Procurement job titles – meaningful or misleading?

It is also likely that your procurement job search will focus on another job title, after all, the title of your role at work goes a long way towards defining who you are personally and professionally and helps indicate to others just how far up the ranks you have climbed.

From a procurement recruiters’ perspective, job titles can be misleading, often failing to truly reflect the nature of the role in question and luring people into positions that will fail to satisfy them professionally or enhance their career in the long term.

Equally true is the fact that job titles can deter procurement talent from taking interest in an opportunity if they don’t truly represent the parameters of the role.

Take a recent recruitment project where we were asked to find a Contract Manager.

The remit of the role was extensive and required strong leadership skills, the experience to manage a fair-sized team, and the confidence to build relationships and negotiate at the senior level and add value in terms of strategic decision-making. 

The job title however was a stumbling block because it simply didn’t reflect the scope and seniority of the position.

Luckily our network was strong enough for us to market the opportunity to the right people in the right way, but if the company had gone to market itself it would have been a difficult project to fulfil.

Paul Snell looks at the conflict between job titles and role content in detail in a recent article for Supply Management using comments raised at the CIPS Middle East Conference last Monday to illustrate similar points.

During the conference, Wael Safwat, Director of Central Procurement at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, told the audience that ‘if you believe that being a procurement specialist will get you into a big organisation where you can develop, you should absolutely sacrifice the title.’

Daniel LeBlanc, Manager Procurement – Aircraft at Emirates, then explained how he had been promoted from ‘Procurement Manager to Manager Procurement,’ urging procurement professionals to forget about the title, look at what the role is, the size of the responsibility.’

So don’t be tempted to pursue a title instead of a real opportunity – future employers will quickly see past this once they’ve brought you into an interview process.

Likewise, take the time to research roles in more detail so that you don’t overlook golden opportunities.

Better still – build a relationship with a good procurement recruiter who can do the hard work for you – one of the many ways in which Procurement Heads add value to the careers of procurement professionals across the United Kingdom and internationally.

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