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NHS needs commercial procurement skills

Over 80% of NHS procurement professionals believe that skills and experience from the commercial sector will be vital or important in helping to meet efficiency targets over the coming year. The survey, conducted by Hays Procurement, the leading recruiting expert, also revealed that over half of respondents believe that commercial procurement professionals are more creative (56%) and have a better grasp of technology (56%) than their public sector counterparts. However, they agreed that public sector procurement professionals could bring a stronger customer focus than their counterparts with a private sector background.

Over half of respondents (51%) felt that the pressures on public sector spending have helped the profile of procurement. When it came to recruiting, respondents cited salary constraints (67%) and attracting quality staff (58%) as two of their most common challenges. When asked to specify which provided the greatest challenge, the majority agreed it was staff attraction (42%). When asked whether they felt whether there would be difficulties keeping existing procurement staff over the coming months only 23 per cent believed there would be.

Pat Law, Managing Director at Hays Procurement, comments: "It is clear that procurement professionals believe that a combination of both public sector and commercial skills is essential to help procurement meet NHS efficiency targets over the coming year. It is positive that almost a quarter of procurement departments expect to recruit but it is likely that consideration will need to be given to areas such as benefits and flexible working if salary packages are not competitive and are unlikely to attract the best staff."

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About the survey

Over 60 NHS procurement professionals were surveyed in April 2010.

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

The Group employs over 6,700 staff operating from 345 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2009:

  • the Group had revenues of £2.4 billion, net fees of £670.8 million and operating profit of £158.0 million;
  • the Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 300,000 people into temporary assignments;
  • the temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 44% of net fees;
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and United Kingdom.

For further press information please contact:

Sarah Swailes
T. 020 7259 8821


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