The procurement & spend management job market, career development during a crisis, and more from Edbury Daley

The Spring edition of the 'Procurement & Spend Management Insider' report from international recruitment firm Edbury Daley is now available to download for free. Like previous editions the report looks at conditions and trends in the European procurement and procurement technology recruitment market, including senior people movements in the solution provider space, acquisitions since the last report, the skills that are high on the search list of employers and the general state of the market for those already in or looking to move into the procurement profession. But, not surprisingly, this season’s edition also focuses on the implications of Covid-19 on the European business and workforce and how procurement supply chain and spend management firms have stepped up to the mark to help customers and the procurement community at large benefit from their expertise, tools or services.

Firstly, in terms of what the report traditionally focuses on (the common themes from the procurement and supply coal face) there is almost a total freeze on external recruitment (apart from in the Life Sciences, Medical Device and BioSciences sectors and for business-critical hires) as procurement turns its focus to risk and alternative sources of supply. Understandably, while a lot of work is now on hold, CEOs are looking to the challenge ahead post lockdown, and Edbury Daley anticipates there will be a strong market for business transformation and strategy rethinking, and in many cases there may be an urgent need for re-mapping the supply chain. Equally, skills in independent mentoring and advising of supply chain and manufacturing rebuilds or re-engineering will be required.

While it’s a mixed picture with wide-ranging challenges, the common theme is that “procurement and supply chain professionals are at the forefront of dealing with these extreme circumstances and that is giving many professionals exposure to some amazing opportunities to develop their skills and experience.”

The strain on procurement and international supply chains has brought procurement to the fore, dealing with urgent problems, and Edbury Daley finds that “the profession has taken the opportunity to prove its value to the leadership community … in many cases this work has been facilitated by some of the outstanding digital procurement solutions …”

Finding some great positives from the challenges that people find themselves working under, Edbury Daley offers some valuable advice on how to make the most from our new working environment. The opportunities to do things differently from what might happen under normal circumstances, like how you work with your stakeholders, customers or colleagues, or how you work without the tools you have traditionally relied upon, is all good professional experience, they say. If you keep a diary, and document how you are tackling these challenges, at the end of all this you will have valuable experience to add to your CV. Think of this as a learning opportunity to acquire knowledge that will help you with your next career move, in the new normal. The report also offers some guidance for those who have been furloughed and a new video on how to take responsibility for your own personal development and plan for your next job move is available to watch here.

The recovery of the job market depends on many variables, but the spend management community is proving to be a vital part of fighting the current crisis, so it’s reasonable to assume that the market will be more robust than most and we can return to growth mode in due course. Companies will seek to strengthen their capability in key areas like supply chain visibility and digital procurement solutions, which will give a boost to the profession and have a positive impact on the job market creating more career development opportunities.

In terms of the ‘special’ focus in this edition, the report for the first time highlights a selection of procurement vendors and gives their view of the current crisis, and an overview of how they dealt with challenges they have never seen before. In each story you can read how organisations have relied on their digital procurement and supply chain solution partners to help them cope, and they explain for those yet to embrace digital transformation the value of having adopted these solutions.

Sharing their examples of how they stepped up to help customers deal with the crisis, SAP Ariba, Rosslyn Data Technologies, HICX, C2FO, riskmethods and Sievo offer some valuable insights.

To read more about: vendors’ views, career development in a crisis, the European procurement technology job market, including leadership roles, the effect of the crisis on consulting, the interim market (and IR35) and the benefit of talent intelligence, download the full report here.

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