Buyers battle for top talent

29 January 2010

29 January 2010 | Carly Chynoweth

Procurement recruiters are fighting a war for talent, according to the latest SM100 poll.

Nearly half of the purchasers who responded – 49 per cent – said they were battling against other organisations to secure the best staff.

The main problem buyers faced was not a shortage of applicants, but a shortage of the right applicants. Iain Kirwan, a principal adviser at consultancy KPMG, has been inundated with CVs, but was still struggling to find the right people.

“There are many people on the market but there is a lack of credible candidates with the right calibre and experience,” he said. “We are therefore competing with other larger consultancies for the top talent around.”

William Moult, supply chain manager at Enterprise, the infrastructure company, said that candidates tended to have technical skills but lack broader commercial awareness, while one government buyer said there were not enough candidates with public sector experience on the market.

One senior procurement manager at a major telecommunications firm had experienced almost the opposite problem, with overqualified candidates applying for junior positions in a number of recent recruitment phases.

* Read the full article in the 4 February issue of SM and look out for a feature on the best sectors for developing talent in the 4 March issue.

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