: Purchasing director, Chateau de Montvillargenne hotel (one of the largest castle-hotel and wedding venues in France)

had to adapt my style so people aren’t feeling either micro-managed or ignored, and I’ve invented a style of relationship that works. It’s very structured – we have regular catch-ups and I always try to be available. I manage people based in Asia so many of my days start before 7am. It’s also important to make sure you articulate clearly and effectively what you need to team members, particularly those at entry level. Listening to people is also essential. I’ve learnt to listen to everyone, and take advice in some – but not all – cases. I’ve never limited myself – I’ve always tried to say to employers: ‘I’m ready if you want me.’ Even if I am not sure that I can do something, I’ve always said that I will try it, otherwise how can we learn anything? You are always learning. And it’s essential to listen to what’s happening inside and outside your organisation, and keep an open mind. The great thing about procurement is that it’s one of the few business functions where you can work across the whole organisation, from marketing and development to production and finance, and have great visibility across all of these functions.

“The most valuable lesson I have learnt has been the importance of working with the best people”

BRETT COLBERT Media buying expert Brett Colbert started his career supporting clients in agencies. Fast-forward 13 years and he is the first CPO of MDC Partners, a holding company for around 50 advertising, creative and media agencies behind some very high-profile work. Part of his job involves attending pitches to advise colleagues and clients

I STARTED MY CAREER WORKING AT FULL-SERVICE advertising agencies specialising in entertainment for big studios. When I made the transition from being a ‘suit’ – responsible for clients’ accounts – I soon realised I had a knack for strategic media planning and buying. Years later, I was asked to lead global sourcing on the client side, as a procurement professional. At the time, procurement departments needed a ‘bilingual’ expert in marketing procurement – someone who could speak marketing, but also understood that the practice could be done both effectively and efficiently. People in agencies have been, in effect, doing a procurement role for their entire careers, without realising what it was called. They have always been incredibly skilled experts in the art of negotiation and how to take a look at a total cost of OCTOBER 2013 | SUPPLY MANAGEMENT SUPPLEMENT

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CPO INTERVIEWS ownership model – they just haven’t been communicating the result to an audience, until now. We often refer to procurement as ‘commodity-driven’. People might not consider media to be a commodity, but it is probably one of the largest global commodities. Becoming an expert in indirect services and materials over time has been extremely helpful in my career advancement, but sales experience combined with strong client service orientation has also been crucial to succeed. Understanding the need to build momentum with short-term gains, while delivering strategic and sustainable improvements are good metrics for success. Buying expertise got me the job: understanding the supply chain and leading category strategies in collaboration to deliver the results got me promoted. But I’m also a fan of the three ‘Cs’: curiosity, courage and conviction. Good procurement people should be ambitious, trustworthy and focused on value. I’m a big advocate of social media and social recruiting. I consider myself a brand and my network is my currency (Colbert can be found tweeting @rockprocurement). As strategic sourcing professionals, it is our responsibility to constantly network, benchmark KPIs and share best practice. This is how we evolve and grow. It’s easy to feel like you need to soar above the rest of the group, showing off all your capabilities and knowledge, but in today’s business world there are many reasons why you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. I have become successful because I believe in working with people smarter than myself – know what you know and what you don’t, so you can find someone else who does. Many companies and organisations have begun to realise that a collaborative spirit is important. Being capable and priding yourself on your talents to inspire a sense of teamwork will highlight your skills. There are still challenges. Convincing others that marketing procurement is different is one. We don’t often own the budgets for the categories that we buy, and what we bought yesterday is rarely what is being purchased tomorrow. The metrics of yesterday need to evolve, and we need to focus on adding value to measure success in the future. Marketing remains an investment to maximize versus a cost to minimize. But the key to my success has been staying within the category and industry that I love – marketing. If you really want to climb the corporate ladder you need to play by different rules. If you want money, status and the feeling of achievement you need to take account of them. Real achievement needs to replace pretence and appearance. Real integrity needs to replace managed impressions. Procurement is a people business and I love people. We are at the forefront of innovation, and we are able to influence and realise change.


“Procurement is a people business and I love people. We are at the forefront of innovation, and we are able to influence and realise change”

2011 to date: Chief procurement officer, MDC Partners 2009–2011: Global manager procurement, advertising and market research, AnheuserBusch InBev 2005–2009: Group manager, advertising, media and agency procurement, Nestlé USA 2003–2005: Strategic sourcing manager – marketing, Warner Bros. Entertainment 2000–2003: VP account director, Initiative Media

JOY RICE Rice’s career began in Chicago as an auditor at Coopers & Lybrand, before the firm became PwC. Since then she’s been a financial analyst, financial controller, operations director at a Diageo plant and a project director at Diageo, among many other roles THROUGHOUT MY CAREER, I’VE EVALUATED MY SKILLS AND experiences and looked for what I am missing. This has helped me decide on the next move. I leveraged the relationships I built in public accounting to get my role at Kraft Foods and, similarly, used a relationship that I built at Kraft to get my role at Diageo. I make a point of using what I have learnt in previous roles to help me in my current scope. I have also built up a valuable network of ‘subject matter experts’ who I can call on when I need assistance. Seeking out new opportunities to complement my existing skills and capabilities and remaining open to new experiences and challenges, including international assignments, has been instrumental in my success. Being a certified public accountant has also served me well – there is always a financial element to every role I have had in Diageo Supply. It’s also important to be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else, your leadership style is your own and people will recognise that. I have learnt that people make all the difference and that the difference between winning and losing is a good team. The best investment of your time is in your team – both immediate and extended. One of the biggest challenges I have faced in each new role is adapting to the culture of the team, its function, its business unit or geography. This was something I needed to negotiate throughout my moves across different functions, teams and


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locations across the US. It was particularly challenging in my international assignments with Diageo to Moscow and Singapore. One of the best ways I have found to deal with new cultures is to listen, observe and find a ‘coach’ or confidante to help me learn and adapt to new ways of working. While adapting to new cultures is one of the most challenging aspects of changing functions, roles, departments and geographies, it is also very rewarding. I’ve learnt so much during my career, not just about the new environment, but about myself. You can discover new talents and continue to learn and develop, both as a leader and as a person. Be open to new experiences and geographies. When someone offers you an opportunity, don’t look at the negatives, look for a reason to say ‘yes’. Don’t be afraid to try something new or something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. Let people know what you want to do. If your manager doesn’t know what you want, they can’t help you get there. Procurement is an exciting place to be. It can mean the difference between beating the competition and falling behind. A solid supply and procurement organisation can create a competitive advantage for the business. This profession really requires a team that is responsive, agile and resilient to manage the many challenges that businesses face today.

