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Procurement Salary Increases Expected to Cool Off: Tips for Job Seekers and Employers

The heady days of bumper salary increases in procurement could be cooling off, says procurement and supply chain recruitment specialists Cozens Mabel. 

In its latest quarterly update, Director of Cozens Mabel Ilsa Cozens said the market remained strong for procurement but the 15-20% salary rises were expected to ease off. 

For those who have moved employers in 2022, the good news is that they saw decent salary increases ranging from 15-20%, particularly in the $150-200k bands. 

“Candidates moving employers over 2022 saw decent salary increases (15-20%), particularly in the $150-200k bands,” Ilsa says. “However, there are signs that this is tapering out now and candidates are unlikely to see the same increases that we saw in the last 12 months over the remainder of 2023.”

Hiring freezes in play 

Cozens Mabel’s Quarter 1 report, states some larger companies had introduced hiring freezes or increased hurdles in the hiring process and there was a slight shift towards contracting and fixed-term roles over the quarter.

“Contractor demand has increased slightly across most sectors in the quarter, particularly where organisations look to deliver strategic uplift programs without putting added pressure on increasingly stretched existing team members,” Ilsa said. 

“Contract to perm models are also being used more regularly by some organisations to secure good talent whilst navigating the challenges of bringing on permanent staff during hiring freezes or temporary restrictions.”

Juggling hiring with business as usual

Some organisations facing work pressures and staff shortages have really stretched hiring teams, Cozens Mabel said.

Many are juggling interviews and candidate interactions with a growing volume of business-as-usual activities, financial pressures, and hiring barriers, says Ilsa.

 “So, whilst this market has produced so many positives, it’s also a good time to take a step back and look at how your brand can be enhanced (or in some cases weakened) in the current environment, for both candidates and employers (and recruiters),” Said Ilsa. 

How to Stand Out in the Hiring Process: Tips for Candidates and Employers

Finding the right candidate for a role can be a daunting task for employers, but it can also be a challenge for job seekers to stand out in a crowded market. Here’s some tips from Cozens Mabel. 

For Candidates:

Sell Yourself

A great CV is crucial to selling yourself to potential employers. However, many hiring teams and recruiters also use LinkedIn to evaluate candidates, and it’s amazing how often a LinkedIn profile doesn’t match up to the CV or fails to promote the value that you could bring to other organizations. A strong profile and CV should show impact in each role, with examples of problems or challenges that you have worked on and how you improved or uplifted the situation with financial and non-financial outcomes.

It’s not what you, it’s who you know? 

Finding your next role often comes down to who you know. Building a strong profile on LinkedIn and developing your network of contacts can help build your brand and increase engagement. This can be as simple as building out your contacts, joining relevant groups, and sharing useful industry articles.

Interview Time

Preparation is key to acing interviews. Do your research on the hiring company and the interviewers by searching websites, recent articles, and LinkedIn profiles. Annual Reports are a great source of information. Testing your equipment beforehand and dressing professionally will help you make a good first impression, even if the interview is online. Even if you have doubts about the role, always have the initial meeting to establish connections and build your brand in the market.

Keep relationships open

Whether you get the job or not, remember to enhance (not damage) relationships during this process. The procurement and supply chain sector in Australia is relatively close-knit, so you may come across the hiring team or the potential employer again in some capacity.

Enhance Your Brand in Every Contracting Job

Contracting offers exposure to a range of different companies, projects, and people. Seeking regular feedback and proactively looking for ways to add value, even in challenging environments, will enhance your brand, which is crucial in all markets, especially contracting.

For Employers:

Sell Your Organisation

Employers who do well in attracting top talent spend time highlighting key achievements within their team(s), in-flight or anticipated strategic uplift plans, and what opportunities exist for the candidate to make a real difference in the role. An interview is also a great chance to give the candidate a short summary of your individual career highlights and why it’s a great place to work.

Flexible working

Flexible working arrangements and clear opportunities for career advancement are two of the most important factors that top talent look for in an attractive employer. Having a solid position on your flexible working arrangements and highlighting other areas of value, such as wellness or social initiatives, will score highly with candidates.

Breaking the news

While a recruiter or hiring team may break the bad news to unsuccessful candidates, some hiring managers will arrange a time to provide feedback and keep connected to the candidate over the course of their careers, often leading to future employment discussions.

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