Emma Craney

Why did you choose procurement recruitment as a career?

As many Consultants will tell you, I came across recruitment entirely by chance. I was working in advertising sales for a local newspaper in the days when Jobs’ supplements were huge; several of my clients were recruitment companies and, curiosity piqued, I actively sought a position within this great industry. That was in the year 2000 and I have never looked back!

Why procurement recruitment specifically? Well, early on in my recruitment career I had a mentor that was a Chief Procurement Officer for a large retail company. He spoke about his career and the opportunities that it had afforded him with such passion and enthusiasm, it was obvious that he really loved his role, and it pushed me to want to find out more.

My recruitment career has been forged within the Procurement and Supply Chain space and over the past 20 years I have watched the industry evolve and rise to a pivotal position within the UK economy. This is just the beginning, there is so much more to come.

What sort of procurement roles do you recruit and where?

My team and I work within the Financial Services and Professional Services arena. You will find us working on vacancies to include Heads of Procurement, Head of Category, Category Management, SRM, Sourcing and Buyers. We have a national remit but as you would expect much of our time is spent in the London Market.

What qualities do you think are integral to being a successful procurement recruiter?

For me, great recruiters need to be immersed in their industry to ensure credibility. We are the eyes and ears of the market, and this puts us in a great position to question, share market knowledge and guide our clients and candidates in their choices. You need to love people, be interested and curious, able to build and maintain great relationships, demonstrate speed and integrity in your approach and overall be committed to delivering the very best outcome in all situations.

What do Procurement Heads’ values mean to you?

One of the reasons I was so excited to join Procurement Heads was that their values aligned so closely with my own….in my experience that is an environment in which magic can really happen!

Recruitment is a people centric industry, and it is essential that you are able to build relationships that move beyond transactional and into a truly ‘Trusted Advisor’ status. I regularly find that candidates become clients and vice versa, so it is imperative that we are adding value with every interaction that we have.

And our purpose is to deliver recruitment as a professional service; what does that mean to you?

As recruiters we are responsible for elevating the image of our industry on a daily basis. It is a privilege to represent our clients and candidates in a holistic manner; everyone has a story, and it is our role to shape and relay it effectively to the most relevant people, both inside and outside our networks. At the same time, it is important for any professional service to share knowledge and educate. We are in a unique position to this and mastering the art of doing it well, and to the benefit of any situation, is something that we strive to perfect. Finally, delivering recruitment as a professional service means that we’re there long after an appointment has been made, great recruiters become an extension of your own team (professional or network) , someone you know you can rely on to give the right advice and support every time you require it.

How has procurement changed during your time recruiting into the sector?

The industry has evolved exponentially over the last twenty years from being viewed as a support function, focussed predominantly on cost reduction, to taking its rightful seat at the board table influencing company strategy.

In recent years, the need to strengthen complex global supply chains, and the relationships that underpin them, has been front of mind and as we move through the 2020’s digitisation, sustainability and ED&I are all pushing to the forefront of a Procurement professional’s consideration. It is an exciting time to be involved in the industry and I look forward to watching it evolve further in years to come.

What inspires you?

Seeing others succeed and knowing that I played my part in making that happen.

Whether that is my daughter, the consultants that I work alongside, candidates or clients looking to stride forward with their business, my role is to listen, understand, educate, guide, pave a way, support, and facilitate that success.

What three words would you use to describe your professional self?

Curious, Considered and Committed to making a difference.

What do you enjoy most about procurement recruitment?

Having the opportunity to collaborate with amazing consultants, clients, and candidates daily. Great recruitment, done with transparency, honesty, and integrity, has the power to transform.

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