The Latest From Edbury Daley On Procurement Recruitment Post-Brexit

Brexit John Gomez/Adobe Stock

We very much enjoyed the Edbury Daley quarterly recruitment report recently, and the team’s thoughts on the impact of Brexit.  A month on from that momentous decision, we asked Andrew Daley to update us on how he sees the procurement recruitment market.

The reaction to our recent Procurement Quarterly Market Update has been fascinating.  Our report offered insight into the procurement world’s opinions on the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU. It clearly resonated with the procurement community as we received significantly more direct feedback than usual. If you haven't seen it already click here.

Many people within our network told us they valued the commentary on the reactions of other professionals in the procurement world, and apparently gained some reassurance from the profession’s sober response to issues that were causing all sorts of reactions in the wider media. The comments from the report that have received most focus are:

“Procurement has a critical role to play in how business moves forward in this new trading environment.”  i.e. The strategic value of procurement to major organisations has potentially increased again, and this clearly appeals to the profession in general because of the security it gives us and the opportunities it can offer moving forward.

"Our clients will need our advice and our technology more than ever, this is another opportunity for us."  Procurement technology providers are largely very positive about their future because they believe UK and international businesses need that competitive advantage more than ever.

The debate around how the UK’s decision to leave the EU will impact on the talent shortages in procurement, with so many EU nationals working in the profession in the UK, is something a lot of people have asked for more information about.  Unfortunately, it’s still too early to make any firm conclusions beyond what was in the report but we are going to monitor all of these issues over the coming weeks and provide regular updates on what the market is telling us.

What we can say now is that the whole situation is such a fast moving environment, both economically and politically, that there is new information coming to light all the time.  In fact, since we published the report less than two weeks ago, we’ve observed the following developments:

Evidence Of Accelerated Decision Making

One of our long standing consulting clients who focus on the procurement technology sector told us that several of their clients have actually accelerated transformation.  The feeling seems to be that “we need to get this done as soon as possible to help us deal with the uncertainty ahead.”

Another contact in the consulting world told us that he’s also seen evidence that companies are pushing consultancy projects forward rather than shelving them as was widely anticipated.

In terms of the work I do with companies in the spend management sector, the evidence is that when they said it was “business as usual” they meant it.  In fact, we’ve been briefed on several new roles in the sector in the past week.

Little Or No Impact On Recruitment

Whilst there is certainly evidence that hiring has been affected across the wider economy, particularly in sectors like construction and property, we’ve still not had one single procurement related role cancelled or put on hold as a direct result of the referendum.  We are consistently seeing that our clients are continuing at their usual pace of recruitment.

Job Seeker Sentiment

We expected to see some evidence of people being less likely to consider job moves in the short term as people often react to the uncertainty with a greater degree of caution.  We’ve no evidence of this whatsoever in the past month.  We’ve asked people directly if it has changed how they view their job search and the consistent response is that people who were in the job market before the referendum are still focused on finding that next career challenge.

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