According to Hays Purchasing & Supply, the leading specialist recruitment company, the implementation of efficiency and cost control drives within organisations has led to a sustained demand for experienced purchasing professionals.
“Many SMEs and smaller companies are being required to improve the supply chain to protect their profit margins, which calls for sophisticated planning and improved procurement within the market. Blue chips and larger organisations are also driving supply chain improvements to ensure the route to market is increasingly efficient,” commented Pat Law, Managing Director at Hays Purchasing & Supply.
This has led to a steady demand for supply chain professionals, as employers seek to recruit for a range of purchasing jobs, including procurement, sourcing and contracts managers as well as those in forecasting roles.
“The diversity of roles spans across industries; from pharmaceuticals, food, fast moving consumer goods and the service sectors. Energy and utilities are also particular growth areas,” continued Law. “Salaries and benefits packages have remained competitive although jobseekers are being more flexible when it comes to remuneration and location to secure their next role.”
With many organisations cutting back on their learning and development budgets as part of cost-cutting programmes, the onus is on employees in procurement jobs to assume responsibility for their own development by demonstrating flexibility and making themselves indispensable. “Candidates should be looking for challenges and projects that broaden their experience, enhance their skill set through continuing professional development, whether through formal or informal training and they should look to take on extra responsibilities and seek ways to add value at every opportunity. Project based work outside of the ‘day job’ should be used to stimulate ideas and new ways of thinking,” advised Law.
Working in an interim capacity, especially for those who have been made redundant in the current market, provides an excellent platform to gain experience of diverse industries. “There is however more competition for those interim roles,” said Law. “It should also be noted that there are excellent opportunities for skilled jobseekers in both the public and private sectors, and therefore it is important for jobseekers to explore all available options and look to maximise their transferable skills.”
Employers are expecting more from their recruits and it is up to individuals to deliver results from the outset, “Previously, organisations might have taken on a candidate who ticks the majority of boxes, filling any knowledge gaps with training to hone their skills. But now candidates need to hit the ground running and show how they can add value by making the current processes more efficient,” remarked Law.
Commercial organisations are increasingly looking to improve their existing procurement teams, making them more efficient, effective and leaner to ensure a knock-on effect on profitability. “Each part of an organisation needs to be operating at maximum efficiency and as a result the focus for senior management is to cut costs across every step of the supply chain, from purchasing to final delivery,” concluded Law.
Hays Purchasing & Supply is part of Hays plc, specialising in purchasing and supply jobs including warehousing jobs and contracts and supplier management. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group employs 8,294 staff operating from 380 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.