Edbury Daley Publishes First 2018 Recruitment Landscape Report – Signs of New Growth

Global procurement technology recruitment specialists, Edbury Daley, have just released their first report of this year looking at the past 6 months’ trends in the procurement employment market, both permanent and contingent.

The report Procurement & Spend Management Insider examines the job market landscape and once again is a must read for anyone working in, wanting to move into, or wishing to recruit for, the procurement and supply chain technology and more general procurement professional sectors. It also provides golden nuggets of information, analysis and research on the future of procurement and the evolution of the procurement professional.

In our last report on the research (November 2017), we defined its results as painting a rather gloomy and stormy landscape, contributed to notably by the more erratic behaviour of companies “either hiring aggressively to support growth, or seeking to increase critical mass through acquisition, or struggling to maintain headcount while financial performance declines.”

However, that has seen a sharp turnaround this year, with the findings painting an overall picture of growth and change. In fact, the latest report predicts stronger market conditions with increased demand for certain skills – might that be as a result of higher technology adoption, or Brexit preparations?

The report begins with a look at what’s been happening in the procurement technology leadership space, at changes in senior-level management and at acquisitions and mergers. SAP Ariba dominates the discussion with its leadership changes at global and EMEA level, which Edbury Daley believe bodes well for a strong future. It then turns its attention to spend management giant Coupa, who have reported first-quarter profit and a healthy share price “which is bucking trends in US markets weighed down by a potential trade war.”

Changes in ownership in the sector are notably Jaggaer with its acquisition of BravoSolution and Proactis with Perfect Commerce. It’s still relatively early days for both and European headcount has largely been left untouched so far. But Edbury Daley will be keeping an eye on whether future restructuring might result in redundancies or senior hires. It also mentions Advanced Solutions’ acquisition of Science Warehouse and its strong presence in the UK public sector as part of its ambitions to grow its cloud-based solutions.

So what does the report predict in terms of the impact on recruitment? The firm sees a big push by the leading players as solution providers’ software becomes both broader in focus and increasingly powerful. That, it determines, could result in further significant hiring activity. And the report goes into detail of what firms are doing to drive more and more cloud-based solution adoption, and the need for the skills that go with it. It also predicts a ‘fertile market’ for leading consultancies that are competing hard for the big procurement cloud implementation projects. But maybe surprisingly it sees more opportunity for recruitment also among the newer entrants, especially in key cloud solution skill-sets such as sales, account management, implementation and customer success.

A whole section analyses the procurement consulting market and identifies an outlook across the board as generally positive. Whether looking from a public, private, or Brexit-focused view, clients are increasingly looking to get greater value from their existing suppliers and wider supply chains, planting fresh energy into SRM and ongoing contract management opportunities.

And in terms of the corporate procurement outlook, the sector having witnessed a rise in the number of senior roles in Q1 2018, particularly in the UK, the focus seems to be more on ‘delivery’ rather than ‘transformation’ which has taken centre stage for some time now. So procurement leaders are concentrating on value and assurance, and being prepared for whatever effects Brexit might impose. The key skills corporates are looking for are changing somewhat - those around CSR, risk, ‘value’ creation and stakeholder engagement are now high on the shopping list. But one of skill-sets receiving the most attention at the moment is our old favourite - spend analytics.

Overall the recruitment market has seen a significant rise in demand with 56,000 more jobs across the whole economy advertised December 17 to February 18 than the same period a year ago and this is having an impact with good candidates in short supply at all levels. Something the report predicts, more clearly each year, is that companies that prioritise talent attraction and have clear recruitment strategies are gaining a clear competitive advantage over those that don’t. So those with a lengthy recruitment processe often lost out.

The report finishes with a lengthy, in-depth and valuable look at The Future of Procurement – here it considers three of the opportunities that exist for procurement to prove its value beyond cost savings and the skills required to do it: Brexit, procurement CSR, and technology and the procurement skillset. You can read all about them, and the rest of the full report, by downloading a free copy here - well worth a read.

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