Sourcing Specialist Job Description

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What is a Sourcing Specialist?

A Sourcing Specialist is a professional who specializes in finding and evaluating potential suppliers or vendors for a company. Their main responsibility is to ensure that the goods or services required by a company are sourced in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

Sourcing Specialists can work across various industries, depending on the specific needs of a company. Some common industries where you can find Sourcing Specialists include manufacturing, retail, logistics, healthcare, technology, automotive, and consumer goods. The specific industry may influence the type of goods or services being sourced and the particular requirements and challenges that the Sourcing Specialist needs to address.

What does Sourcing Specialist do?

A Sourcing Specialist is responsible for finding and selecting suppliers to provide goods or services needed by a company. On a day-to-day basis, their tasks may include:

  1. Identifying sourcing needs: Reviewing and understanding the company's procurement requirements and identifying the goods or services that need to be sourced.

  2. Researching suppliers: Conducting research to identify potential suppliers who can meet the company's requirements. This involves gathering information about suppliers' capabilities, quality standards, pricing, and delivery performance.

  3. Supplier qualification and evaluation: Assessing suppliers based on criteria such as financial stability, reputation, production capacity, quality control systems, and compliance with regulations or certifications.

  4. Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) processes: Preparing and issuing RFIs and RFPs to shortlisted suppliers, outlining the company's requirements and expectations and requesting specific information, proposals, or quotes.

  5. Negotiation and contract management: Engaging in negotiations with suppliers to obtain favorable terms and prices. Drafting and managing contracts with selected suppliers, ensuring compliance with legal and company requirements.

  6. Relationship management: Building and maintaining relationships with suppliers to foster effective communication, address any concerns or issues, and improve overall supplier performance.

  7. Monitoring market trends and industry changes: Keeping up-to-date with market trends, new suppliers, technologies, regulations, and any changes that may affect the sourcing strategy or supplier selection.

  8. Analyzing data and preparing reports: Collecting and analyzing data related to suppliers' performance, costs, quality, and other relevant metrics. Preparing reports and presenting findings and recommendations to management.

  9. Inventory management support: Collaborating with the inventory or procurement team to ensure proper inventory levels are maintained by coordinating with suppliers on delivery schedules and addressing any supply chain disruptions.

  10. Continuous improvement: Identifying opportunities for process improvements, cost savings, or quality enhancements. Implementing strategies to optimize sourcing practices and drive efficiencies within the supply chain.

These tasks may vary depending on the industry, company size, and specific procurement needs.

What skills are needed to be a Sourcing Specialist?

1. Strong Research skills: A Sourcing Specialist needs to have excellent research skills to identify potential suppliers and sources of materials or services. This involves conducting thorough market research, analyzing market trends, and staying up-to-date with industry developments.

2. Negotiation skills: Negotiation skills are crucial for a Sourcing Specialist to effectively bargain and secure favorable terms and prices with suppliers. They need to be able to negotiate contracts, pricing, and delivery schedules, as well as handle any disputes or issues that may arise.

3. Analytical skills: Sourcing Specialists must be adept at analyzing and evaluating supplier proposals and contracts. This requires strong analytical skills to assess supplier capabilities, quality standards, and the overall value proposition.

4. Communication skills: Effective communication is essential for a Sourcing Specialist to build strong relationships with suppliers, clearly communicate procurement requirements, and resolve any issues or concerns. They should be able to communicate both verbally and in writing with clarity and professionalism.

5. Attention to detail: Attention to detail is critical for a Sourcing Specialist as they need to review and analyze supplier documents, contracts, and pricing details. They must be meticulous in ensuring accuracy and completeness to avoid any potential errors or discrepancies.

6. Financial analysis: Sourcing Specialists need to be proficient in conducting financial analysis to evaluate supplier financial stability, cost structures, and profitability. This skill is crucial for making informed decisions and mitigating any financial risks associated with suppliers.

7. Supply chain management: A good understanding of supply chain management is important for a Sourcing Specialist. They need to have knowledge of logistics, inventory management, production planning, and distribution to effectively coordinate the sourcing process and ensure timely delivery of goods or services.

8. Vendor management: Sourcing Specialists must possess strong vendor management skills to effectively manage relationships with suppliers. This includes evaluating vendor performance, addressing any performance issues, and fostering long-term partnerships.

9. Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are essential for a Sourcing Specialist to overcome any challenges or obstacles that may arise during the sourcing process. They should be able to think critically and come up with creative solutions to ensure smooth operations.

10. Time management: Sourcing Specialists often work on multiple projects simultaneously and must meet tight deadlines. Time management skills are crucial for effectively prioritizing tasks, managing workload, and ensuring timely completion of projects.

Sourcing Specialist

Sourcing Specialist duties and responsibilities

Duties of a Sourcing Specialist:

  1. Identifying and evaluating potential suppliers: Researching and identifying potential suppliers who can meet the organization's sourcing needs, considering factors such as cost, quality, and delivery capabilities.

  2. Negotiating contracts and pricing: Engaging in negotiations with suppliers to secure favorable pricing and contractual terms that align with the organization's sourcing objectives.

  3. Managing supplier relationships: Developing and maintaining strong relationships with suppliers, ensuring effective communication, resolving issues, and addressing any concerns to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

  4. Analyzing market trends and sourcing strategies: Monitoring market trends, industry dynamics, and emerging best practices to enhance sourcing strategies and make well-informed decisions.

  5. Conducting supplier evaluations and audits: Assessing supplier performance through regular evaluations, audits, and site visits to ensure compliance with quality standards, ethical practices, and contractual agreements.

  6. Managing supplier contracts and agreements: Overseeing the management of supplier contracts and agreements, including contract renewals, modifications, and amendments, to ensure adherence to terms and conditions.

