RIP the search4procurement Jobs Board – the End of the Spend Matters Recruitment Dream …

angels-458341_1280Some sad news today. Well, I don’t suppose we will see mass wailing in the streets and rending of garments, but we’re a bit disappointed at least.

Our search4procurement Jobs Board will be closing at the end of this week. We took over the Board from GPA, the recruitment firm, over two years ago, but to be quite honest we never really made much progress with it. My fault completely, particularly as I misjudged the effort that was necessary to get recruitment firms to give it a go, even on a free of charge basis.

So we were then faced with the question – do we recruit a sales person (and good sales people do not come cheap), to “sell” something that probably wouldn’t be a source of real revenue for some time, as the big firms would expect a reasonable trial period? It was also a case of do we invest in that, or something like launching the Public Spend Matters Europe site.

Faced with that, I showed my lack of true entrepreneurial spirit, and decided the answer was “no” to significant investment in the board.

We have tried for the past year or so to look for a partnering opportunity for search4procurement, which might have worked. A couple of ideas got quite close, but really, the whole jobs board market is probably past its peak with the growth of Twitter, Facebook and particularly LinkedIn as recruitment tools. That means there is probably only room for 2 or 3 successful Boards in a market such as procurement, and Supply Management / supplychainonline / supplychainrecruit probably fill that bill pretty well.

Going back to recruitment firms, the experience did support my view that the specialist firms would be my choice if I was a CPO again and recruiting. I would like to thank GPA, Langley and 1st Executive in particular for their support to our board, and generally being decent people to deal with.  Along with our new friends at Edbury Daley, that would be my short list if I was looking to appoint a procurement recruitment partner today.

I would not like to thank certain of the big generalist firms, including some who are pretty prominent in our industry, who were just a pain, even in terms of trying to have a conversation with someone who could actually make any decisions.

Anyway, you live and learn. Thanks also to Joanna, Andy and Jane who helped to get the board up and running and were great to work with, and to Strategies who developed and hosted the site – our failure was nothing to do with them, and they were also a pleasure to work with!

Onwards and upwards, onwards and upwards...

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Voices (2)

  1. John Jones:

    Peter, thanks for sharing in such an open manner.

    All credit to you.

    Operating and developing a business is very hard – a good lesson for all would-be entrepreneurs..

  2. David Atkinson:

    An honourable withdrawal, and a lesson in how to do it.

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