“In most cases, being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” Although Tina Fey said this in reference to running a TV show, it applies to all industries and teams. Procurement is no exception.

The highest quality procurement departments hire the most capable and skilled professionals. To achieve this standard, you should seek certain qualities and put out a call for the best procurement specialists.

Roles and Responsibilities

Unlike a chief procurement officer who oversees and develops a procurement process, specialists are down in the trenches focusing on direct suppliers, products and needs of specific departments and projects.

A specialist’s main responsibility is to plan and execute a procurement process to obtain material at the lowest possible price. In the midst of this he will also become familiar with supplier trends, availability and lead times. And finally, he will follow an order from the seeds of research to the purchase to the delivery.


A truly qualified procurement specialist doesn’t need any prior experience, any type of degree or special certifications—although your company may like to look for those, it’s not necessary. They just have to have a few particular qualities that can be beneficial for working in procurement.

  • Team player—specialists are constantly working with suppliers and other professionals
  • Organized—this is useful for handling multiple accounts and tasks at once
  • Knowledge or ability to learn compliance and regulations

The most important quality of any procurement specialist is to be experienced with technology. Because so many procurement processes have been simplified by online and mobile platforms, specialists must be able to jump in and learn this quickly. A proficiency with technology greatly increases their success in learning how to use a mobile procurement tool.

No matter what you are looking for in your procurement specialists, make sure any job description is detailed enough to attract the appropriate candidates. Generally, hard workers who excel at collaboration are always a good choice for any role, but specifically procurement specialists.