“A solid supply and procurement organisation can create a competitive advantage for the business”

JOY RICE: CV 2013 to date: Asia Pacific supply chain support director, Diageo 2008–2013: Supply chain director – Russia and Eastern Europe Hub, Diageo 2006–2008: Vice-president, Project Unity Global Manufacturing and OTC Process Lead, Diageo 2007–2008: Chair, Diageo North America Spirited Women’s Employee Resource Network 2004–2006: Vice-president, North American Customer Relations, Diageo 2003–2004: Director, US customer operations, Diageo 2002–2003: Project director and supply lead, distributor consolidation, Diageo 2001–2002: Project director and supply integration lead, Seagram acquisition, Diageo 2000–2001: In-market operations director – Chicago, Diageo 1996–2000: Financial controller, latterly operations director, Diageo 1994–1996: Manager, financial policy & control, Kraft 1991–1994: Senior financial analyst, Kraft 1988–1991: Senior audit associate, Coopers & Lybrand


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Your influence will be felt far and wide. Procurement Opportunities | UK Competitive salary plus bonus and excellent benefits, including contributory pension, life assurance and an employee broadband and TV package Procurement can mean looking after one category, as part of one team. At BT, it’s not just our broadband that’s superfast. When you join us in Group Procurement, you’ll be working in a team where things happen at lightning speed, playing a pivotal role in keeping us ahead of the rest. We use some of the most advanced procurement technology around – including a sophisticated tracking system that will enable you to see your impact directly. But what really makes these roles so different is the variety you can expect here. You’ll be aligned to a business unit which means working with global suppliers across all sorts of categories rather than just one. Do well, and you’ll have plenty of scope to make your mark in different teams, in more senior roles or even different countries. No matter where you join us, you’ll leave no stone unturned when it comes to delivering value and cost efficiencies without compromising on quality. You’ll also have the chance to change the way we do things. If you spot an opportunity for us to make a saving or drive revenue growth, we’ll want to hear about it. All of this means you’ll be very visible – you’ll help to shape our business strategy rather than just following it. So plenty of procurement experience is a must as is the ability to influence stakeholders and lead the business. Just as importantly, you’ll enjoy working on high value, high risk projects in a role that can open up new opportunities for you right across our global business. We believe change is good. Change begins with what customers want, then takes complex new technology and makes it beautifully simple to enhance how people work, communicate and relax. Change comes from the joint efforts of people who see how things are, then imagine how they could be. We could use a few more people like that. Do you believe that change is good? We have a range of roles available from Buyers through to Senior Procurement Managers, so take a look at As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people of all backgrounds.

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From identifying your weaknesses to dealing with difďŹ cult stakeholders, what questions can you expect in job interviews?

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IMPRESS THE CPO Have you got the skills it takes to get noticed by senior management?

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THE WORLD OF PROCUREMENT is competitive and, as an aspiring procurement professional, you need all the right skills if you want to get on in your career. A good range of technical skills is essential – knowledge and experience in such areas as procurement processes and contract management – but there is increasing demand for trained professionals with management aptitude. Competence across the “soft” as well as the “hard” skills will mark you out as a potential leader. Here are some of the areas you may wish to focus on.

Have you got the skills to impress the CPO? Juraj Priecel outlines what you need

Data analysis and research The ability to identify sources of credible data, develop a fact base and format it for presentations and reports is crucial. Knowing how to collect, cleanse and collate information is, however, just the start. Expertise in analysing and interpreting it is just as important. You need to be able to identify key issues and apply analytical frameworks to identify potential for improvement. Your analyses and insights will be enhanced if you can find relevant information and market intelligence in professional magazines, on the internet or by tapping the existing knowledge within your procurement department.

Communication - verbal and written Knowledge and insights are of little use in procurement, a very people-based profession, if you don’t know how to communicate them to others. The rising procurement professional must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. The ability to speak and write in a clear, concise and user-friendly fashion – in every format from emails through meeting notes to detailed reports and presentations – is essential.



Attention to detail is taken as read in a competent procurement professional. In addition, you should be able to see the big picture and work out the best way forward. The ability to set a credible, workable strategy is essential for the aspiring high-flyer. Further, you must be able to implement a defined strategy efficiently with teams and revise it as necessary to produce the best results.

As many an Oscar winner has observed, the support of a team is crucial to the star’s success. Working effectively in a team allows you to deliver more than you would be able to do on your own, and will bring untold achievements. Going it alone is okay for heroes, but in the world of modern business the group effort is what makes a real difference. As a good team worker you need to recognise your colleagues’ different abilities and inclinations, and work with them to leverage everyone’s skills and achieve the best results.

Project management A successful manager is able to deliver effective projects with clearly defined objectives, methodology and outcomes. This includes identifying key milestones, dealing with risks and escalating any potential delays to relevant stakeholders as appropriate. Modern management often involves advanced structured approaches and using software project management tools. If you’re familiar with or qualified to use these, then so much the better.

Mentoring and coaching people Stakeholder management Procurement people can often find themselves in a “piggy in the middle” situation at work, as they are mediators between different sets of stakeholders, with seemingly very different demands. Being able to identify stakeholder groups, analyse their needs and then formulate strategies to manage them in a way that works for all concerned is a crucial skill.

