Hayley Packham

Hayley joined Procurement Heads in 2018 as Group Operations Director and supports the recruitment team in our Public Sector practice.

Why did you choose procurement recruitment as a career?

Having recruited Finance roles across the South Coast previously, I was able to understand the link between finance and procurement easily.

For the most part, procurement reports into finance and I was therefore able to speak the language of the CFO and understand what they need for a procurement function to be successful.

Plus, it is a function that is still relatively new to organisations, and I could see the value in helping companies develop their procurement capability.

What sort of procurement roles do you recruit and where?

While I largely focus on the operations side of the business, I do recruit senior procurement professionals within the public sector.

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

Cadence is critical to being a successful recruiter in any discipline.

Learn the process, tweak it until you perfect it and repeat it every day.

Procurement professionals are also trained negotiators, so you have to be able to hold your own in conversations and justify your offering succinctly.

Recruiters are the true definition of a broker and need to have the intellectual horsepower to navigate conversations on both sides of the table bringing candidates and clients together to achieve the desired outcome for all parties.

What do Procurement Heads’ values mean to you?

Exceeding Expectations: always going the extra mile for internal and external relationships.

Adding value to every conversation and touchpoint.

Not waiting to be asked to do something and being solution oriented at all times. Knowing what good looks like and aiming for great every time.

Rewarding Relationships: for external customers, this is about collaborative working.

By working in partnership with one another we can commercially reward the relationship and offer additional value-added service because of it. Internally, it’s about being supportive, available and recognising when your colleagues have helped you out.

Recruitment is a team sport, and we need to work together and not in silos to achieve the best results for each other and for the markets we serve.

Doing the right thing: Always putting the individual first and consulting with people’s needs.

It sometimes means saying ‘no’ but that’s OK if it’s the right thing to do for the individual or the organisation.

Treat others how you wish to be treated in whatever scenario you encounter.

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

Using our expertise to customise and tailor our approach to align with the customer’s goals.

Being seen as a trusted advisor and partner to organisations that understand the value of the service we provide, that seek our counsel and enable us to take our time to deliver the right outcomes.

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

Procurement is now being viewed as more of a strategic rather than a back-office function to organisations.

This has seen the emphasis tilt towards the evaluation of soft skills and behaviours when hiring instead of category and industry expertise.

Procurement is a relationship-led function and the rise of the SRM function is proof that there is a critical need to ensure procurement departments are well-equipped with individuals that have the ability to influence the business, stakeholders and suppliers to achieve business objectives.

This doesn’t mean that all interactions have to be face-to-face.

The increase in hybrid working means procurement professionals have to be equally adept at building these relationships from afar.

What inspires you?

My son.

Children have a brilliant way of making you see life through a different lens, and he inspires me every day to challenge my thinking and behaviour.

I want him to grow up with a strong work ethic, and a drive and determination to succeed (whatever success looks like to him).

Anything I can do to make it happen is all the inspiration I need.

What 3 words would you use to describe your professional self?

Driven, determined and diligent.

What do you enjoy most about procurement recruitment?

The variety of people and organisations I get to interact with on a daily basis.

There is a huge community of fabulous procurement professionals all striving to get the profession put firmly on the map and be a career of choice for future generations.

It’s brilliant to be able to educate people on what procurement is and the value it can bring. You can join it from so many other parts of a business with no real barriers to entry.

We are all Buyers in life and now I truly know what goes on behind the scenes before I make that purchase.

What are some of the biggest highlights since you joined Procurement Heads?

Aside from all of the wonderful social events we have experienced (surfing at the Wave being a particular favourite), it would be the journey that the business has gone through in the time I have been here.

We have changed so much as an organisation and have employed some very talented individuals to help us achieve our goals and vision.

In my capacity as Group Operations Director, I now get to directly affect the direction of travel and ensure we are constantly evaluating everything we do for our team and our customers to make us an employer and partner of choice.

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