Don’t Hire A Procurement Recruitment Firm Before You Read These 5 Tips

Procurement recruitment firms can play a critical role in helping companies find talent. Since they cover the active as well as passive talent market, they can help with representing stronger candidates. That way, hiring great external executive search firm will raise the overall quality level of every new hire.

Even if your company have great recruiters they have don't time during their work hours to invest in passive candidates. So, procurement recruitment firms can help with that, especially if you want to hire people with three or more years of experience. The best and more experienced candidates often ask for help from the third-party recruiters because they can give them opportunities at different companies. The corporate recruiters represent only one company so this can be a huge advantage for external executive search firms.

Selecting the right procurement recruitment firm to hire can be a daunting task these days as there are so many companies on the market and each of them has its own terms of specialization, service offerings, markets, and industries served, etc. So, if you hire the wrong procurement recruitment firm it will typically significantly increase the time and costs associated with getting your positions filled.

To address this, I suggest using these 5 factors to consider before you hire a procurement recruitment firm:

1. Define your requirements

Think carefully about all the tasks that job holder on the position you need to fill will have to do. Once you have considered all the tasks, think about what is the skillset you looking for in that person. What are the skills, competencies, and behaviors (initiation, creativity, ability to work under stress, etc.) which you need for a perfect candidate to have?

Also, it may be very helpful if you think (in addition to the  well-known soft and analytical skill ) about the importance of specific procurement skills like financial aptitude, researching (supplier discovery and market trends/long term trends),domain knowledge and  technologically savvy.

Define your requirements is a critical element in the process of recruitment. You should look not only at what are candidate’s duties but also consider how the new person will fit in the team. If you have a small company, every single employee is a sizable portion of the staff and affects the dynamic of the group. So, it's very important to find the candidate who will complement (and not clash) with the company culture.

In the end, the more refined these requirements are, the better you would be able to explain them to the recruiters. Give them a broad statement that sets out the main purpose and scope of the job, the responsibilities, and the tasks, as well as soft skills candidates, should have in order to keep good functional relationships in the company.

2. Negotiate your fee based on your budget

The negotiation process of the fee structure is often the most time-consuming aspect of contracting a new procurement recruitment agency. So, before you enter negotiations with a new firm, you should know exactly what type of fee structure suits you and what fee percentage will allow you to stay within your budget.

Before negotiating your fee, you should gather information, research fee levels, and learn some facts about external executive search firms. They probably know these numbers, so the point is to deal become transparent.

Your company has an amount in mind and you would never offer more than this amount. Of course, you should always define a limit then an exact number.

You might be asked about an exact amount you can offer. Try, if possible, to dodge the question providing an indirect answer with an idea of the amount that your company has in mind.

Maybe you should go with fixed fee structure. Most of the recruiters charge contingency fee based on the salary of the hire. This way they have no incentive to present a candidate with high salary expectation.

3. Have a clear definition of your ideal candidate

It's important to explain the recruiter specific about your company values, but more important thing is to be specific about certain skills that can be relevant to a specific position you need to fill.

For example, it's not enough to say to the recruiter that you are looking for a candidate who is “technology savvy.” Does this mean you simply need someone who can use the computer and internet or do you want a person who is savvy about procurement technology tools and always has the knowledge about the latest and greatest technologies? You should be more specific about exact actions your candidate must have in order to be able to perform when describing secondary skills.

For example, if you’re looking for someone who feels comfortable working in the team or able to work under pressure, this is very important information you should provide your recruiting agency before beginning the search. Highlight this information instead of just listing a bullet item that says  "team player or settled and emotionally stable".

Besides drilling down on specific education like Supply chain degrees or certifications like SPSM or CPSM. There are a lot more things that go into a degree that just completing classes because nowadays students build their own curriculums and may be difficult to define exactly what type of education you need your candidate to have.

It's not enough for the recruiter if you to simply say, “this job requires a Bachelor Degree in Business,” or any other type of degree, and expect him/her to find your perfect candidate quickly. So, be specific more about what educational path you prefer (e.g. traditional) candidates to have or if they participated in certain extracurricular activities or be clear about that stuff before recruiters start searching for the perfect fit. The idea is to give an approximate profile and then let headhunter use their skills to find the right match.

4. Hire Recruiters with Procurement domain experience

If you hire any recruiting service, their employees will constantly work on getting to know your business by trying to understand your company's culture and what attributes and leadership skills your firm values. As any other great relationship, clear and honest communication is the key to successful cooperation.

However, if you run the procurement business you need the recruitment agency that understands procurement and has the skillset required to meet constant changes in the industry. You should define the recruiter's domain of expertise, so procurement recruitment agency knows what kind of experience their executive recruiters must have. Anyway, it's very important to look for the external executive search firm that has developed and proven screening process that is successful in hiring the best available candidates for a specific need like yours.

The reason you should define the recruiter's domain of expertise when hiring the procurement recruitment firm is that they must be industry specialists and understand the real job needs of you company, as well as your hiring manager's needs. They should have skills, experience, and competences to filter candidates, to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff and highlighting high potential candidates for your company.

5. Define the recruiter’s approach and reporting you prefer

Recruiters from procurement recruitment firms spend most of their workdays talking to people and they should be great at it. They talk to candidates about your company and its cultures, about the opportunities that they will have in the futures if they want to work for you. All that stuff is very important, but it's also vital for finding perfect candidate that the recruiters have contact with your hiring managers. They must have great communication skills and establishing and managing the flow of information because they’re on the front lines of the firm and making sure to report to the hiring managers of your company about the screening process and great candidates that they have found for you. Only if the  relationship between those two is good they can effectively work together and bring you more success.

Direct hire recruiters bring candidates through a screening process before their resumes ever hit your desk. Sometimes this includes background checks, proof of salary, and other information that may be pertinent to your position such as education or work experience confirmations and that transfer that information to your hiring managers.

Bottom line, getting the feedback from external recruiters is very important part of your cooperation.


Making the decision to hire the procurement recruitment firm in order to get the perfect candidates for the position you need to fill isn’t as easy as just flipping the switch. Because of that, it's very important to take care of at least these 5 things I mentioned in this article.

Hireo offers Procurement recruitment services, Let’s us know if we can of any help.