The best managers are not only good at what they do but are also skilled in passing on their knowledge. This is often best done informally or on the job, through mentoring and coaching. It will not only benefit those who receive your help but also make them feel valued and contribute to achieving better results for the group, and the organisation as a whole. Being recognised as a good teacher or coach is a valuable asset.

Leadership The nature of authority has changed dramatically since the time when the boss told workers what to do and they obeyed. Now it’s all about motivating and inspiring your team to do their very best. And remember, you don’t actually have to be in the leader’s position to show leadership. Focus on nurturing and encouraging others, whoever they may be. To do this well, you need to understand other people, gain their confidence and promote objectives that they will sign up to.

Negotiation The skill of negotiating effectively and winning agreement on a deal that is acceptable for all parties requires strong communication skills, empathy and creativity. It also needs to be supported by an ability to evaluate various options


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Routes to success There are many ways to develop your skills. Here are some of the main channels to consider:

Coaching and mentoring These are office-based, on-the-job learning approaches which can be accessed informally. If you want to know how to do something your colleague or boss is doing, ask them to show you. For complex skillsets, a formal coaching or mentoring scheme may be more appropriate.

Training courses The traditional approach to training, through group courses lasting anything from a couple of hours to several days, has advantages: they are highly structured, tried-and-tested and clear in their objectives. Such events also enable you to meet and network with your peers from your own organisation or elsewhere. The downside of formal courses is they can be expensive, limited in what they cover, and time-consuming, especially if they are held away from the workplace.

Books and e-learning Many excellent books and articles are available, containing useful technical information and analysis. To make them as practical as possible, it is advisable to read them alongside a course.

Networking Comparing notes with your peers is a great way to gain knowledge and confidence in your chosen profession. Take advantage of seminars, conferences, business and social events, and any other networking opportunities that come your way. Social networks such as LinkedIn are useful too (see page 25).

quickly. In practice, this is likely to call for comprehensive modelling and analysis of various options, and packaging these into formal meeting documents outlining negotiating strategies.

Professional image Looking the part is essential. Like it or not, people judge others on their appearance and, if you present yourself as smart and businesslike, you are more liable to be treated as such. You should aspire to demonstrate honesty in all your dealings, a professional approach and respect for your colleagues and business partners.

Professional media The established professional press, in its print and online versions, offers authoritative coverage of the issues facing procurement today and can provide good platforms for comment and discussion.

Juraj Priecel is vice-president of procurement consultancy Efficio.


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Great news – you’ve landed an interview for that dream job. Anna Scott gives some pointers to handling the popular questions

A WIDE RANGE OF GUIDANCE IS available on what to expect during job interviews. It can be a daunting process so to help overcome this – and to impress the interview panel – preparation is absolutely essential. Understanding what the recruiter needs to know about you and your experience will help you enormously in preparation. Here are seven questions that could come up.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? These questions come as no surprise, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about the best way to answer them. Strengths need to be considered in relation to the job you are applying for. Give examples of traits and qualities that will help you specifically as a procurement and supply chain professional in this particular job. These include the technical skills such as


QUESTIONS TO EXPECT AT INTERVIEW project management, cost accounting skills, troubleshooting and problemsolving. Softer skills should also be highlighted, such as communication skills via different channels – presentations, emails, one-to-ones – time management and understanding customers’ expectations. For example, highlighting a particular problem you have faced within a project and explaining how you resolved it will put your strengths into context. Being asked to outline your weaknesses fills most interviewees with dread. It may feel like a trick question, but interviewers know that everyone has weaknesses. Knowing what they are and addressing them is what will impress a recruiter. One example would be to highlight a situation in which one of the skills or traits that is a weakness was required, and explain how you dealt with the situation and addressed the weakness, perhaps through more training.


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It is also worth identifying any weakness that you have taken steps to eradicate or improve. Try not to use the word ‘weakness’ too much, though.

What experience do you have that is relevant to this role? To give this question justice, ideally you need a job profile for the role you are applying for, and an understanding of the company. Consider how the experience you have gained so far is directly relevant to this job. What will you be responsible for in the new job? Have you been responsible for the same or similar categories? Do you have experience of this sector or, if not, what sectors have you worked in that may be relevant? Depending on what you know of the financial systems you will be using, consider how you will manage this if you have never used them before.

How do you deal with a difficult stakeholder? How you manage different stakeholders – team members, other business departments, suppliers and customers – will be directly relevant to any procurement role. Here you will need to give examples of situations in which a stakeholder has made things difficult and how you helped to resolve it. Have a few of these examples ready. It may be a team member not pulling their weight, or a lack of compliance across business functions. A customer may be unhappy with a product or a supplier may have cut corners on quality. Make sure you spell out the steps you took to resolve the situation. Not only will these anecdotes show the interviewer that you have the skills to deal with conflict, but they will probably help you to answer other questions, too.


What do you like most and what do you like least about working in procurement?


Everyone dislikes some aspect of their job. It may be giving presentations to the finance department, it may be dropping a supplier. Interviewers know this, and they want to find out how you deal with

your dislikes, without them being to the detriment of your job. Tell the truth, but don’t be too negative. Outline why you don’t like a particular area and highlight how you manage this in order to get the job done. The other part of this question should be easy. Show enthusiasm for your career choice. Even if you have fallen into procurement, explain what has made you stay within the discipline. What interesting procurement projects have you undertaken that you have enjoyed? Consider how the aspects of your profession that you like the most can help you manage the aspects that you like least.

What attracted you to this company and role? The key to answering this question is research. Find out as much as you can about the job you are applying for and the company before you attend the interview. Who are its competitors, suppliers and customers? How has it performed during its most recent financial year? How big is the procurement department and which board member does it report into? What are the major categories, their budgets and how are they delegated? Arm yourself with as much information as you can, and consider why you want to work there. Is it different sector experience, this particular organisation’s brand, a step up the ladder from your previous job? If it is because you want to be challenged, try to identify what the challenges would be if you got the job.

