It’s that procurement imagetime of year when the Careers team are catching up with employers and looking at recruitment trends for 2014. This morning, Ida and I went to pay a visit to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment to learn more about the Procurement Graduate Programme currently being advertised on CareerHub.

Procurement? What kind of grad job is that?

For a start, procurement is one of the fastest growing professions in New Zealand. If you are looking for interesting, varied and challenging work, are keen to develop skills in managing projects, negotiating with suppliers and carrying out market research and data analysis, this could well be a great career option for you. On top of the personal satisfaction of being part of large projects with significant budgets, being a procurement practitioner can give you the opportunity to contribute to sustainable economic and social development while earning a competitive salary.

OK, sounds good, but what exactly does ‘a day in the life of’ a procurement person actually look like?

Let’s have a look at what might typically happen at Joe’s Joinery….
Joe’s Joinery needs communication devices so staff can keep in contact while off-site. After researching what is available in the market (landline phones, walkie-talkies, basic cell phones and high-tec smartphones), Joe’s procurement team decides that a smartphone would provide additional benefits as staff would be able to communicate via email and text message and send photographs back to the office. They ask the market to send in proposals that meet their needs and choose the best supplier based on their ability to deliver their requirements. They then negotiate the terms of the contract with the chosen supplier – including price, delivery dates, technical support for the rollout of new phones and the refurbishment and on-selling of the phones at the end of the contract. Finally, they sign the contract and staff get new phones which increase productivity by reducing the amount of time spent at the office responding to emails.

Interested? The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities in both the public and private sectors and awareness is growing about what a good procurement officer can bring to an organisation, both in terms of savings and organisational development. As Chief Procurement Officers have become increasingly important members of the boardroom, the opportunity to shine and progress within an organisation through procurement is now better than it ever has been. And this is true not only in New Zealand, but globally as well – so a career in procurement can lead to overseas opportunities.

What do procurement recruiters look for? Good oral and written communication, project management, relationship management and negotiation skills are strongly sought after. They also look for people who are energetic, willing to learn and have an eye for detail. People in procurement tend to have ‘intellectual grunt’ and analytic and strategic thought process. Good interpersonal skills, both with team members and customers are important too.

Sounds like you? Then check out the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Graduate Development Programme currently advertised on CareerHub or go directly to their website. Don’t delay! Applications close the 5th of January, 2014 for a February start.

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