Every year, hopefuls from all over the UK vie for the opportunity of their lives. Whether or not you enjoy watching the X Factor, you can learn something from how the judges select their future star. They’re not just looking for someone who can sing, they’re looking for someone who has that spark – that ambition and passion – that will spur them on to be the best they can be both for themselves and for the production company.
Well, isn’t that what we’re all looking for in a new staff member? When we’re recruiting for a procurement post, we should be searching for a candidate with not only the procurement toolkit and the softer skills of being able to engage and influence internal stakeholders and the supply chain, but also passion for the job.
I can’t imagine Simon Cowell giving a singer a recording contract based on a short piece of marketing material (which is surely what a CV has become) and less than an hour’s discussion which could easily be biased by either over-exaggeration or interview-day nerves. No, Simon and his team put the contestants through a much more rigorous process, testing them in different situations and asking them to perform in different styles.
Our Assessment Days are based on this principle. We recently held such an event for a global client who needed Europe-based professionals experienced in procurement, stakeholder management and haulage. After initial filtering by CV to ensure basic qualifications and experience, we asked them to answer in writing some challenging industry and category-based questions in order to demonstrate their underpinning knowledge. Then we held telephone interviews to generate a shortlist of promising candidates.
These candidates, from all over Europe, were invited to join us in Amsterdam for the Assessment. As well as traditional panel interviews, the day included a series of team and individual exercises, case studies, role plays and games designed to test their category expertise, team skills, influencing capability, stakeholder management, adaptability and presentation ability.
The only way to determine candidates’ true capabilities, drive and temperament is to see them first hand. At the end of an Assessment Day, you are confident that the candidate that you have selected has all the attributes you need. And, from the candidates’ point of view, they come away knowing exactly what the job will entail and what sort of people they will be working with.
So next time you are recruiting, try an Assessment Day and see how we can help you find your future procurement star.