Ruth Stevens

Head of UK Procurement

Which big projects has Procurement been involved in recently? How does this relate to the type of work a candidate might expect to do?

We’re involved in all projects that involve suppliers. Recent examples include sourcing offshore call centres to handle customer calls, a Bureau Data Service for our application process and a Cloud Provider agreement so we can build our new infrastructure in the cloud. Needless to say, what we do can have a massive impact on the business. All of our activities involve collaboration across numerous departments. Together, we scope out what we need, identify the suppliers who can provide it and ask them to bid for the business. We work very closely with our colleagues to support them in choosing the best supplier option, as well as writing and negotiating a contract which protects us from both a commercial and legal standpoint.

What do you look for in your ideal candidate? What qualities, skills, etc. are important?

You have to be an excellent all-round communicator and have a collaborative approach. We work with all levels of the business, so you shouldn’t be fazed by working with senior execs. Everyone is very approachable, so there’s no reason why you should be. We also look for proactive people who can work autonomously. Ideas drive our business, so we’ll want to hear yours. Taking ownership of what you do and understanding how this impacts the broader business is important too.

Whether it’s sourcing products or securing services, it matters how we spend our money. Procurement is here to advise the business and ensure it is spent wisely. It’s a fast-paced environment that thrives on collaboration. What we do here has an impact on the success of the wider business and our ability to deliver for our customers.

Describe your hiring ethos/approach to hiring?

We look for people with potential and the ambition to realise it. Our overall aim is to bring new talent into the team and then grow that to be the next generation of leaders. We want someone who can progress, not stand still.

What should a candidate absolutely positively know about your department?

Two things really: firstly, we’re here to enable all business areas. We don’t make the decisions, we influence and advise but we don’t have the final say. The other thing is we’re a regulated financial services company, so there are rules and administration activities which come with the territory. You’ll need to be able to do these well too.

How does your department/will a candidate contribute to ‘Reimagine money, Inspire Life’?

We help the business areas source suppliers and solutions which bring customers a benefit. Through our contracting we protect customer data and the security of the business systems.  We also show the business what else is on the market – so they can make sure that they are delivering best-in-class services for our customers.

What backgrounds have people in your department come from?

We have everyone from graduates in their first job to people with 20+ years’ experience. They come from a broad range of sectors too. As well Financial Services, we have people from Automotive Manufacturing, Aerospace, Retail, Services, Healthcare and the Military.