“Tell the truth, but don’t be too negative. Even if you have fallen into procurement, explain what has made you stay”

What do you consider to be your biggest procurement achievement? Think about this before the interview, because it’s likely this question will be asked in one form or another. Did you change suppliers on a tough category and make savings as a result? Perhaps you introduced a new procedure or technology. Achieving procurement and supply chain qualifications while also holding down a

job may be a big source of pride for you. Maybe you persevered with a project that required buy-in from a number of different stakeholders. Whatever the achievement is, explain how you accomplished it, why it is such a big achievement for you, and how it will help you further your career. If you have received praise from third parties – a manager, client or supplier – for the achievement, let the interviewer know.

Do you have any questions for us? This may seem like an optional question but asking something pertinent will show you are keen on the role and the company. There are likely to be specific questions about the job, but you could also ask wider questions, for example, whether the firm is seeking expansion.


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HealthTrust Europe LLP is a group purchasing organisation (‘GPO’) operating in both the public and private sectors, focusing on healthcare. With a division, CoreTrust Europe, who specialise in providing goods and services to private equity owned companies such as The Hilton Group, Chanel and Merlin Entertainment; we jointly have over 200 customers in the UK, Europe and Internationally. Our parent company Hospital Corporation of America (HCA Inc), is the world’s largest private hospital group whose facilities in London include The Portland Hospital, The Princess Grace and the world famous Harley Street Clinic. With a market leading GPO in the USA already, which manages a contract portfolio of 20 billion dollars, HealthTrust Europe is the european arm of HealthTrust Purchasing Group ( and its partner Parallon ( Working to deliver real competitive advantage for our customers, we have established relationships in most health economies across England. Focusing on tangible savings and adding value to customers by sharing our knowledge, expertise and benchmarking services we are now looking to expand into European countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Poland. At HealthTrust Europe we believe our best assets are our staff and investment in our people is key. Working for HealthTrust Europe you will ¿nd that you are given the opportunity to really make a difference. We are looking for a range of people who are experts in their ¿eld and have the drive and passion to make a big impact. To ¿nd out more about why you should join us please visit our website at

Look no further for your next career move...

• Purchasing & Supply Chain recruitment specialists • Permanent, Interim and Contract vacancies • Visit to register your CV • Call 0115 988 6941 for the Midlands, 0161 297 0086 for the North or 01277 235430 for London & the South

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Powering Business. Empowering Careers.

Search and apply at Eaton is a global power management company. We help customers manage power, so buildings, airplanes, trucks, cars, machinery and entire businesses can do more while consuming less energy. As an integrated global company, we CTGWPKĆ‚GFKPQWTEQOOKVOGPV to powering business worldwide.

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Our products and the employees who design and build them are part of making a difference in the world every day. If you’re ready to do something that matters, to do it well and to be encouraged and rewarded for doing it, then Eaton is the place for you.

25/09/2013 13:54


CLOSE CONNECTIONS Ensure you are making the most of your LinkedIn proďŹ le



Getting a procurement job overseas

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OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENTS Working abroad is an exciting way for procurement professionals to grow their skills and experience. How should buyers go about getting the experience to propel them to an overseas role? Anna Scott finds out


nternational experience is becoming more important for procurement and supply professionals. Global supply chains necessitate that some understanding of how businesses work abroad is required, particularly when so many professionals in the sector deal with global suppliers. Procurement functions are becoming much more integrated in their approach, according to James Tucker, managing director at recruitment specialist 1st Executive. “There’s an increasing differentiation between truly international candidates and their narrower-focused domestic equivalents,” he says. There are a number of reasons why working abroad will substantially improve your CV. Financial benefits may come if individuals are deployed on ex-pat reward packages, says Christina Langley, managing director of Langley Search & Selection. “There are other benefits, however, in terms of the ability to take on roles that are more ‘greenfield’, where you can make your mark,” she adds. “Delivering across cultural boundaries often develops the skill sets of the individual in that they have to have more behavioural flexibility to be successful.” Xerox CPO Ken Syme moved to New York from the UK 16 years ago. He points to the range of expertise that taking

assignments overseas can provide. “There are many differences in the way companies deal with each other and the way buyers and sellers approach negotiation and ongoing contract management in different parts of the world,” he says. In addition, individuals can see their own company and its practices and processes in a different light after working overseas, which provides a basis for benchmarking and process

“There’s an increasing differentiation between truly international candidates and their narrower-focused domestic equivalents” improvement. “Buyers who have worked overseas may see benefits in their careers because the breadth of experience often provides a good base to take on more responsibilities and challenges,” adds Syme. The market for working overseas in procurement is relatively buoyant, particularly at senior levels in the FMCG,

pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors. Among the regions recruiting are Asia Pacific, some parts of Europe and South America. Generally there are substantially more opportunities for buyers to work overseas, says Syme, because progressive procurement requires local management of a global supplier base. UK-based procurement and supply professionals are particularly in demand so the opportunities for them may be greater. “In many cases the UK is seen as the centre of excellence for world-class procurement, so there is no better training ground,” says Tucker. Langley agrees: “Generally skill sets in the UK are comparatively high,” Langley says. “This varies by region. In Europe there are no ‘right to work’ issues and people are very mobile across country boundaries.” Speaking English helps, too. The bar is set high within the international arena, Tucker adds, particularly in major corporate organisations. “Europeans tend to be better educated than their UK counterparts, often with more varied multi-country experience, so this is where purely UK domestic candidates will struggle,” he adds. “In developing economies and places such as Eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific, this is less important as there is a massive shortage of procurement professionals.” From the other perspective, recruiters prefer candidates with global experience, says Wayne Brophy, group managing director of recruitment consultancy Cast UK. “This gives them breadth and depth to their CV, and they are saleable to our client base,” he says. So how can procurement and supply professionals get the experience to propel them into an overseas role? “Work for a UK company with operations overseas,” suggests Tucker. Langley agrees: “The easiest way to start working overseas is to get a promotion internally or move across into another region with your current company.” This is because procurement teams tend to be organised across geographies and, she says, offering to do a project or move to another region is a good way to secure international experience. “Once you have done a role internationally, it’s easier as you have proven experience, knowledge and behaviour to do another one,” she adds.


