Hays UK blog


Three ways to attract talented procurement interims

By Scott Dance, Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain

The ongoing transformation of the procurement function within many organisations, combined with a continuing shortage of skills, means demand for talented temporary procurement professionals remains high.

The CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights 2017 report found that nearly half (47%) of employers face a lack of candidates with the right sector skills and experience when hiring. It is therefore no surprise that the most common reason to recruit temporary professionals is as an additional resource.

However, the second most common reason to recruit interims is on a project basis. Change and transformation projects are most in need of interim procurement talent, with 32% of employers recruiting for temporary roles for this type of project.

The strategic benefits of interim staff

There are many benefits to hiring interim staff, such as being able to bring new skills into the organisation without the long-term budget commitment, sourcing niche expertise quickly to meet project demands, or having a fresh perspective from an outsider which could transform the way your team operates.

To ensure your organisation can effectively compete for the talent you need, it helps to know what is most important to procurement professionals working in a temporary role so that you can tailor your attraction strategy.

1. Promote flexible working

Top of the list of importance for interims is the flexibility that this type of employment brings. Flexibility to choose the projects they take on where and when they want is important to over half (54%) of temporary procurement professionals, an increase of 10% from 2016. Employers can build on this further by promoting, where possible, any flexible working policies your organisation can offer to help you become an employer of choice for temporary professionals.

However, flexibility does not necessarily mean willingness to travel for a role – only 15% of procurement interims said they would be willing to travel internationally for an assignment (down 10% from 2016), and half would only travel locally. Be sure to clearly state the location of the role when promoting your temporary positions to avoid losing candidates further down the line.

2. Stress the variation of the role

Half of procurement professionals say that the variety of work and experience gained is an important reason they work in an interim role. Luckily, there is an abundance of different projects currently taking place in the dynamic procurement profession. When promoting your interim positions, make sure that your hiring manager or recruitment consultant is fully briefed on the ins and outs of the role, and is able to highlight interesting areas the interim could be getting involved in that they won’t get elsewhere, such as strategy, change and transformation.

3. Ensure your day rates are competitive

42% of temporary procurement professionals say that the pay on offer is an important aspect to working in an interim role. Overall, day rates for procurement interims have increased from an average of £456 in 2016 to £505 in 2017. Interims working on strategy and performance projects have the highest average day rates (£781), followed by change and transformation projects (£591) and category management implementation projects (£489).

With skills shortages driving competition for certain roles in procurement, it is essential that you keep up-to-date with market rates to ensure your day rate offering is suitably competitive for the role, in order to attract the professionals you need.

For more insights into skills in demand, and information on salaries in your area, request your copy of the CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights 2017 or visit your nearest office to find your local Hays 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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