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3 hiring tips when building your procurement team

By Scott Dance, Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain

It is undeniable that many organisations today are navigating an often-uncertain market, from political uncertainty and economic pressures through to the digital transformation of the workplace. Procurement teams must therefore be more adaptable than ever before to be able to continue delivering optimal solutions for their organisation.

The result of the changes taking place all around us is that demand for talented procurement professionals remains sky-high. The survey findings from our latest CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide & Insights report shows that nearly two-thirds of procurement employers will be looking to hire staff in the coming months, and salaries are rising as they strive to recruit the best.

Salary inflation creating hiring challenges

Overall, procurement salaries increased by an average of 5.3% in the last year - that’s almost double the ONS’s UK average salary increase of 2.7%. Over three-quarters of professionals also told us that they received a pay rise in the last year, and with employers vying to hire procurement professionals in the year ahead, candidates have access to a wide pool of job opportunities.

However, widespread pay rises are of greater cause for concern for employers with half identifying candidate salary expectations as a challenge when recruiting the right talent, an increase of 10% from last year. With competition for talent set to be strong in the coming months, we’ve outlined some actions that employers can take to ensure they stand out from the crowd and can attract the procurement professionals they need.

How to attract the best procurement talent

1. Check your salaries are competitive: It may be obvious, but it is imperative to make sure the salaries you’re offering to prospective candidates are competitive enough to pique their interest when they’re searching for their next role. Salary was, after all, chosen as the most important factor for over three-quarters of procurement professionals when considering a new job. Review your salary offering against similar roles in your region and sector to check that it’s in line with candidate expectations.

2. Simplify your application process: With so many roles on the table, professionals can afford to be picky when it comes to their job search. Therefore, if your application process is not user friendly or takes too long to complete, the candidates you seek may look elsewhere. Evaluate your recruitment process and condense where possible to keep prospective candidates engaged.

3. Consider how inclusive your hiring practices are: Improving diversity and inclusion within the workplace has increasingly become a top priority for many procurement leaders, and this must also extend to the hiring process. For example, the words and phrases used in a job description and person specification can have a significant impact on whether a professional applies for a role. Review them for any biased language and ensure a wide range of social groups are depicted in your recruitment materials.

Request your copy of the CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide & Insights 2019 report to find salaries across different job roles, sectors and UK regions, as well as insights into the trends affecting the procurement hiring market.

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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