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Attract top talent with the right purchase executive job description

Recruitment | 6 Min Read

Attract top talent with the right purchase executive job description


Purchase executive roles involve much more than buying goods and services for a company. These purchase executives are supposed to observe the market to identify supply patterns and changes and protect the interests of the organization by purchasing at a suitable time for the right price.

According to Procurement Statistics, 71% of companies see that having at least 50 suppliers helps them ensure that supply chains run smoothly [Source], and companies need skilled personnel to handle large-scale supplier management. There are several jobs for purchase executives available today, and organizations across industries need skilled purchase executives who can control costs, manage supplier relationships, and optimize processes.


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What is a purchase executive?

A purchase executive needs to manage the trading operations of an organization and is the mediator between the organization and the market. These professionals are responsible for sourcing and buying materials, goods, products, and services on behalf of the organization for use in daily operations or for reselling. They also research suppliers and vendors, liaise and negotiate with new vendors, maintain stock levels, and, depending on their job description, may also perform quality assurance.


Basic skills of purchase executives

  • Hard skills: Market research, numerical reasoning, order management, vendor management, quality control, basic computer skills, skills in using procurement software, etc.
  • Soft skills: Negotiation skills, critical thinking, collaboration, adaptability, communication skills, etc.


What are the duties of a purchase executive?

  • Sourcing goods, materials, products, and services while negotiating the most cost-effective deals.
  • Conducting product research and researching potential vendors and suppliers for the organization.
  • Inventory management and maintenance, performing inventory inspections, and reordering stock when required.
  • Keeping up with emerging trends and opportunities through market research.
  • Creating, maintaining, and updating records of orders, payments, and stocks.
  • Establishing and maintaining professional relationships with vendors, suppliers, and clients.
  • Preparing reports, tracking orders, ensuring timely deliveries, and quality assurance of purchased products.


Importance of drafting the right job description

Finding top talent begins with drafting engaging job descriptions. Oftentimes, the job description is the very first contact between an organization and a prospective hire. With so many available jobs for purchase executive positions across various organizations, drafting a clear and concise job description for a purchase executive can help organizations attract top talent for these roles.

A well-written purchase executive job description not only lists what is expected from the employee but also helps clearly define the skills that a candidate should possess.


What should be included in a purchase executive job description?

1. Job title

It is important to write specific job titles, as targeted titles are more effective than generic ones. For a job title to be effective, it should include a general term, level of experience, and special requirements, if any. If jobs for purchase executives are specialized, the specialization should be included in the job title.

Internal titles, abbreviations, and acronyms should be avoided so job seekers can easily understand what the job posting is about before they open it. However, the job description can be for a purchase executive¸ senior purchase executive, purchase executive with proficiency in MRP Concept, purchase executive (part-time), buying executive, etc.


2. Overview of the organization

This part of the purchase executive job description will serve as an advertisement for the organization, outlining the reason why a candidate should consider joining the company. When candidates come across several postings for the purchase executive job profile, they tend to consider the company information provided to see which organization seems like a better fit for them. Use this part of the job description to show prospective hires why they should choose the organization.


3. The purchase executive job profile 

This section of the purchase executive job description should give details about the importance and purpose of the position. The description does not have to be too specific and can provide a general view of what purchase executive roles entail at the organization.

The job profile for the purchase executive should start with an attention-grabbing summary of the position and define the organization’s expectations. Outlining the tasks and responsibilities related to the post can help job seekers quickly determine if the job is suitable for them.


4. Duties and responsibilities of the purchase executive 

The duties and responsibilities section is an important part of a purchase executive job description. This section should outline all the actions, tasks, and functions that relate to the performance of the employee in the position of purchase executive. The information should be conveyed clearly and should include the role’s technical aspects. This section provides candidates with a clear understanding of what will be expected from them if they are hired.

If applicable, this is where hiring managers should address the type of supervisory or managerial responsibilities that are expected from the role and the authority the role entails.


5. Basic skills and expertise

This section should cover the basic skills needed for a purchase executive role. Think about the basic skills, including education, previous experience, technical skills, certification, soft skills, personality traits, etc. These skills define the core of the job profile for a purchase executive and are an essential requirement for the applicants for the role. It is also important to keep the list of requirements concise but with ample information.


6. Preferred skills and qualifications 

This section can focus on specific education, knowledge, skills, and abilities that may not be ‘essential’ for performing the day-to-day tasks of a purchase executive, but they will improve the chances of a candidate getting the job. The specific qualities of who the organization considers to be an ideal candidate should be listed in this section.