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For Syme, specialising in a specific procurement category is essential for getting the right experience for an international role. “Firms generally look for sufficient expertise to add substantial value to an operation in the host country,” he says. They also look for a high-potential employee, when selecting a candidate for an international assignment, who will “benefit from the experience and bring best practice back

to the home organisation” he adds. When procurement professionals look to find an international role with another company, others considerations come into play. For example, they should try to be in the country before the recruitment process starts, in order to be available when interviews come up. “If people aren’t available to meet clients then that’s an inhibitor,” says Brophy. “You need to be in the country rather

than doing it remotely.” This does depend on the professional level, however. A mid-level manager is in a fast-moving market, so trying to apply for jobs remotely is going to be a challenge. “For senior level employees the process takes longer, so an interview over Skype to begin with will be acceptable,” Brophy adds. Whatever way professionals look for international work, once they get off the plane, a number of challenges will await them, some that apply to the job itself, some to their lives outside work. “‘How things are done around here’ is often very different in different parts of an organisation,” says Langley. “Figuring out how things work, building new networks and developing a ‘radar’ for cultural differences often takes a while to bed down.” Equally, buyers should be aware that in any environment there is important local knowledge, including regulations, which need to be taken into consideration. “For local knowledge, don’t work alone,” says Syme. “Learn how to network with the local team and make sure you adequately research the rules and regulations for the area in which you are located.” There is life outside of work, too. “Challenges are often around the extended family – if children are moved they need to be settled into school and make new friends,” says Langley. “Partners often find it difficult to find new jobs internationally, families can suffer from ‘isolation’ problems if they have not lived abroad before.” Syme adds: “In any overseas assignment you should familiarise yourself with local customs and be careful to be respectful of them.” It’s helpful to look to the future as well. Often when people move away from a central large team to work in a smaller part of the business internationally, their profile can “drop off the map” and they may be sidelined and forgotten when it comes to succession planning, Langley warns. “Ensuring you still have the ear of senior personnel in the business and the ability to promulgate successes and personal profiles will be important. Finding a relevant mentor can help in this area to ensure your profile is still high in terms of future promotion,” she concludes.


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Eaton Career Opportunities - Supply Chain Management Eaton on Recruitment Drive for New IPO in Dublin

together will represent the scope and benchmark for Purchasing Excellence.

On July 17, 2013, Eaton announced the launch of Eaton’s International 1VSDIBTJOH0GƀDF *10 DPMMPDBUFEJO our Global Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. This new initiative represents an exciting prospect for the enterprise BOEJUTBTTPDJBUFTCFJOHJUTƀSTUTVDI investment of global Purchasing responsibilities of this nature based in Europe, and consequently a fantastic opportunity for external talent to join this successful and growing enterprise.

5IJTJOWFTUNFOUSFQSFTFOUTBƀSTU phase of Eaton’s IPO plan to create a leveraged and scalable organization that can support Eaton’s worldwide HSPXUI BOEUIBUGVMƀMMTCPUIJUTDVSSFOU and future procurement needs. The IPO initiative is a huge opportunity for external talent considering Eaton as their preferred employer of choice to pursue a career within an organization which is recognized as one of a handful of leading global power management companies.

The IPO starts with responsibilities to lead the global procurement processes and commodity needs for a number of critical Indirect and Logistics categories, and is expected to become Eaton’s Center of Excellence for Purchasing across all spend categories, including Direct Material. Indirect categories transitioning in the JNNFEJBUFUFSNUPUIF*10PGƀDFXJMM JODMVEF.30 *OEVTUSJBMTVQQMJFT *5 Telecom, selected HR support services, Travel, Marketing, and Communications services, whilst Logistics categories will cover Freight modes that will include Less-Than-Truckload, Full Truckload, Small Package, Ocean, Air Freight, and Third-Party Logistics Services. Key work processes managed by the IPO will include the development of commodity and supplier strategies, developing and managing RFQs, leading supplier negotiations, leading supplier selection, and having responsibility for overall contract management, which

The IPO will serve all of Eaton’s global business including its Electrical and Industrial sectors, which support its Electrical, Hydraulics, Aerospace and Vehicle businesses, and therefore scope of work and opportunity are both broad and interesting. About Eaton Supply Chain Management (SCM)

TJHOJƀDBOUGVODUJPOXJUIJO4VQQMZ$IBJO Management, procuring everything from raw materials like steel, resins, and electronics to components, assemblies, indirect materials and services as well as logistics and freight services. Eaton’s integrated operating company philosophy underpinned by its enabling Eaton Business System &#4 QSPWJEFTBGFSUJMFFOWJSPONFOUGPS career-minded SCM professionals – this coupled with its vast array of different businesses that make together for a global power management company that can offer a diverse set of learning experiences whilst operating in the power management space that provides sustainable career opportunities for the long term. Eaton’s IPO investment represents the next chapter in its organizational development and will QSPWJEFBMBSHFOVNCFSPGTJHOJƀDBOU career growth opportunities for both internal and external talent. About Eaton

Eaton’s SCM organization manages multi-billion dollars of global spend, and is recognized internally as a critical success factor for Eaton’s future success, growth and sustainability. It has been recognized in the past for its achievements and professionalism, and continues to be a net contributor to Eaton’s global results. Regional SCM associates are based worldwide, with a majority being based around Eaton’s major regional centers in Cleveland, USA, Morges, Switzerland, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Shanghai, China, and Pune, India. Purchasing represents a

Eaton is a power management company QSPWJEJOHFOFSHZFGĆ€DJFOUTPMVUJPOTUIBU help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. A global technology leader, Eaton acquired Cooper Industries plc in November 2012. The 2012 revenue of the combined companies was $21.8 billion on a pro forma basis. Eaton has approximately 102,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit

Search and apply at

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25/09/2013 13:54



Getting your LinkedIn profile right is crucial to getting on. Mark Williams has some tips for improving your online image


ith a membership of 225 million, LinkedIn has become the primary resource for checking the background and credibility of anyone that we come across in business. Recruiters are well-known for their avid and committed use of LinkedIn, even preferring to search the site before their own databases because they know it will be more up-to-date. It is also a commonly held view among recruiters of all types that a LinkedIn profile is a more reliable source of information than a CV. This means you could spend hours preparing a fantastic CV, only to find it is ignored in favour of your less than impressive LinkedIn profile, to which you haven’t devoted as much time. Follow the five steps overleaf to get your online image working at its best.


