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How To Retain Procurement Talent When You Can’t Afford To Raise Salaries

Findings from the hot-off-the-press FY 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide suggest that organisations are under increasing pressure to offer pay rises to procurement professionals this year if they intend to retain top talent.

Fifty-seven per cent of procurement professionals say a pay rise is their number one career priority this year, while 41% of jobseekers cited an uncompetitive salary as a reason for leaving their organisation.

After years of low wage growth in Australia, employers appear to be responding to this demand, with 90% saying they intend to increase procurement staff salaries in their next review. The value of these increases, however, is expected to fall. Sixty-five per cent of employers intend to raise salaries by only 3% or less, while only 4% of employers intend to increase pay by more than 6%.

Improve retention with non-financial benefits

What can employers do if they are in the 10% of organisations that are unable to offer a pay increase to procurement professionals at their next review?

The threat of employees jumping ship out of frustration with wage stagnation is very real, but in some cases employers facing tough conditions genuinely cannot afford to put any more money on the table.

The answer lies in non-financial benefits. Hays reports that 76% of job seekers say flexible working arrangements are the number one benefit they consider when beginning a new role, and the same logic applies in terms of retaining existing staff.

Tim James, Managing Director of Hays Procurement, says that although procurement professionals are increasingly valued by organisations, managers need to focus on retention.

“With procurement now fully imbedded within organisations and valued for its ability to deliver cost savings, procurement professionals will remain in high demand. However, in many industries and locations there is a shortage of the required skills. As a result, employers need to consider new ways to attract and retain top talent. Becoming more flexible in the industry background required in candidates, engaging staff and upskilling will become more important in the year ahead.”

Flexible working arrangements range from common to hard-to-find. It is worth considering offering hard-to-find flexible working arrangements (such as job-sharing) in order to stand out from other organisations competing for the same talent pool.

Flexible working options include:

  • Flexible hours or compressed working weeks (offered by 75% of organisations)
  • Part-time employment (offered by 73%)
  • Working from home or alternative locations (offered by 66%)
  • Flexible leave options such as purchased leave (offered by 36%)
  • Job sharing (offered by 26%)
  • Career breaks (offered by 16%)
  • Phased retirements (offered by 14%)

Other non-financial benefits valued by employees include attractive career pathways (opportunities for promotion), additional days off, a positive company culture, wellness initiatives, and leading-edge training and development programs.

Other findings from Hays specific to the procurement profession include:

  • an increased interest in candidates who have CIPS/MCIPS accreditations
  • a shortage of Category Managers, especially those with end-to-end tender experience (and a subsequent salary increase to attract these candidates)
  • salary increases in the ACT at all levels, driven by the commerce and industry sector who supply into government
  • increased demand for procurement professionals in the mining, oil and gas industries in QLD and WA.

Download your copy of the Hays Salary Guide.

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