Edbury Daley Uncovers and Explains Conflicting Trends in the Procurement Recruitment Market

The Edbury Daley team, the global procurement recruitment specialists, have just published their Procurement & Spend Management Insider report, which looks into UK and European job market conditions (and more) for anyone working in, recruiting for, or looking to work in the procurement technology and supply chain solutions sectors.

The previous issue talked much about the changes ahead for the procurement profession in uncertain times; that uncertainty lingers with the ongoing lack of Brexit resolution, economic and political unrest (when is there not) leading to lack of delayed hiring decisions as long-term business direction remains unstable. While Edbury Daley finds current UK market hiring activity to be pretty still “whether that be directly in the form of putting roles on hold, or indirectly because hiring managers are in many cases being more cautious about who they hire or simply not having enough time to devote to recruitment processes because of lack of resource or other business priorities,” it does find that other markets have seen “a meaningful increase” in the past few months. “We believe this simply reflects faster growth, particularly in the procurement technology sector, outside of the UK in both mature and emerging markets” they said.

None of that is really surprising, what is surprising is that, conversely, the report cites recent (March) market trends research from The Association of Professional Staffing Companies, which looks at wider professional markets and finds that “As Brexit discussions spiral into crisis, it’s interesting to see UK demand for talent holding up relatively well as temporary staffing markets in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy stumble.” So in this latest report Edbury Daley looks more closely into what is behind those conflicting findings.

It looks at its core markets to see what is happening there that might explain the discrepancy. The report covers this in detail but broadly:

  • high-profile professional moves have been relatively few and far between in the past couple of quarters. The report delves into the most conspicuous of them, but doesn’t mention the [albeit very recent] high-profile Barry Padgett move: formerly the SAP Ariba president, he left only weeks after becoming president of the newly created SAP Intelligent Spend Group - suppositions still abound.
  • specialist roles at end-user clients aimed at implementing, adopting and harnessing the power of procurement technology remains relatively low.
  • interim market – as an implication of IR35, many enterprise organisations are favouring the use of specialist consultancies and/or the vendors themselves to support systems implementations and assessing alternatives by looking more at day rates.
  • Leadership and management roles are seeing a cyclical market effect with bursts of activity prompted by a handful of moves leading to various replacement appointments.

Add to that the associated impact of Brexit – for example the large reduction in EU nationals joining the UK workforce and a labour market expected to slow over the next two years, and the picture is not one of buoyancy. The lack of in-house procurement tech recruitment activity, especially for the likes of spend analytics, was also brought to the fore at the recent Procurement Leaders World Procurement Congress where heads of procurement and software vendors, in discussions with Edbury Daley, re-emphasised their concern for lack of progress in solutions adoption. “This is something the profession has to act on,” said Andrew Daley.

The full report looks in more depth at all of the above, but also includes commentary on what the real impact of Brexit has been on the market, including from the viewpoint of the HR practitioner, and gives detailed advice about the future of your procurement career.

You can download it for free here


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