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Is It Ok For Procurement Professionals To Ask For A Pay Rise During Coronavirus?

Last week, CIPS and Hays published the 2020 Procurement Salary Guide and Insights report.

Now in its sixth year, the report surveyed more than 5100 procurement professionals with a focus on:

• In-demand skills
• Salary benchmarking
• Value of MCIPS
• The current challenges procurement faces
• Attracting top talent

The report’s Australia and New Zealand (NZ) edition reveals some interesting data on procurement salaries including:

• The average salary for a procurement professional in Australia is $141, 218.
• The average salary for a procurement professional in NZ is $123 191.
• In the past 12 months, 32% of Australia or NZ-based procurement professionals received a bonus.
• The average salary increase from 2019 for procurement professionals in Australia and NZ is 4.6%  (compared with a national average of 2.2% in Australia and 2% in NZ.)
• The procurement gender pay gap is still prevalent at every level of seniority, but it has reduced significantly in the past year.
• The average pay for Advanced Professional level roles, such as Procurement Director, is $189k in Australia.

There’s no question that these figures are good news for the profession, but the survey was conducted before the outbreak of COVID-19, and a great deal has changed in the procurement sphere since then.

Is it still reasonable for procurement professionals to benchmark their salaries against these results, and use them for leverage during a pay-rise negotiation? Factory closures, shipping and border delays, soaring consumer demand and ongoing production challenges have put enormous strain and responsibility on the procurement profession in recent months. But with the economy in tatters, organizations struggling to stay afloat, and many professionals facing unemployment, tighter budgets are all but guaranteed – which means this could be the worst possible time for procurement professionals to negotiate their compensation.

Sharon Morris CIPS General Manager, Australia and New Zealand believes that amidst all the uncertainty and disruption caused by the coronavirus, the procurement profession is flourishing – and will continue to do so. “I cannot think of a time where procurement has been so vital for organisations – more so with the disruptions we have experienced in recent months,” she says.

“The opportunity to impact business performance and make a difference for the environment and the community is huge. With this, comes the need to further develop soft skillsets such as communication and influencing, to support greater responsibilities. And the reward – both salary and career progression – is quite enticing.”

For procurement professionals hoping to secure a pay rise soon, here are some important factors to consider.

1. Timing is everything

During an economic recession, it won’t be easy to find the perfect time to ask for a raise, but  common sense prevails. Schedule time to negotiate with your manager when your achievements and contributions are most visible – perhaps upon the completion of an important project. No matter how much you feel you deserve a raise, pick the wrong moment and you could ruin your chances for months to come.

2. Negotiate via video conference

For anyone who is still working remotely, aim to have the salary negotiation discussion with your manager via video conference. This makes it easier to interpret emotions and body language, and engage in a more meaningful, productive discussion.

3. Keep track of your achievements

In an effort to keep supply chains under control, most procurement professionals have been busier than ever in recent months. Your organisation might be struggling, but that doesn’t mean your accomplishments should go unrecognised, even if you have to wait some months for that recognition. In the meantime, keep a detailed log of all the great work  you’re doing – it will serve as useful evidence and discussion points when you negotiate for your raise.

4. Negotiate alternative benefits

If now is a truly terrible time for your organisation to be granting pay rises, there are other ways to improve your existing compensation package. For example, you might consider negotiating flexible working hours, regular working-from-home days, or additional annual leave.

Schedule a follow-up meeting in a few months’ time to revisit the salary negotiation discussion.

Download the full CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights report here.

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