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PASSION TO SUCCEED... Operating Globally ss ro , ac ries t ng t ki us so ke or nd al r r W ll i e ma tito a w de e s p i i o v m ys p r c o na l & a

e gl


Need Staff?

Need a Change?

n si le d a p le ulti ent o t m s le nd uitm ign b A a e c r pa r am c


Delivering Excellence Across Procurement & Supply Chain Recruitment

f he af t t st d ui e a n i e s c r br re li rim nc e ca te a W est in vac els h t gh ot n ev hi r b ne ll l fo rma at a pe

lio tr fo ne, 00 po no E 1 ll t o S a n ie nd t FT sm ies l r c co om to an Ou se g fr ies, mp is in an co ng p ue ra com tiq u bo

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A good profile picture

An effective headline

LinkedIn is not a dating site so it really shouldn’t matter what you look like – and it doesn’t – but it does matter that people can see what you look like Recruiters are significantly more likely to want to connect with you, engage with you and subsequently employ you, if they can see your face in your profile. This is simply because most of us feel more comfortable interacting with someone when they can see their face. Imagine going to an offline networking event or interview wearing a hoodie and a mask... It is your face that people are most likely to remember and, if you want your online activity to count, you need to be memorable. A profile picture doesn’t have to be professionally taken (although it’s better if it is) but, ideally, it should be a head and shoulders shot, relatively recent and in focus. Always remember that first impressions count and your LinkedIn profile picture will always be your first impression.

A headline is the text that you see underneath your name. Most commonly this will be a job title and company but it doesn’t have to be. While your picture is the first thing people see, the headline is the part which clearly indicates the context of who you are to the reader and that is why your professional headline is the most important part of your profile. Your headline is restricted to 120 characters so it is important to use this section wisely. A good headline should include three things: * Your name * Contact details * A clear description of who you are and what you have to offer (including keywords) Your name is important for visibility reasons. When searching by keywords recruiters will only see your full name if you are a first or second tier connection unless of course you have your name in your headline. LinkedIn warns against putting an email address in a headline because of the risk of spam. The advantages of doing this, however, outweigh the disadvantages. Particularly when job seeking, there is little point in producing a great profile that is easy to find, when it’s impossible to see how to get into contact. You can change your headline when in “Edit profile” mode.


Recommendations Have you ever bought a product on Amazon and not read the reviews first? Do you use TripAdvisor? These websites have recognised the power of “social proof”. The odd thing about an Amazon review is that we have no idea who has written it, yet we are still influenced. LinkedIn provides you with your own opportunity for social proof via a LinkedIn recommendation. This is a testimonial written by a first-tier connection that is displayed in your profile and contains a direct link back to the profile of the writer. The key to successful recommendations is to ensure that you only obtain them from highly credible sources. The person that writes the testimonial should be able to influence the reader – that is, a potential employer.

“There are many other sections to a profile but these points should really allow you to stand out from the crowd”

Enhance your profile with media and documents One of the most under-utilised features is the ability to embed media and documents into your profile. Consider uploading a case study or a copy of a previous reference testimonial. A recent change to this feature means that you no longer have to link to an online document, you can now directly upload presentations, documents and images using the following formats: .doc, .pdf, .ppt, .jpg and others.


Mark Williams (also known as Mr LinkedIn) is an independent LinkedIn trainer.

Highly endorsed skills There is debate over the value of the endorsements of their connections that LinkedIn members can make. Users appear to wildly endorse the skills of any user whether they know them or not. This activity may seem meaningless, but it can be very useful. If you wish to be easily found by recruiters you need to ensure that your most applicable skills become highly endorsed. It doesn’t matter who endorses them – no one takes any notice – but what does matter is that endorsements have a major effect on the search algorithm. In simple terms, if you listed “reverse auctions” and this had been endorsed by 10 people then you would be significantly lower in a search result against somebody who has the same skill endorsed 50 times. Skills count far more than keywords in a profile and endorsements boost the search ranking of the skill. Try to list no more than 10 skills (the max is 50), as this will give you a much greater chance of each being endorsed. When a first tier connection visits your profile, a box opens at the top of the page encouraging the viewer to endorse five skills. There is a greater chance of your skills being endorsed if you list just 10 in your profile. OCTOBER 2013 | SUPPLY MANAGEMENT SUPPLEMENT

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Salaries have remained ned stable in the procurement ment profession and bonuses uses are expected

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SALARIES IN PROCUREMENT In the past year, the influence of procurement and supply chain professionals has grown, with many global events and high-profile stories reflecting the importance of these functions. While salaries have remained stable, professionals on the whole expect bonuses in the coming year

Do you expect your organisation to recruit more or fewer staff in the next 12 months, compared with the previous 12 months?

AVERAGE SALARIES IN PROCUREMENT Director of procurement: £70,000 – £130,000 Category manager: £40,000 – £50,000 Senior buyer: £35,000 – £40,000

No change Fewer

AVERAGE SALARIES IN SUPPLY CHAIN Supply chain director: £80,000 – £120,000 Supply chain manager: £40,000 – £70,000 Demand planner: £22,000 – £32,000




35% Fewer

No change

22% More


34% 30

37% Remaining proportion

AVERAGE SALARIES IN PROCUREMENT Director of procurement: £70,000 – £120,000 Category manager: £35,000 – £60,000 Senior buyer: £30,000 – £40,000 AVERAGE SALARIES IN SUPPLY CHAIN Supply chain director: £60,000 – £100,000 Supply chain manager: £45,000 – £60,000 Demand planner: £25,000 – £40,000

not planning to recruit


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Which of the following benefits do you offer employees as part of the standard package?



