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Prime time to change jobs in procurement

With the new financial year approaching is it time for a “new year, new you” in the procurement workplace? 

We’ve all heard anecdotal examples of the “great resignation” gripping the jobs market as employees go on the move for greener pastures with other employers. 

Figures recently released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show an uptick in the number of people jumping ship for other jobs. 

A total of 1.3 million people changed jobs during the year ending February 2022, equating to a job mobility rate of 9.5 per cent of all employed people changing jobs during the year, the ABS figures show. 

This was the highest rate of job mobility since 2012, two per cent higher than the previous estimate for the year ending February 2021 (7.5 per cent) and slightly lower than the  year ending February 2012 (10.5 per cent).

Procurement skills in demand 

As Hays recently reported, more procurement professionals will receive a pay rise this coming financial year than last, with skills shortages creating a “once-in-a-career market.”

The hot procurement skills in demand according to Hays are: 

  • contract administrators
  • procurement specialists
  • category managers
  • contract managers
  • procurement managers.

In this candidate-poor market, businesses are understood to be offering increased salaries to ensure talent doesn’t head for the exit for a new procurement job. 

What the recruiters say

To find out more, PASA spoke to procurement recruitment experts Imelda Walsh (Birmont Group), Dee Clarke (Procurement People), and Steve Jamieson (Tier 1 Procurement) to find out what’s causing the skills shortage in procurement and elsewhere in the industry. 

Steve believes the skills shortage would lead procurement salaries to jump by 10% and there were too few graduates entering the profession. All three recruiters agreed there is a skills shortage in recruitment. 

Steve said hiring managers were falling short with “too much focus on category experience rather than capabilities.”

Of the top skills hiring managers are on the lookout for in procurement recruitment, Steve said modern slavery and supply chain risk ranked highest.

Dee also believes salaries would jump more than 10% in 2022 and all three recruiters said hiring managers are recruiting to build their procurement teams rather than for contracting reasons. 

A lack of training is the reason for the skills glut, Dee says and she also said “incorrect salary range” was the most frequent mistake made by hiring managers when seeking to recruit procurement staff.

Imelda said all procurement roles were in short supply and believed wages would increase by up to 10%. 

What to consider for your procurement job hunt

So you’ve bitten the bullet and have decided to cast the net for a new procurement job? 

Here’s four ways for you to put your application in the box seat. 

1. Demonstrate you look at the bigger picture

A high-skilled procurement professional is someone who looks at the bigger picture beyond the procurement process.

By demonstrating this it can show you can work well with budget holders to get positive and considered outcomes for the company.

2. Highlight your communication skills

Procurement’s function is gaining traction and with that comes increased responsibility. Procurement interacts with all areas of a business and stakeholders. Show you can communicate well with stakeholders at all levels. 

3. In the know with tech 

Digital transformation in procurement is no longer a buzz phrase – it’s becoming the norm. 

Hackett Group’s renowned Key Issues 2022 study highlighted “digital transformation remains a front and centre enabler, but now refreshed with increased rigour.”

Digital transformation in procurement is known to streamline operations and improve performance for companies which have taken the leap. 

Organisations bringing on new procurement staff want to you to demonstrate skills and abilities with systems and whether to recognise how technology can solve problems in procurement. Emphasise your computer skills and technology and tools you use in your day to day operations to perform functions, including control of inputs and outputs and managing spend and suppliers. 

4. Market knowledge

As we know, procurement is operating in one of its toughest periods following supply chain pressures, rising inflation and impacts of the Ukraine war. 

Get to know the market of the company you’re applying to work for. You need to know more than the business – how is the company operating in the entire market? Being across the main suppliers and competition can show your prospective employer you will be confident in making recommendations and forecasting.  Draw on any research and data you have used relative to the current market you are operating in to show your experience. 

Lastly, don’t forget to do your homework on the organisation, clean-up your LinkedIn, profile and  update your resume and cover letter to match what your prospective employer needs.

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