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MERJE Procurement

Meet MERJE is a series of interviews with members of the MERJE team discussing their experiences of recruiting in their specialist market.

Meet Stephen Fletcher, Managing Consultant at MERJE, who heads up our Procurement team.

How long have you been at MERJE?

I’ve been the Managing Consultant responsible for the building of the Procurement team at MERJE for six months. Prior to that I spent 30 years building different teams at another recruitment consultancy, after which I took a one year, well-earned, rest whilst I decided what would be my best next move, which was MERJE.

What kind of roles do you recruit for?

All things Procurement! This ranges from Chief Procurement Officer right down to Senior Buyer. In terms of the Procurement cycle, we also cover Supplier Relationship Manager roles as well and we work within both Permanent and Interim marketplaces.

How has the market changed during your time recruiting within it?

It has changed at lot over a quarter of a century. When I first started recruiting in this marketplace, I was very much looking for no-nonsense table-thumpers – strong negotiators who focused on squeezing every last penny out of a supplier.

Over the years it has evolved – Procurement is as much about collaboration and innovation as it is negotiation. It’s about getting the most out of suppliers, not just in terms of cost but also in value add to various parts of the business. It has become far more of a partnership where you can work with suppliers and open up to them in terms of your organisation and how you want to develop your business, and how they can help your business achieve its objectives.

What advice do you have for job seekers in the Procurement markets?

Expect the unexpected! No two Procurement teams are the same and the expectations and openness of stakeholders in different organisations varies greatly. Ensure that you explore the business and its intentions, and how much they value Procurement as well as how much the stakeholders will be open to having you in their business.

There’s plenty of questions that you can take to an interview to get a good picture of this, but it’s also worth doing your due diligence on what Procurement has been like at that business, how successful it has been, and how well it has been integrated into the wider company.

Why MERJE?

How long have you got? Knowing the three owners of the business very well certainly helped my decision to join MERJE, as I knew what they were about, what they were aiming to do and how they go about doing it. Over the past seven years I have observed how the business has grown and the methods they have used, and this fits in very well with my own ethics and morals.

Basically they have built everything through strong partnerships – it’s not about making a quick buck, it’s about the long term view and making sure they are a true partner with the organisations they work with.

I’ve been working very hard to build up a strong Procurement recruitment offering, and MERJE provides me with the platform and support that makes it fun.

To contact Stephen to discuss your Procurement recruitment or career needs, please call 0161 883 2795 or email sfletcher@merje.com.