Contributory pension

AVERAGE SALARIES IN PROCUREMENT: Director of procurement: £65,000 – £120,000 Category manager: £40,000 – £60,000 Senior buyer: £28,000 – £40,000 AVERAGE SALARIES IN SUPPLY CHAIN: Supply chain director: £65,000 – £100,000 Supply chain manager: £35,000 – £50,000 Demand planner: £20,000 – £35,000


Childcare vouchers


Flexible working (such as flexi-time or homeworking)


Over 25 days’ annual leave


YORKSHIRE AND NORTH EAST AVERAGE SALARIES IN PROCUREMENT: Director of procurement: £75,000 – £150,000 Category manager: £35,000 – £60,000 Senior buyer: £30,000 – £45,000


AVERAGE SALARIES IN SUPPLY CHAIN: Supply chain director: £80,000 – £130,000 Supply chain manager: £40,000 – £60,000 Demand planner: £25,000 – £35,000 MIDLANDS


Health insurance or private medical cover


Generous sick pay

49% 58%



Cycle to work schemes

Individual/ company related bonus


AVERAGE SALARIES IN PROCUREMENT Director of procurement: £80,000 – £200,000 Category manager: £40,000 – £75,000 Senior buyer: £30,000 – £50,000 AVERAGE SALARIES IN SUPPLY CHAIN Supply chain director: £60,000 – £180,000 Supply chain manager: £35,000 – £90,000 Demand planner: £25,000 – £40,000

Source: Hays Procurement and Supply Chain Market Overview and Salary Guide 2013-2014


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26/09/2013 11:07

CREATING A HIGHER PROFILE INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS We are pleased to launch our Procurement and Supply Chain Market Overview and Salary Guide, a comprehensive guide focussing on trends in the marketplace as well as economic factors, government plans and technology drivers that are shaping the market. This guide provides a look at salary and hiring trends over the past 12 months and the beneďŹ ts that are inuencing the career decisions of procurement, supply chain and logistics professionals and helping employers to attract and retain the best talent. Request your copy of our 2013 guide at, contact Nicky Taberner at or call 0161 228 6422 for more information.

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25/09/2013 13:58



Interim management is not just something people do when the jobs market is tough – it’s a popular career choice, too. We highlight the benefits of making the move to interim procurement


rocurement and supply chain professionals are often drawn to move into interim management when job markets are tough or they’ve had a significant change to their career, such as a redundancy. In the past few years, however, an increasing number of purchasers are considering becoming career interims. “Many people have seen significant restructures in their organisations and are now rethinking their career options,” says Russell Soan, head of procurement and supply chain recruitment at agency Barclay Meade. “Professionals are now more conscious about their next move and many do not want to stick to one industry or be labelled as a direct or


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OXFORD COLLEGE OF MARKETING Faculty of Procurement and Supply








4ELEPHONE01865 515255 Email: SGU.10.13.034.indd 34

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INTERIM MANAGEMENT CASE STUDY: ALEX BUICK Interim category manager Alex Buick has worked in procurement since 2006, when he undertook a placement year at IBM as part of his degree course. Upon graduating he embarked on a full-time career in procurement and held a number of permanent positions over seven years. He decided to leave permanent employment earlier this year, and began his career as a professional interim finding placements through Barclay Meade. “Working as an interim employee has some significant benefits, although there are a number of factors to consider for anyone looking to make the switch from permanent employment,” he says. For example, the shorter notice

periods mean that those working on an interim basis are potentially at risk of being laid off during any cutbacks. However, he says: “The so-called ‘job for life’ is now a rare commodity, so why not take the risk? The perceived lower risk often associated with permanent jobs is just that – a perception. I have seen a number of instances where long-serving, competent employees have been made redundant following a restructuring or cost-reduction initiatives.” Interims tend to get less training from the employer and there is not so much emphasis on personal development, he adds, so he makes additional effort in order to progress and develop. However, interim employment allows for a much greater exposure to a range of varied industries and types

indirect specialist, or indeed focus purely on one category. “As a result, many purchasers have seen becoming an interim as a way of significantly increasing their skills and exposure to other markets, not to mention the difference in financial reward,” he adds. Pat Law, head of practice at Portfolio Procurement, says there is a demand for proven interim managers who can provide expertise in areas such as mergers and acquisitions activity. He adds, however, that the number of interims who are biding their time before something permanent comes up has decreased over the past year. “I am seeing more and more organisations, certainly in the commercial sector, who have decided to recruit permanent staff rather than engage interim support as and when necessary,” he says. “This is because of a real or anticipated upturn in trading levels that in turn provide the confidence to increase full-time equivalent headcount. The number of key projects is increasing so that the gaps between the need for talent are removed. “This is coupled with a good number of interim managers deciding to re-enter the permanent job market,” Law adds. Although there is a belief that organisations did not make full use of interims’ availability during the

headcount freezes and redundancies that followed the 2008 crash, the same companies are now turning to professional interims to deal with skills shortages, says Soan. “Many purchasers are concerned that their current teams have inadequate commercial or technical skills and often feel that the permanent employees available do not match an interim for experience and knowledge in project-based work,” he adds. “When procurement and supply chain teams have to neglect business-critical tasks because of a shortage of time, companies are exploring alternative measures, such as professional interims.” Professional procurement interim Norman Housden agrees with Soan’s opinion: “As an interim, a decision that I make or proposal I provide will be listened to and accepted as I have been engaged to give independent analysis and advice. If a permanent employee were to make the same judgement, this can be misinterpreted as either biased or negative. The client requires a balance of experience and impartiality.” Interim roles are often focused on clearly defined projects with a requirement for a particular skillset,” says interim category manager Alex Buick (see case study, box above). “Candidates will, however, need several years of permanent experience under their belts first.”

of employer, because such roles by nature tend to be shorter in length. This type of employment therefore provides the opportunity to develop a much broader set of skills and expertise than would otherwise be possible. “I much prefer the ‘cut and thrust’ of interim work, not only for the more dynamic work environment, but also because interim candidates are generally hired for a specific business need and therefore it is crucial to be working each day towards fulfilling that need and delivering results,” he says. “I enjoy getting fired up to tackle each and every day of employment to the best of my abilities and continually ensure that I refocus on the primary business objectives. This also ensures that my enthusiasm is maintained at peak levels,” Buick concludes.

