Procurement recruitment report from Edbury Daley – specific job areas

In part 1 of our review we looked at the general conclusions from Cheshire-based procurement recruitment firm Edbury Daley’s recent report into the market for procurement job-hunters. It is available to download free here from their website. Overall, it points to an improving situation in the market for most procurement roles, and today we’ll look at some of the findings in the more specific job areas.

Technology has always shown up strongly in these surveys and as the report says:

“..the Technology area has been the clear leader and this is the case again in the second quarter of 2014. In fact it has strengthened slightly from Q1, moving from 38% to 40% of overall demand within our sample. Marketing has also consistently been amongst the most in-demand categories and this has also seen a slight increase from last quarter, from 14% to 16% of total roles and back into clear second place, as it was for most of last year”.

We might not be surprised at this strong demand, as the report says. These are large, sensitive and quite difficult categories for procurement to address successfully. And of course, it was ever thus. I can go back 20 or more years to my first CPO role and we had the same difficulty then in finding strong IT procurement folk!

“The reality is that both technology and marketing category expertise have always been seen as amongst the most valued areas because of the specialist nature of the subject areas, and the emphasis that places on the credibility of the category manager in front of demanding stakeholders”.

Whilst the market for most indirect spend categories is buoyant, what of the more traditional direct procurement roles?

The market for direct spend experience in areas such as packaging, ingredients, raw materials and commodities remains healthy but is not seeing quite the growth in demand that we have observed in indirect spend this year”.

That is maybe not surprising. Even during the recession, these jobs have to be done – someone has to buy packaging, whereas if you are pushed, you can do without a marketing or IT category manager (and let the users do their won thing). So direct procurement is probably less sensitive to the vagaries of economics and fluctuations in business performance.

Moving on, and as we follow the procurement technology market and the solutions providers within it closely here, this was a particularly interesting comment about that particular element of the market.

Whether it be Analytics, eProcurement, eSourcing or eMarket­place providers or the consultancies that support the implementa­tion and transformation projects they require, the overall market is in good condition. ... with the increased demand for these skills, we are moving towards a point whereby there may well be a shortage of capable people; this has clear implications for those organisations seeking to grow on the back of strong sales pipe­lines. The key areas of demand are sales/business development, imple­mentation specialists and those with experience of managing the resulting transformation projects.

So opportunities maybe for procurement practitioners to make a move over to the solution provider space? Worth considering perhaps. This is going to be a growth area for some time, we suspect.

Anyway, it is an interesting and well presented report, concise and to the point too, so do take a look yourself here.


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