CIPS / Hays Procurement Salary Survey – Good News (Generally) For Professionals

When I spoke at the CIPS Cambridge and Peterborough Branch event recently, William Warren from recruitment firm Hays was also on the agenda, talking about this year’s CIPS / Hays procurement salary survey. The final report was published recently and can now be requested here.

The headline finding is that overall, procurement salaries increased some 5.2%, which as Warren says, is faster than salaries generally in the country and faster than for other major business functions. There was some doubt about that figure amongst the audience it is fair to say, but with a sample size of 4,000, that would seem to be a convincing finding. We have more doubts once you start getting into smaller sub-samples; I would pay less attention to findings that may be based on only a handful of particular respondents. But the high-level results should be robust.

It may well be that people in established roles are not getting much in the way of increases; but when organisations go out to the market they are having to offer more, pushing gup the averages. But 70% of line managers expect to be hiring in the next 12 months and 51% of organisations faced challenges in finding the right staff, so despite Brexit concerns it looks like prospects are still pretty good for procurement professionals.

The regional changes are interesting. The biggest jump in salaries appears to be in the East of England – the area of course where the meeting was held. The feeling is that much of this is driven by the “Cambridge effect”. That city is boom-town, with AstraZeneca a huge new presence and ARM taking on thousands more staff, for instance. Property prices have gone crazy, and there is a shortage of skilled people in everything from procurement to construction.

Increasing salaries mean that organisations often have false expectations of what they need to pay, and Warren told us of firms who looked to recruit at perhaps £40K and had to go to £60K eventually to get the right person. Others end up using interims; perhaps, he said, because they are not being flexible in terms of their person specification. For instance, if someone has all the right core skills and behaviours, then maybe they can learn some of the specialist technical category knowledge and skills on the job. For the majority of categories, we would agree; but there are a few that are harder to pick up of course.

He also talked about differences between public and private sector; one interesting aspect is that bonuses are much more likely to be paid in the private sector, and indeed their use in that sector is growing (from 42% to 55% in the case of sourcing managers). Less happily, there is still a big differential between male and female salaries, but MCIPS and FCIPS do appear to have positive value.

As well as running through the survey results, Warren also talked about how both candidates and recruiting organisations could do to improve their chances of finding the right candidates or being found themselves.  Generally, this chimes with our views and what we’ve covered when we’ve featured the Edbury Daley recruitment reports here; it is sound advice anyway.

So for candidates:

  • Ensure you have your own training and development plans in place
  • Focus on building your soft sills
  • Build a clear career plan and communicate this with your manager. (My addition to this – I agree, but be realistic. Just saying “I want to be CPO in five years’ time” won’t in itself make it happen!)

And for recruiting organisations:

  • Find (identify) your value proposition as an employer
  • Ensure career progression pathways are clear
  • Evaluate your benefits package

Good luck!

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