The findings from The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) South Africa and Hays Procurement, are based on research conducted in January 2021 as thousands of procurement and supply professionals contributed to the CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights Report, an annual publication highlighting the skills, salaries, and rewards in the profession. The results from South Africa, includes the perceptions of procurement, and benchmarks salaries and bonuses for different roles. The survey also highlights what the career aspirations of procurement professionals are and offers advice on how to attract the best talent in the profession across sectors and across the world.
As the perception of the value of strong procurement and supply chain management skills increased during the pandemic and the awareness of supply chains rose amongst boards and CEOs of organizations and businesses, talent acquisition remained a problem as the search for highly skilled staff intensified. 40% of recruiters for procurement roles said that they struggled to find talent. The perceived value of fully-trained professionals remained high as 62% of employers stated they preferred someone with the MCIPS designation (full membership of CIPS), or studying towards becoming fully qualified. This value was translated into other teams within organizations too as 75% of procurement professionals believed that directors and heads in other teams understood what procurement could offer in terms of supporting the goals of the business.
As organizations look at more job creation in supply chain management teams, 54% of respondents said they were expecting to move into a new role within 6-12 months so interest in procurement from both employers and potential candidates is high.
The average salary for all procurement and supply professionals at professional level, so with job roles such as supply chain manager or senior category manager was ZAR 976K in South Africa. Across all the roles and levels of responsibility, it was an average of ZAR 601K for professional skills and judgement and the average pay rise even across a pandemic year, was 7.2%.
In line with previous years, there still remains a substantially large difference between the pay of women and men; a gap of 35%, with men receiving the higher uplift in sa
For the first time this year, CIPS asked respondents about their awareness and plans around building more equality, diversity and inclusion in procurement teams. The CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights Report asked questions on how businesses would reflect on the reality of the diverse environment of customers, stakeholders and local communities most businesses operate in. 94% agreed that a diverse and inclusive environment is a more open and trusting place to work in and improves staff retention. 92% said inclusivity brings greater creativity and innovation in the team and 94% said this would be a more attractive environment for prospective candidates, ultimately increasing skills from a wider pool of potential staff. To encourage more diversity, 35% said they used unbiased language to describe their vacancies, organization and culture to attract candidates from more diverse backgrounds.
The perception of the value of procurement and supply chain management continues to rise as 74% of those surveyed said the profession’s reputation had improved in 2020. The necessity of smooth- running supply chains to keep business operational has been the focus of most organisations during the COVID-19 disruptions.
Turning to challenges faced by procurement in South Africa in the next year, 39% believed that risk management is high, followed by budget constraints at 46% and recovery from the pandemic for 46% of respondents, equally the top answer. However, a high 99% believed that technology would become an enabler in procurement and help tackle these challenges head-on.
In terms of skills, it was the soft skills such as communication and relationship management that remained in demand across all levels of seniority and roles. Employers were looking for negotiation skills as the top skill required across all roles in procurement (54%), followed by supplier relationship management (49%), and sourcing skills at 45%. Communication skills was the top requirement for those roles at tactical levels.
As a reward for those skills, salary is one remuneration, but there were other benefits procurement professionals valued. The top benefit in South Africa was medical insurance where 47% of respondents chose this as their top preferred benefit, and 43% received the benefit. The next top benefit was support for career development and study as professionals in the Africa region continued to focus on skills improvement. 44% desired this benefit but it fell short as 37% received it. An important perceived benefit was owning a company car or receiving a car allowance. There was greater disparity in this benefit as though 40% saw its value, only 11% of professionals received such an allowance.
Flexible working hours, was also desired by 32% of respondents and 25% received this benefit. Though it could be argued this benefit was largely forced by lockdowns and covid restrictions, it nevertheless improved the work-life balance of individuals in the procurement profession (31%).
Any further renumeration, such as bonuses was fairly high. 61% of those that were eligible received a bonus and the average percentage was 8.6% of salary. Professionals in the private sector were more likely to receive a bonus (74%) compared to the public sector where 61% received this reward, but the results were close.
Head of South Africa Professional Body, Sarie Homan said, ”Despite the challenges, with many supply chains stretched to capacity and beyond – 74% believe that procurement is now more valued within their organisation than it was last year.
“Procurement activities are also now more likely to be valued and understood by senior managers, as the strategic importance of securing the strongest suppliers has increased, resulting in increased efforts for professionalization.”
Malcolm Harrison, Group CEO, CIPS said “The report is a fascinating read. I am sure you will gain some valuable insights to use for planning your own career or supporting the careers of individuals in your team.
“What is strongly evident is that the procurement and supply profession has gained even more credibility and respect as the world wakes up to how essential resilient supply chains are. Let us work together to strengthen them even further, addressing ethical and sustainability considerations, and continuing professional development.”