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Prioritise career progression to attract the best procurement staff

By Scott Dance, Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain

The outlook for procurement, supply chain and logistics (PSC&L) professionals is looking positive for the year ahead. Salaries have increased at an average of 1.8%, with 74% of employers saying they have increased pay over the last year.

The good news is that, according to the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2019, 92% of employers in PSC&L expect their organisation’s activity levels to stay the same or increase over the coming year.

So it’s no surprise that over three-quarters (76%) of employers in the field intend to recruit new staff in the next 12 months, with 63% looking for permanent candidates. But recruitment will have its challenges, with a skills shortage still a big issue in the profession.

Worryingly, a third of employers say they don’t currently have the talent they need within their organisation to achieve their business objectives. In addition, an incredible 93% of employers say they have experienced some degree of skills shortages over the last year. This has led to a negative impact on productivity for 53% of PSC&L employers, a reduced ability to deliver projects for half of the employers surveyed, as well as lower employee morale for 50% of organisations.

Looking to the year ahead, a shortage of suitable applicants is the biggest concern for 68% of employers, while just over half (54%) expect to see higher competition for candidates from other employers.

So how can employers ensure they stay ahead of the competition and can recruit and retain the very best staff in the profession over the coming year?

  • Offer career development opportunities – 38% of professionals changed jobs in the last 12 months, with a quarter of them saying they did so because of a lack of career development opportunities. Well over half (58%) of PSC&L professionals say they intend to move jobs in the next 12 months, with 30% of them citing a lack of future opportunities as their main motivator. To find out more about the Hays discount on CIPS membership fees, contact your local consultant.
  • Develop clear career pathways – 44% of employees feel there is no scope for progression in their current organisation. So in the light of the acute skills shortages in the field, employers should consider how they develop clear career pathways for both existing employees and prospective candidates. Career development is about more than just promotion and can include opportunities like mentoring or short-term secondment to a particular project. Ensuring you keep the lines of communication open and proactively discuss the opportunities with your employees is key to keeping the very best staff.
  • Flexible working options – don’t just offer flexible working, make sure that both employees and prospective candidates are aware that it is available! With nearly a third (32%) of professionals saying work-life balance is an important factor when looking for a new role, flexible working is key for both employee retention and for making your business more desirable when recruiting.

To discover more insights about the procurement, supply chain and logistics market, and the prospects for the next year for procurement as a whole, request your copy of the Hays salary guide at hays.co.uk/salary-guide.

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Scott joined Hays in 2002 as a Trainee Consultant, and is now Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain. With over 15 years’ experience, Scott advises clients on workforce management solutions, works with the industry institute CIPS as a trusted knowledge partner, and provides strategic leadership to Hays’ procurement and supply chain recruitment experts.

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