15 February 2007 | Paul Snell
Salaries offered to buyers by small businesses are beginning to compete with those offered by larger firms, according to purchasing recruitment company Purcon.
Its half-yearly salary survey for purchasing and the supply chain reveals that, although larger businesses still offer more, the gap is closing.
Tony English, managing director of Purcon, said: "Smaller companies are seeing that purchasing and supply chain is a key functional area."
The survey found that the average salary for purchasing and supply chain professionals had increased
17 per cent over the past year, to £40,400.
It claimed the increase was significantly above the national average, although a growth in data about top-level salaries had contributed to the rise.
A shortage of skilled procurement candidates meant the market was extremely competitive. IT buyers and e-procurement and outsourcing specialists were most in demand. Yet the financial services and pharmaceutical sectors offered the best pay.
The increase in salaries was also attributed to purchasers moving jobs more frequently. "People are far more ambitious and if they move they will always get a lump improvement in their salary," English said.
There was also an increase in the use of performance-related pay, rather than discretionary bonuses.
English expected the growth in pay to slow, but he added that it probably wouldn't affect the profession for around 12 to 18 months.
He added that there might be a renaissance for older buyers, as they have plenty of experience, and are often more willing to accept lower pay in return for benefits such as a better work/life balance.