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Ben Belflower, Reporting & Analysis Manager, Aramark

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It is Time to Update your Purchasing Job Description

As discussed in Tuesday’s post, the purchasing manager position has changed and evolved over the last couple of decades from one of primarily clerical function to that of a strategic thinker. The extensive use of international markets led to creation of situations in which various companies are closely competing from a broader geographic footprint. Prices of the commodities have skyrocketed and many companies decided to outsource some of their tasks that were once done within their jurisdictions. These changes made the purchasing performance even more critical to the success of the company. That is why your company also needs to update the kind of individuals that they are hiring in order to better position themselves for the future.

The Significance of Updating Purchasing Job Descriptions

Purchasing job descriptions play a very significant role in the company regardless of the pursued management option.  Hence, an outdated job description may have undesired effects on the management strategy of the company. It can set a very low standard in terms of skill levels that the company is looking for in its employees. In addition, utilizing outdated job description may result to hiring new members of the team who appear to have the necessary skills to succeed in purchasing. These skills however are only applicable for the past years and not the skills needed to succeed today.   That is why, in today’s challenging field of business, it is vital to have an updated purchasing job description.

When evaluating the job description you will need to consider the 2 major parts of the purchasing job; one section is the description of responsibilities and the other one is the qualifications for the said position. The qualifications section will include experience, education and certification.  Among the qualifications, the certification is the part wherein most companies  unknowingly sabotage their efforts in recruitment.  Even during the past 5 years, certifications and education has changed.  Unless your company is closely monitoring these changes, your job descriptions might be suffering from it.

Tips on How to Re-Evaluate Job Descriptions

Here are the guidelines on how you can re-evaluate your job descriptions.

  • Certifications should match the job responsibility – preferably, the responsibilities written in the job description should perfectly match with the curriculum content of the certification required.  Take note that certification programs are not all uniform so you should take into consideration the specific skills your company utilizes such strategic sourcing, spend analysis, and eProcurement.
  • Confirm the specified certifications availability – due to the rise of SPSM certification, it is also connected to the changes in outdated certification programs. In 2007 as well as in 2008, there were important deadlines for 2 older certifications wherein the capability of the aspirants to register or apply in certification were shortened. The decision on whether to retain these certifications to the purchasing job description will depend on you.
  • Other factors – if you wish to utilize the most recent practices consider the level of education (associate degree vs bachelor degree), the date the degree was achieved, and then account for changes over time with additional certifications. With the continued change over time, the further back the degree the less practical and helpful that is to today’s purchasing environment. Current work and certifications can show that the individual has taken steps to improve and maintain skills necessary for today.

Remember that it is essential to include qualification stability in the purchasing job description for recruitment of new employees and motivating the present ones.

 

 

December 13, 2012
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BY Bellwether
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