Meeting soft skill requirements continues to be imperative for procurement professionals who work cross-functionally and influence decisions across the company. A good Category Manager must have subject matter expertise in their category gained through research and analysis. They must be empathetic to the needs of their stakeholders, incorporate those needs into the category strategy, and ensure overall strategic goals are met. Each of these key criteria requires soft skills to communicate strategy, lead projects and teams, and impact decision making.
Procurement hiring officials have begun placing equal importance on soft skills as they do the required technical and functional skillsets. In this edition of Career Pulse, we will introduce the key criteria that our clients strongly value in their category managers—along with the soft skills that correlate with each of these criteria—and discuss the types of behaviors that demonstrate you have the soft skills companies are seeking.
Finally, what better month than July—when we celebrate this important time in our nation’s history—to discuss the importance of hiring Veterans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, 21.2 million men and women were veterans, accounting for about 9 percent of the civilian non-institutional population age 18 and over. Veterans have already honed many soft skills that are pertinent to engaging with the customer and understand the importance of working effectively in teams.
Denali represents many of today’s most sought-after procurement organizations in their search for top talent. If you are considering a new opportunity, please review some of our direct hire opportunities with Denali clients listed below. If you are hiring any of the following; direct hire, interim or project-based talent, consider partnering with Denali.
Vice President, Denali Group
- Stakeholder Relationships
- Category Knowledge
- Strategic Execution
An end-to-end owner, the Category Manager is someone who is in charge of defining a strategy for the category, a market intelligence expert in this category, and is capable of communicating this strategy for implementation across all levels of the organization. He or she should work in a cross-functional manner with stakeholders to influence important decisions.
Behavioral Indicators of Each Core Competency
- Change Management – Re-directs the use of resources, business process, budget allocations, or other modes of operation that significantly reshape the procurement organization
- Initiative/Leadership – Establishes a team effort that promotes working toward a common goal
- Decision Making – Makes decisions and takes responsibility for them. Subscribes to and follows a set sourcing process
- Communication – Skilled at both oral and written communication that can influence others. Effective presentation skills – uses examples and visual aids that have an impact on the audience
Understand Your Categories
- Analytical Thinking – Applies a methodical, step-by-step approach to thinking allowing complex problems to be broken down into manageable components
- Conceptual Thinking – Relates different events and key pieces of information; to make connections, see patterns and trends and draws information together into models and frameworks which can then be used to interpret complex situations
- Planning & Organizing – Plans and organizes tasks and work responsibilities to achieve objectives. Sets priorities and meeting cadence. Researches and acquires market intelligence from a variety of resources
- Innovation – Develops new insights and applies emerging ideas, innovations and new technologies to ensure high-quality service delivery. Encourages new ideas and innovations
- Problem Solving – Analyzes problem by gathering and organizing all relevant information, identifies cause and effect relationships and comes up with appropriate solutions
Know Your Stakeholders
- Relationship Building – Spends time getting to know and addressing needs of stakeholders. Inspires and fosters team commitment. Facilitates cooperation and motivates team members to accomplish group goals
- Influence /Negotiation – Persuades others; builds consensus with internal and external stakeholders through give and take; gains cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals
- Integrity – Behaves in an honest, fair, and ethical manner. Shows consistency in words and actions. Models high standards of ethics
- Adaptability – Readily readjusts priorities to meet changing stakeholder needs. Is open to change and new information; rapidly adapts to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles
Consider Hiring a Veteran
According to The U.S. Department of Labor Blog (Crunching the Numbers: 5 Overlooked Facts About Veterans Employment Filed in Jobs, Veterans By Terry Gerton on August 21, 2015), The employment situation for veterans continues to improve. Transitioning service members are being better prepared to enter civilian employment before they leave active duty. More and more companies are making commitments to hire and retain our nation’s veterans.
Skills acquired in the military make veterans very effective at interacting with and understanding stakeholders, working effectively in teams, making decisions, and being effective leaders. Consider recruiting Veterans for Procurement positions through Veteran specific job boards, publications, and organizations. For more information on resources and tools to hire Veterans, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Denali GroupFounded in 1996, Denali Group collaborates with supply chain and procurement professionals to deliver more value, faster and more efficiently. Denali’s innovative solutions help Global 1000 companies transform organizational capabilities, improve execution efficiencies, increase spend under management, and accelerate time to savings. Services include:
Denali Sourcing Services: Managed sourcing execution and procurement outsourcing
Denali Academy: Strategic category management training and development
Denali Intelligence: Subscription and custom supply market intelligence
For more information on Denali Group services, visit http://denaliusa.com or call 888-824-8866.