05 January 2006 | Anusha Bradley
A new online tool will enable firms to test the purchasing skills of staff and screen potential employees.
The European Institute of Purchasing Management (EIPM) has developed the self-assessment questionnaire "Bee Resources".
EIPM director Bernard Gracia believes it is the first assessment tool of its kind. "It tests theory, practical expertise and buyer behaviour through questions and simulations.
"It creates an individual profile and allows managers to analyse their team's collective skills," he told SM
It was tested on purchasers during development and is now being used by car maker Volvo.
The tool asks buyers to indicate their level of ability, then tests them.
It covers 65 skills including purchasing techniques, leadership and decision-making. The system uses role play to test 25 areas of buying activity.
About 600 pieces of information are collated to create a profile. All levels of staff can be tested and thousands of people can be assessed in a single week.
"It does not replace the recruitment process but supports face-to-face interviews," Gracia said.
The tool will be available in a number of languages, making it accessible on five continents.