The findings from The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) 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 the Sub-Saharan region, 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. 36% of recruiters for procurement roles said that they struggled to find talent. The perceived value of fully-trained professionals remained high as 79% 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 87% 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, 46% 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 $44,353 in Sub-Saharan Africa. Across all the roles and levels of responsibility, it was an average of $34,677 for professional skills and judgement and the average pay rise even across a pandemic year, was 9.7%.
Gender disparity in Sub-Saharan Africa faired better than in other regions of the world with a 1% difference in favour of women. It is possible this could be attributed to a more transparent pay grade structure as highlighted by 61% of respondents.
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. 80% in Sub-Saharan Africa agreed that a diverse and inclusive environment is a more open and trusting place to work in and improves staff retention. 96% said inclusivity brings greater creativity and innovation in the team and 96% 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, 50% said they used unbiased language to describe their vacancies, organization and culture to attract candidates from more diverse backgrounds which was the highest of all the regions.
The perception of the value of procurement and supply chain management continues to rise as 84% 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 Sub-Saharan Africa in the next year, 52% believed that budget constraints will be an important challenge for procurement professionals. This was closely followed by 50% saying that recovery from the pandemic was one of the top challenges and 45% said managing risk in supply chains. In support of these challenges, a high proportion at 99% believed that technology would become an enabler in procurement and help manage supply chains in the future.
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 (55%), followed by supplier relationship management (50%), and contract management at 44%. Communication skills was the top requirement for those roles at tactical levels chosen by 58% of respondents.
As a reward for those skills, salary is one remuneration, but there were other benefits procurement professionals valued. The top benefit in Sub-Saharan Africa was the desire to receive support in career progression and study (54%) followed by medical insurance by 46% of respondents. There was a significant gap between the desire and reality for career progression as the percentage of professionals receiving this support was only 26% but those in receipt of medical insurance was higher than the request at 53%.
An important perceived benefit was owning a company car or receiving a car allowance. There was greater disparity in this benefit as though 37% saw its value, only 17% of professionals received such an allowance. Professionals in the region appear to have more opportunity to work flexibly than in other regions of the world. 61% were at home or remote working and 48% worked on flexi-time. This may have been prompted by the lockdowns and restrictions of the pandemic, but there were advantages to many in terms of work-life balance as 36% said this had improved for them.
Any further renumeration, such as bonuses was fairly high. 64% of those that were eligible received a bonus and the average percentage was 8.7% of salary. Professionals in the private sector were substantially more likely to receive a bonus (62%) compared to the public sector where 33% received this reward.
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.”
Hemant Harrielall, General Manager CIPS South Africa said, “Soft skills remain on the agenda for hiring managers: the ability to negotiate, communicate effectively and manage suppliers and stakeholders is as important as ever. As the profession grows in confidence and prominence, it will become increasingly important for leaders to focus on soft skills.
“These are important training areas for procurement departments to invest in to ensure they are well-equipped to deal with future challenges. Looking ahead to the future, focusing on soft skills and nurturing talent within will be crucial to maintaining the strongest talent in the profession.”
Scott Dance, Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain commented, “As the procurement function continues to evolve, organisations will not only need to re-examine its role, but how it operates and where its strategic focus needs honing. For example: at what points data is harnessed, where supplier relationships can be strengthened and how innovation can be driven in category management. These arejust a few of the trends we can expect to see transform the procurement function in2021. We hope you find the insights covered in this report useful, both as you formulate your future talent management strategies, and plan for your own career development.”
The number of procurement and supply chain professionals in the African continent is rising quickly. Find out more and download a copy of the report from the CIPS website with a guide on how you can further your own career.