20 July 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
Procurement must improve its image if it is to attract talented staff, according to research by purchasing consultancy State of Flux and recruitment firm PSD Group.
At the launch of the findings, Alan Day, managing director of State of Flux, said: "I take my hat off to marketing because it has been very good at promoting itself. It's probably no more glamorous than what we do but people think it is."
He suggested one reason for this could be that purchasers themselves are unsure about what they can offer the business. "Perhaps it's because we don't understand our own value proposition," he said.
Another problem, he added, was that "procurement is not seen as a path to the top".
He said: "We're starting to see some clients putting their head of procurement on the board but these examples are few and far between."
According to Day, businesses must have three things to attract and retain good purchasing staff: vision, values and velocity.
He said they need a vision which provides staff with development opportunities; to articulate what traits they are looking for in employees; and the ability to change things quickly if they're not working.