Purchasing managers are responsible for negotiating terms and contracts, and for making informed and responsible spending decisions on behalf of their company. Purchasing managers work for a variety of industries including hospitality, retail, healthcare, government, and education. Top performers are aware of macro-trends across markets and industries, and work within internal company guidelines when making purchasing decisions. They are also tasked with establishing relationships with wholesalers and negotiating contracts for long-term business. While most of their work is conducted in the office, purchasing managers do embark on periodic business trips, establishing new contacts and attending industry conferences.
Purchasing managers typically begin their careers as purchasing agents or buyers. Once they have acquired enough experience, they have the opportunity to be promoted to managerial positions. Some high-profile companies require managers to have a master's degree. Certifications from organizations such as the Institute for Supply Management, the American Purchasing Society, and the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council are also available. The journey to become a purchasing manager can be a long and arduous one, but employees can learn a large amount of pertinent information about their business which can then be applied to other high-level positions.
As purchasing managers are usually hired based on internal promotions, interviewers may already know quite a bit about the character and work ethic of each applicant. Perception is subjective, however, and can be skewed during an interview. Unlike an interview, a personality test presents an unbiased profile of each applicant, describing strengths and weaknesses and predicting success on the job. The Employee Personality Profile (EPP) measures twelve personality traits that provide key insight into an applicant's work style and methods of interaction with co-workers and supervisors. The score report for the EPP provides a percentile ranking for each trait and explains what that ranking means in relation to the position, making it an invaluable tool for companies that seek to quickly hire exemplary purchasing managers.
Purchasing managers must also possess excellent critical thinking skills, have strong quantitative skills, and be effective problem-solvers. For these reasons cognitive aptitude tests such as the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) are also a good means of predicting success for these roles, so it is common for hiring managers to use a combination of the CCAT and the EPP to evaluate prospective purchasing managers during the hiring process.
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Source: U.S. Department of Labor