Jaguar Land Rover wants ''rich mix'' of purchasing experience

28 November 2011

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29 November 2011 | Paul Snell

Jaguar Land Rover is aiming for a “rich mix” of experience among the more than 150 buyers it is hiring, as part of the company’s largest ever recruitment programme.

Speaking to SM, Brian Davy, purchasing director, facilities, materials and services, said the opportunities for people with ambition are “unlimited” and the automotive manufacturer is not restricting the pool of potential candidates to those with experience in the sector.

“The ideal candidate is probably someone who has plenty of business acumen in a procurement role,” he said. “But we recognise the size of the UK automotive industry is not as big as it was in the 1950s, so we are not going to have a big pool of people with automotive experience to choose from. So we are looking for a much wider experience base.”

The need to recruit a large number of buyers is in line with the company’s ambitious growth plans, which include launching 40 new products over the next five years, and hiring 1,300 new staff this year.

“Just putting your hand up and saying I would like another 200 people on my headcount is not a persuasive argument,” added Davy. “But if you lay it out and say you need the capacity to cope with the ambitious future model programme, our part of that bargain is to have the capacity to do it.

“But if you really want the value-add as part of that, rather than just coping then let us go and find these people and you will get back that investment in spades.”

Commercial acumen is the primary characteristic the company is looking for from candidates, along with the ability to influence and work with stakeholders.

“If you don’t have that ability - or acquire that ability - you won’t flourish and thrive here,” said Davy. “You need to be somebody who can influence events or shape events, rather than be a victim.”

A full interview with Jaguar Land Rover will appear in the December issue of Supply Management.

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