The power of personality profiling in procurement

Rebecca Ellinor Tyler is former editor of Supply Management
1 October 2015

The benefits of psychometric testing in procurement will be explored at the CIPS Annual Conference and Exhibition in London next week.

The event, at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel on 8 October, aims to challenge the status quo and encourage delegates to ‘raise their game’ in procurement and ‘raise their voice’ to speak up for its value and do the right thing.

Among presenters for the day, which include headline speaker adventurer and marine biologist Monty Halls, there will be a session which examines how self-awareness and emotional intelligence can boost supplier relationships and build strongly performing teams.

Emotional intelligence business JCA Global will set the scene. Director of programmes Rich Cook will present some headline results of industry findings on soft skills, their use and effectiveness on procurement performance. Following Cook there will be presentations by ITV and Marks & Spencer on the approach they took and why.

Not only can personality profiling help procurement professionals to better understand their own approach and motivations, it can be powerful to harness that knowledge when negotiating with suppliers and trying to influence internal stakeholders.

Ahead of the event, ITV’s group procurement director Andrew Newnham told SM he has mapped the ‘colour’ personality type of the individuals in his team to ensure they are well-suited to be matched with particular stakeholders in the business. “Procurement needs to think beyond process and these things make you a better professional. This is about understanding people so you can influence them. At ITV we can’t be successful unless we think about it."

They also use it as a recruitment tool to make sure they’re hiring the right kinds of people, he said.

Elinor Williams, head of marketing procurement at Marks & Spencer, will also present on what M&S has done, the training put in place to teach staff how to adapt their voice and “flex their style” according to with whom they are trying to engage and the difference this approach has made.

Later on in the day, a breakout session entitled 'The hard case for soft skills' will debate the business case for emotional intelligence in procurement and introduce a tool to enable delegates to apply it in their own practices.

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