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Overseas procurement specialist job description: responsibilities and skills


Procurement specialists significantly impact your business through the purchases they make on your behalf. By ensuring the quality of all products they purchase, they can bolster your company’s ability to meet customers’ needs.

Because the global landscape of businesses is growing rapidly, your business may require an experienced overseas procurement specialist to get the best value for materials, products, and services at a reasonable cost.

To take advantage of the growth and demand for procurement specialists, you should be familiar with their skills and responsibilities so you can write a compelling job description and put in place the right hiring strategy. 

TestGorilla’s Overseas Procurement Specialist test can help you employ the right professional to streamline your recruitment strategy into a seamless, efficient, and cost-effective process. It can help you discover and hire top candidates with the right business acumen to ensure your company dominates its market.

In this article, we’ll describe the core responsibilities and necessary skills to look out for when hiring an overseas procurement specialist.

We’ll also provide a sample of a procurement specialist’s job description to guide you in developing yours.

What is an overseas procurement specialist?

An overseas procurement specialist obtains the supplies your company needs from markets worldwide. They are tasked with procuring the best value from market products depending on the size, price, and industry.

Worldwide, governments spend around $13tn procuring goods and services. With this high-level investment, it’s evident that procurement is integral to the success of organizations globally and determines the quality of service they provide.

Procurement specialists are critical in every business initiative, from the private to the public sector. Although their primary duty is to secure top-quality and cost-effective products, they also indirectly enhance customer loyalty with their services.

What are the responsibilities of a procurement specialist?

procurement specialist responsibilities

Procurement specialists perform various responsibilities depending on the nature of the market and the industry in which your company operates. Usually, they spend time searching and identifying suppliers that will give you the best for your money. 

We discuss a few responsibilities below:

1. Conducting market research on available products

Overseas procurement specialists are charged primarily with searching and identifying products and services that best meet your organization’s needs within the industry. All of this should be done within a specified budget.

2. Performing proper cost analysis

The cost of products or services directly influences the prices of your goods and services. Hence, your procurement specialists must perform a proper cost analysis to ensure your company pays market-friendly prices while you remain profitable.

3. Negotiating contracts

Overseas procurement specialists negotiate purchasing agreements with suppliers to ensure your company gets the highest quality of goods and services at the lowest price. Every bargaining decision they make must be profitable for you. 

4. Projecting future company needs

Markets constantly evolve. As such, your overseas procurement specialists must have a strategy that caters to future operations. A strong strategy will ensure your company never lacks the required products or services.

5. Tracking inventory records

A key responsibility of a procurement specialist is to track your company’s inventory to ensure you don’t run out of stock. Doing this prevents your company from running into problems, like the inability to meet the demands of your customers.  

10 in-demand skills procurement specialists need 

procurement specialists in-demand skills

Below, we list 10 skills you must look out for when hiring an overseas procurement specialist. For example, a procurement specialist with the right innovative skills will think of creative ways to ensure your company remains competitive in the industry.

Also, a procurement specialist with the right risk-management skills will know when a particular trade is worth the risk and when it’s not. This skill results from understanding the market in which your company operates.

Below are in-demand skills you need to consider when recruiting procurement specialists (including procurement managers) to improve business operations:

1. Strong negotiation skills 

Strong negotiation skills are not just about getting your way but knowing when to push on and when to compromise. The ability of your procurement specialist to read clients and identify ways to get top value for the best price is important to your company’s success. 

2. Time management

Time management is a vital tool for every professional. Procurement specialists must be able to make purchases and deliver them within stipulated deadlines. Poor time management can lead to losing clients and damaging your overall efficiency. 

You should integrate time-management assessments when hiring to determine which candidates can meet deadlines effectively and enable you to maintain customer loyalty with their efficiency. 

3. Risk management

Your procurement specialist must understand the dynamics of your business’ market. This knowledge will help them evaluate, manage, and predict potential risks.

Risks may appear in different forms for your business. It could be a risk associated with buying specific raw materials from a client, scaring clients with an increase in the price of your products, or launching a new business strategy. 

Regardless, proper risk management leads to better decisions.

4**.** Innovation

Overseas procurement specialists do not usually create new technology or develop new ways to produce goods. However, they can create new ways to reduce the money spent on goods and services to provide better services to your target market. 

5. Key performance indicators (KPIs) analysis

KPIs are relevant in assessing your company’s performance towards certain pre-agreed milestones. Procurement specialists use this to identify areas where your business needs improvement.

KPIs can refer to completed tasks or revenue growth. If your quarterly revenue does not match your target and cover expenses, procurement specialists should know the metrics to adjust to keep you in business. 

6. Leadership

Overseas procurement specialists often head multiple departments. Therefore, leadership skills are essential for these specialists to relate with suppliers and members of the departments they oversee.

7. Finance management

Optimizing budgets is a priority for your business. The ability of your procurement specialist to seek alternative materials that cost less but have the same value is instrumental to the profitability of your business.

8. Data analysis

Proper data analysis improves strategic decisions by 69%. This means that your company’s chance of profitability increases with effective data analysis.

As such, procurement specialists should be able to harness data from past and present purchases to guide future decisions and reduce the risk of your company facing major challenges in the market.

9. Technology literate

Procurement specialists must be ready to explore the benefits technology brings to the market. As technology rapidly evolves, your procurement specialist must be up to date with business technologies to be able to advise what your organization should buy and integrate. 

10. Global market optimization

Overseas procurement specialists make transactions on a global scale. To make successful business deals, their relationships with suppliers of goods and services must be positive.

The nature of their job requires interacting with international suppliers, and this relationship is optimized when your company derives additional benefits and opportunities.

Sample of a procurement specialists job description

Job overview

We seek an overseas procurement specialist with experience sourcing international materials and services, completing the procedure-to-pay (P2P) cycle, and drafting purchase requisitions.

This position requires that you ensure that shipments of our raw materials are supplied on time, and you need the right negotiation skills to deal with vendors.

Overseas procurement specialist responsibilities

As our overseas procurement specialist, the following responsibilities are required of you:

  • Understanding the market and creating new strategies to keep up with new developments 

  • Oversee purchase orders

  • Addressing issues with suppliers

  • Ensure materials supplied are of high quality

  • Discover new ways to save costs without losing the quality of materials supplied

Necessary skills and qualifications

The following skills and qualifications are required to be considered for this role:

  • A bachelor’s degree in business administration and analytics

  • Four years experience as a procurement specialist

  • Certified Purchasing Professional (professional certification)

  • Excellent time management, negotiation, and data-analysis skills.

  • A firm understanding of the global purchase market

Use the right strategy to select the best procurement specialist

Top overseas procurement specialists will ensure that your internationally sourced goods and services give you an advantage over competitors in your market. And with the perfect strategy, you can hire skilled purchasing managers.

Assessments are reliable alternatives to resume screening because they are efficient, cost effective, time saving, and customizable to enable you to assess specific skills, preventing a mis-hire.

TestGorilla’s test library is an excellent resource to help you revamp your recruitment strategy. You can combine many screening tests to develop the ideal assessment for an overseas procurement specialist.

Register with TestGorilla today to begin.


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