  7. Collaborating with internal stakeholders: Collaborating with various internal stakeholders, such as procurement, operations, and quality teams, to understand their sourcing requirements and develop effective strategies that support organizational goals.

Qualifications required to be Sourcing Specialist

The qualifications required for a sourcing specialist may vary depending on the industry and specific job requirements. However, some common qualifications and skills typically sought after for this role include:

  1. Education: A bachelor's degree in business administration, supply chain management, procurement, or a related field is often preferred.

  2. Experience: Previous experience working in procurement, sourcing, or supply chain management is often required. This can include internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions in the field.

  3. Knowledge of sourcing strategies: A sourcing specialist should have a strong understanding of sourcing strategies and supplier selection processes. They should be familiar with different sourcing methods, such as conducting market research, negotiating contracts, and assessing supplier capabilities.

  4. Analytical skills: Sourcing specialists need to have strong analytical skills to evaluate data, assess supplier performance, and identify cost-saving opportunities. They should be proficient in using spreadsheets and other data analysis tools.

  5. Negotiation skills: Negotiation skills are crucial for sourcing specialists as they often need to negotiate contracts, terms, and pricing with suppliers. They should be able to build and maintain good relationships with suppliers while ensuring favorable terms for their organization.

  6. Communication skills: Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential for sourcing specialists. They need to communicate with suppliers, internal stakeholders, and other departments to ensure effective sourcing strategies and successful implementation.

  7. Project management skills: Sourcing specialists often manage multiple projects concurrently, so excellent project management skills are required. They should be able to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and maintain attention to detail while handling multiple tasks simultaneously.

  8. Knowledge of supply chain and procurement software: Familiarity with supply chain and procurement software, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, supplier relationship management (SRM) tools, and e-sourcing platforms, is often preferred.

These qualifications can vary depending on the specific job requirements and the organization hiring for the role. It's important to review the job posting and requirements for a sourcing specialist position to tailor your qualifications accordingly.

Sourcing Specialist Job Description Template


Job Brief

We are looking for a Sourcing Specialist to support our recruiting team and help us place qualified candidates faster.

Sourcing Specialist responsibilities include searching social networks and portfolio sites to identify potential candidates, sending recruiting emails and organizing an effective employee referral system. To be successful in this role, you should combine knowledge of sourcing techniques with excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Ultimately, you will be responsible for building a strong talent pipeline for our company’s current and future staffing needs.


  • Use social media networks (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) to look for and connect with potential candidates
  • Interact with professionals on niche platforms, like Github and Behance
  • Review online portfolios and resumes to pre-screen candidates
  • Collaborate with hiring managers to identify each position’s requirements
  • Send recruiting emails and follow up with candidates
  • Ask for referrals from internal and external networks for hard-to-fill roles
  • Contact past applicants for new job opportunities
  • Develop a network of potential candidates and industry professionals
  • Log candidate information in our Applicant Tracking System and other internal databases
  • Identify future hiring needs and proactively source potential hires
  • Measure and report on recruiting metrics, like source of hire and time-to-fill


  • Proven work experience as a Sourcing Specialist, Sourcer or similar role
  • Hands-on experience with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) and other Human Resources Management software
  • Familiarity with social networks, professional sites and resume databases
  • Good knowledge of labor legislation
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills (particularly business email writing knowledge)
  • Good time-management skills with the ability to handle various open positions simultaneously
  • BSc in Human Resources Management or relevant field

What are some qualities of a good Sourcing Specialist?

A good Sourcing Specialist possesses several key qualities that enable them to effectively and efficiently fulfill their role. First and foremost, they need to have strong analytical skills. This involves the ability to gather and interpret data, make informed decisions, and identify cost-saving opportunities. Additionally, a good Sourcing Specialist must be detail-oriented and highly organized. They must be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, keep track of deadlines, and maintain accurate records. A proactive and strategic mindset is also essential, as they need to actively seek out new suppliers, negotiate contracts, and develop innovative sourcing strategies. Furthermore, strong communication and interpersonal skills are crucial for effectively building relationships with suppliers and stakeholders, fostering collaboration, and resolving any issues that may arise. Finally, a good Sourcing Specialist should have a deep understanding of market trends and industry best practices, enabling them to stay current and make informed decisions. Overall, a combination of analytical skills, organizational abilities, strategic thinking, communication proficiency, and industry knowledge are what make a Sourcing Specialist successful in their role.

What are the salary expectations of Sourcing Specialist?

The salary expectations of a Sourcing Specialist can vary depending on factors such as the industry, location, level of experience, and the size of the company. On average, the salary range for a Sourcing Specialist is typically between $50,000 and $80,000 per year. However, it is worth noting that salaries can be higher for candidates with specialized skills or extensive experience in sourcing and procurement. Additionally, some companies may offer additional benefits such as bonuses or commission structures.

Who does Sourcing Specialist report to?

Typically, Sourcing Specialists report to the Procurement Manager or the Director of Procurement. They work closely with various stakeholders within the organization, such as:

  1. Procurement Team: Sourcing Specialists collaborate with other members of the procurement team to align sourcing strategies, share market intelligence, and optimize procurement processes.

  2. Vendors and Suppliers: Sourcing Specialists interact with vendors and suppliers to evaluate their capabilities, negotiate contracts, and establish strategic partnerships.

  3. Internal Departments: They work closely with other departments, such as finance, operations, and legal, to understand their requirements and ensure that sourcing decisions align with organizational needs.

  4. Stakeholders: Sourcing Specialists engage with key stakeholders throughout the sourcing process to gather insights, manage expectations, and communicate updates.

  5. Management: They provide regular reporting and updates to management regarding sourcing activities, supplier performance, and cost-saving opportunities.

Last Updated 26 Sep, 2023

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