Where are the job opportunities in Procurement?

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Author: Tim James, Director of Hays Procurement

As our economy transitions from mining to the services sectors, it’s heartening to see that Australia’s procurement job market continues to present good job opportunities for those with the sought-after mix of technical and soft skills.

This is partly because the value of procurement continues to be supported by business leaders, with more organisations creating an internal procurement function and implementing processes for tighter control over costs. This is creating permanent roles for candidates with experience establishing procurement inside an organisation.

There are also a number of good entry-level roles available, such as Procurement Officer. This is a very positive trend since it will help encourage people to commence a procurement career, which supports long-term growth and creates a solid skills pipeline.

But given that the industry is looking to break the mould of traditional technical procurement by developing a broader skill set in the next generation, to be successful candidates need to demonstrate soft skills as well as technical ability. We wrote about the rising importance of soft skills in procurement earlier this year, so for more on the soft skills required read ‘The rising importance of soft skills in procurement’.

Another trend behind the current job market is an increasing number of long-term contracts now available in the public sector thanks to ongoing projects as well as candidates being seconded to other Government departments.

So which skill sets are needed the most?
Contract Managers are one skill in high demand. Employers typically look for candidates willing to consider salaries of $80,000 to $100,000. In the public sector candidates with relevant experience who can hit the ground running are also sought to add immediate cost savings.

Contract Administrators with experience are sought too, particularly mid-range candidates who are immediately available for temporary contracts.

Procurement Managers are also needed, but are in short supply since job flow is sporadic. When vacancies arise employers usually want candidates with extensive contract management, tendering and procurement experience. If you are looking for roles in this area, please be aware that salaries within the construction, mining, oil and gas industries differ from salaries in the Government and public sector.

Sourcing Specialists are in demand too. Candidates need to be able to prove they can manage the process from contract approval to delivery.

In a geographical trend, ICT Procurement Specialists are in high demand in Adelaide as the majority of resources have been secured on Government projects.

Finally, Purchasing Managers with experience in manufacturing are sought. Since cost savings are a big focus the ability to negotiate pricing and plan orders is key.

As is the case in many other industries, we are seeing more roles for candidates who can fulfil multiple job functions. Within procurement, this trend is most obvious when we see procurement and contract management incorporated into the Branch or General Manager role. To be successful in securing such a role, candidates need demonstrated mixed skill sets.

Another trend evident across multiple sectors is the growth of temporary assignments. In a project-driven area, it’s not surprising that the number of fixed-term contracts is increasing in response to new projects. We have also seen an increase in short-term assignments. For more read ‘Temp and contract procurement jobs to rise’.

 

 

 

 

About Author

Procurement and Supply Australasia (PASA) is the leading provider of information and education to procurement and supply professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. PASA supports the largest community of engaged procurement stakeholders in the region, through its renowned series of events, publications, awards, plus various community and network building activities. PASA is a trading name of BTTB Marketing, for many years recognised as the leading producer of conferences and events for the procurement profession in Australia and New Zealand. Whether producing under the BTTB, CIPSA Conferences or now PASA brands over the last ten years, our events have consistently led the market in terms of both educational and networking opportunities.

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