Exclusive! CIPS and GPA terminate procurement recruitment agreement

I don't quite know why this is an exclusive for us, as you would have thought that maybe CIPS or Supply Management would have told the world about this but... there you go.

After five years of running CIPS GPA as the joint venture recruitment arm of the Institute, the two parties have agreed to go their separate ways. GPA will focus on their own brand, still led by the indomitable Gail Pyrah, one of the very best recruitment people I know and indeed officially one of the "nicest people in procurement".

My interpretation would be that it has been a reasonably but not stunningly successful venture for either party, with perhaps some tension there around the role of Supply Management and their independent 'jobs board'.

Here's the official statement.

With the rapid pace of change, especially in the recruitment market both organisations now feel the time is right to seize new opportunities and therefore dissolve the partnership.  GPA – leaders in procurement recruitment for over 21 years – will continue to invest in the brand to ensure that both clients and candidates receive a superior recruitment service by developing strategies and business plans that embrace the changing face of recruitment.

CIPS will continue to offer its members and the profession at large access to this specialist recruitment market.  Initially this will be through its global publication Supply Management and dedicated job board SMJobs.com but future developments to compliment this approach will be announced in due course.

We'll comment in more detail next week about what this might mean for the procurement recruitment market, and where we think CIPS may see itself playing in this space.

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Voices (6)

  1. bitter and twisted:

    Ill refine my brush: the more specialist the agency, the more useful.
    I suppose you were dealing with highly specialised, provable, skills and qualifications, while most procurement requirements are a bit vague.

    1. Final Furlong:

      Based upon personal experience (and those of others), currently, my broad observations are:
      – there are some excellent agencies who are providing a proactive service and understand both candidates and clients incorporating folk with sound corporate memory (they can recall who is good at what, and the history of their clients’ develpments);
      – some specialist or ‘high end’ agencies still put forward “six quite different candidates” to their clients – often for very specific roles – convincing clients that this actually makes sense – having been on both sides, this is nonsense;
      – the recuitment agency marketplace is stuttering along in a reactive mode – you find yourself ‘intervening’ in the process;
      – candidates are being treated like commodities more than ever so candidates are spread-betting (more than ever) across agencies – as a client, one often receives the same CV from 5 different agencies;
      – many candidates CVs that come through from agencies highlight very similar initiatives and achievements – little has actually been ‘tested’ by the agency – apparently, that’s the client’s role when conducting interviews;
      I could go on…

  2. bitter and twisted:

    Todays rant:

    The Search facility in the jobs bit of the SM website is rubbish.

    Recruitment agencies are 99% useless. Youd think with the money they
    charge they could
    – Write – or edit – a decent advert
    – Persuade clients what realistic rates are
    – actually understand the CVs and help the candidates a bit

    1. Jane Smith:

      I would prefer B&T’s comment wasn’t so broad-brush. Many agencies are less than capable however as a former senior manager in a specialist scientific recruitment business I can assure you we did earn our margin by understanding & helping candidates with rigourous interviewing and feedback on their presentation and CV enabling us to position candidates to our clients that were most relevant. We provided a real service for the client that they valued and I cannot see why Procurement recruitment should be any different.

  3. Chris Chapman:

    Compare the number of job adverts in Supply Management (now monthly and, IMO, somewhat dumbed down) to that a few years ago (when it was fortnightly) despite the supposed resurge in private industry…

    I can also think of a number of supposedly specialist Procurement agencies that are a pale shadow of their former selves. There seems to be a huge churn of new agencies who appear, promise the earth and deliver nothing. Staff turnover in some agencies is also absurd – they should consider training and retaining experts, especially those who can see how candidate skills can be used in different sectors whilst also not sending them vacancy details requiring skills and salary levels totally at odds with their CV….

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