7. Benefits and work environment 

This section should be kept realistic and practical, and it should include information about what candidates can expect from the job, the workplace, culture, and other benefits. All job seekers want opportunities that have something good to offer. Therefore, along with some common benefits, like health insurance, it is also important to emphasize the unique employee value propositions of the company, like development opportunities.


8. Proposed salary

For 61% of job seekers, the proposed salary is the most important part of the job description, according to LinkedIn.

A generous salary is also important for attracting top talent. Thus, a decent salary range should always be included towards the end of the job description to motivate the right candidates to apply to the opening.


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Sample of a purchase executive job description

Job title

Purchase executive


Overview of the organization

[Company name] is a top manufacturer of electronic products in the USA. Backed by a legacy spanning more than 100 years in the industry, [company name] was established in [year]. Consistently working towards building a more sustainable future, [company name] has managed to set new benchmarks of quality in the industry.


The purchase executive job profile

As our company expands, we are in need of a qualified purchase executive who can oversee the northern region’s purchasing transactions. This position entails selecting vendors and suppliers for materials, procurement of assets and tools, and sourcing indirect materials. You will also be required to ensure that the deliveries are made quickly by the supply chain group.


Duties and responsibilities of the purchase executive

  • Build purchase strategies
  • Manage budgets
  • Prepare cost estimates
  • Research sourcing for new vendors and suppliers
  • Manage order, payment, and inventory records
  • Prepare presentation reports


Basic skills and expertise

  • Nine years of experience as a purchase executive
  • Verbal and written proficiency in English
  • Excellent negotiation skills
  • Public relations and management
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability


Preferred skills and qualifications

  • Verbal and written proficiency in a second language, like Spanish, French, or Italian.
  • Ability to record, manage, and manipulate data using Excel spreadsheets.
  • Knowledge of project management.
  • Sales management and planning.


Benefits and work environment

  • Opportunities for growth and development
  • Opportunity to work with industry experts
  • Health and dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Performance-based bonus pay


Proposed salary

Successful applicants can earn between [salary range] per annum, and the salary structure is subject to increase every two years.


Identifying skilled purchase executives

Pre-employment tests

Resumes and personal interview rounds are important parts of identifying and hiring for purchase executive roles, but they may not be enough by themselves. There is also a need for testing the knowledge and abilities of applicants in a quantifiable manner. Incorporating online tests tailored to the role is one of the best ways to screen applicants and identify skilled candidates.

Types of tests

  • Role-specific test: Procurement tests or purchase executive/manager tests can help recruiters assess the job-related skills and expertise of the candidates.
  • General computer skills tests: These tests can help evaluate the computer literacy of candidates.
  • Software tests: Specific tests can help assess the proficiency of candidates in using software or tools like MS Excel, Outlook, etc.
  • Cognitive ability tests: Cognitive tests can help analyze the numerical reasoning and critical thinking skills of candidates.
  • Situational assessments: These assessments can help evaluate the skills of candidates in communication, negotiation, business judgment, and decision-making in real-world situations.
  • Personality tests: These tests can help understand the traits, motivations, etc., of candidates.


Tips for interviewing

Interviews should cover both behavioral and scenario-based questions. Behavioral questions can explore the past achievements of the candidates, while scenario-based questions can involve candidates explaining their approach in a hypothetical situation.


Mistakes to avoid

  • Not considering soft skills
  • Overlooking the discomfort of candidates in working with technology
  • Underestimating the value of first-hand industry experience



Finding skilled candidates for purchase manager roles who are also a good fit for the organization is important because only skilled purchase executives can ensure well-negotiated supplier contracts, low supply costs, and efficient collaboration. However, the right skills and qualifications for the right candidates also vary with every organization, based on their business needs. For example, a company with specialized supply chains may prioritize industry experience over networking for candidates.

With Mercer | Mettl, businesses can create customized pre-employment assessments to administer to applicants applying for the purchase executive job profile. The tests by Mercer | Mettl can help recruiters evaluate critical thinking, purchasing, numerical skills, and more with a scientifically validated assessment. The data-driven reports of the assessments will help select the most qualified and best-suited candidates from all applicants and help streamline the business’s recruitment process.



1. How to write a job profile for a purchase executive?

2. What is a senior purchase executive job description?

3. What knowledge and skills are required for a purchasing professional?

Originally published April 7 2024, Updated April 7 2024

Written by

Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.

About This Topic

An English proficiency test software is used to evaluate the English-speaking and comprehension skills of an individual. Customer-facing industries like hospitality, retail, BPOs, etc., often used some variant of an English proficiency test software to assess the pronunciation, fluency, accent, intonation and grammar of potential employees.

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