The procurement market has been busy across both the public and private sector, with roles ranging from entry-level Contract Administrators through to Head of Procurement with leading global organisations. We expect this to continue in the first half of 2019, with particular hotspots of skills in demand emerging.
Demand continues to be high for Category Managers with the ability to demonstrate their strategic foresight as teams revisit their sourcing strategies. Strong skills in market intelligence and spend analytics, as well as the ability to craft influential category plans, are in greatest demand.
Category Managers with relevant experience are also sought in Western Australia and Queensland’s resources and mining market. However, many people moved into other industries in recent years, leading to today’s shortage.
Demand is evident too for Category Managers with ICT industry experience in response to new and continuing transformation initiatives with a longer-term outlook. This includes the refreshing of hardware and cloud-based enterprise solutions.
Category specialists at the $120,000 plus superannuation level are highly regarded.
Procurement Officers are required in the manufacturing industry, which also needs transactional support staff.
The IT and construction industries both seek specialist IT and Construction Procurement Managers and Officers. These roles offer the opportunity to work on large sought after projects.
Senior Procurement Managers with a strategic rather than transactional focus are another area of demand, sought in response to restructures.
End-to-end procurement specialists are required. Candidates with a proven ability to run the full end-to-end process are sought as this allows for increased workforce adaptability and cost savings. Demand is greatest around service contracts rather than goods.
Candidates with Capital Expenditure (Capex) procurement experience and the ability to negotiate with large engineering and construction businesses on projects are sought too.
Buyers with oil and gas industry experience are needed, as are Contract Managers with resources and mining experience. When recruiting Contract Managers, employers look for candidates with relevant industry experience.
Focusing on industry experience, demand is greatest for procurement experts with professional services, ICT, construction and engineering backgrounds.
In the ACT, demand for procurement specialists is high across all sectors, but particularly for Commonwealth Government projects as most agencies have reached their fulltime employment caps. Demand is highest for candidates with experience who can support complex projects in contracts administration, procurement advice and end-to-end tenders. Those with technical ICT procurement experience and an understanding of outsourced managed service contracts are also needed.
Turning to the public sector, in the ACT temporary contractors across the APS5 and APS6 level with prior experience providing procurement advice in line with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules or supporting or leading a tender process around service contracts are in greatest demand.
In Tasmania, the categorisation of business functions is now more common. Larger organisations are at various levels of procurement function development, which is stimulating demand for experienced category managers.
Procurement Managers remain in high demand in response to the number of major infrastructure projects.
Procurement Officers are also sought to assist the Procurement Manager. In both cases, employers want candidates with previous public sector procurement experience and an understanding of public sector processes.
ICT procurement experience continues to be extremely sought after in the public sector, with GITC/ QITC experience a prerequisite for most roles.
Across both the private and public sectors, soft skills are increasingly sought. Stakeholder management skills are valued as procurement becomes focused on customer service and providing value. So too is commercial acumen since procurement teams need to achieve commercial outcomes.
When preparing your CV, include key achievements for each position. Focus on cost savings and stakeholder engagement, two abilities that employers value. Be prepared to talk about these achievements during job interviews with examples of your direct involvement.
Before a job interview, it is essential to prepare thoroughly. For example, if interviewing for a position as a Contract Manager, read any available policies that the company has published online. Demonstrate your attention to detail and ability to comprehend complex contracts as this indicates that you will be able to hit the ground running.
If you have the opportunity to gain experience in ICT procurement in any discipline, do so as it will stand you in good stead for the future.
In addition, the number of defence-related procurement roles is increasing. If you are therefore in a position to secure a Security clearance, it is advisable to do so.
If you are starting out in procurement, consider completing a degree as a high percentage of roles now require degree-qualified candidates.
If you are an aspiring CPO, our report The DNA of a CPO features advice from today’s leading CPOs on how they reached the top of their profession.
Read more in the latest Hays Jobs Report, which covers January to June 2019.