WHAT TO CONSIDER Getting paid ➜ Interims are usually paid by the day or the hour and there are a number of ways they can be taxed. They can be paid under PAYE, where their employer deducts tax from their income at source. Some interims pay a small fee to an umbrella company which is then invoiced by the employer and pays the interim, minus tax and National Insurance. Or interims can set up their own limited company whereby they are responsible for their own tax and National Insurance contributions, and they will normally pay an accountant to manage these.

Location ➜ Interims can take positions all over the country, and abroad. If you decide to take up interim projects you need to consider whether you are prepared to stay away from home during the week.

Length of projects ➜ Interim projects are usually completed on three-, six- or 12-month bases. If you’re thinking of embarking on an interim project, you need to take into consideration some of these factors.


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…in the field of procurement and supply and further your career opportunies by achieving MCIPS. You can either choose to study CIPS qualificaons at your own pace, anywhere in the world to achieve the recognised standard for your profession. Or Maximise your current investment in your career and have your experience recognised through our Management Entry Route (MER).

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Barclay Meade is a procurement and supply chain recruitment expert. A leader in this niche recruitment specialism and an official CIPS recruitment partner. We offer national coverage from multiple strategic UK office locations and recruit at all levels from entry to senior executives across procurement, contracts, supply chain, logistics and materials within the manufacturing, engineering services and public sectors. We are also experts at both permanent and interim recruitment and all our consultants hold professional recruitment qualifications as part of our investment in their learning and development and our commitment to providing an expert recruitment service to our customers.

Bramwith Consulting is a specialist procurement and supply chain recruitment firm with a global presence. Working with small start-up firms through to FTSE100 businesses we have established a reputation for delivery, excellence and unrivalled market knowledge. We recruit permanent, interim and contract roles through contingency and search mandates, covering all levels from CPO to buyer. Bramwith Consulting’s experienced staff provide advice on salaries, market conditions and issues affecting the procurement and supply chain profession. Our track record allows us to provide the best talent and job opportunities available. This is why people choose Bramwith Consulting year after year.

For more information contact: Russell Soan 01489 873 400 0207 010 0406

For more information contact: Saffa Ayub 0207 138 4100


Beaumont Select is a highly successful purchasing and supply chain recruitment consultancy with a proven track record of matching talented purchasing professionals with exciting interim and permanent opportunities. We work with SME and blue-chip clients throughout the UK, Europe and worldwide. Established in 2001 to support the procurement community, we now have a team of nine specialist procurement recruitment consultants, who have well over 100 years of combined experience within the purchasing and supply chain space. We are an inspected REC Member as well as ISO9001:2008 quality certified for the provision of permanent and interim procurement solutions worldwide. For more information contact: Oliver Lewsley 01403 248 448


Portfolio Procurement delivers truly specialist recruitment services through honest and informed consultancy, a commitment to excellence and a pledge to deliver. We are part of the multi-award winning Portfolio Group. Please give us a call to discuss your search for talent or opportunity. For more information contact: Pat Law 020 7650 3191


Cast UK is an award winning professional level recruiter that focuses only on the procurement and supply chain disciplines. Offering national coverage out of three strategically placed offices (Manchester, Birmingham and London), Cast UK recruits in excess of 1,500 management and executive vacancies every year. Uniquely, Cast UK’s own internal recruitment policy is to employ consultants who have originated and held managerial positions within either a procurement or supply chain position. In addition, all of our consultants hold professional qualifications in their respective discipline. This knowledge, experience and commitment our consultants have ensures that the on-boarding process of sourcing talent for our customers is seamless. For more information contact: Wayne Brophy 0161 825 0825 3 Jordan Street, Manchester, M15 4PY


REED is one of the largest private recruitment and HR services companies in the world, incorporating over 20 specialist recruitment divisions. Established on the 7 May 1960, REED has grown organically into a business with over 3,500 staff and over 400 recruitment offices globally. REED was the first recruitment company to offer specialist recruitment services in the UK, a move which fundamentally changed the recruitment market, and it was this early combination of presence, innovation and specialisation that made the brand instantly recognisable to a wide audience. Our success has been a result of giving customers what they want, whether it’s the right people or the best job; we have an established reputation with a growing number of clients for continually innovating and improving the services we offer. For more information contact: Louise Gapp



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Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing.

Oscar Wilde

Procurement and supply chain recruitment by procurement and supply chain professionals.

Cast UK’s award winning consultants are not only skilled recruiters but also have practical Procurement and Supply Chain experience gained whilst working across a multitude of sectors. This unique experience allows our consultants to fully understand your requirements, offer advice, and exceed your expectations.

National coverage, local service, permanent, interim & contract opportunities.

Manchester 0161 825 0825

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London 0208 185 5200

Birmingham 0121 222 6444 @Cast_UK

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Experts in procurement & supply chain recruitment No matter what career stage you are at, our team of specialist recruiters can provide expertise and insight into: » » » » »

Industry trends Skill analysis Salary benchmarking Remuneration Advice and support

For expert advice please contact one of the team on 0207 010 0406 or 01489 873400. Alternatively, e-mail us at

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One of CIPS’ exclusive recruitment partners

25/09/2013 14:09

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Career Development  

Supply Management Career Development. October 2013.

Career Development  

Supply Management Career Development. October 2013.

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