Skilled purchasers still in demand

11 August 2011

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11 August 2011 | Angeline Albert 

Demand for the right procurement candidates is high with no sign of a slowdown in the summer but not enough talent is entering the profession, a recruitment firm reports.

Duncan Ward, operations director of procurement and supply chain at Badenoch& Clark, said there has been growth in procurement headcounts in recent months with a lot of demand for graduates and mid-level supply chain professionals but said finding the right candidates is a problem.

Speaking to SM following publication of the company’s Professional talent spotlight – July 2011 report, Ward said: “There are not enough candidates coming into the industry. Procurement plays such an important role in a business. Its profile has been raised with businesses’ need to make efficiencies but professionals still need to raise the profile of what the industry can offer to graduates.”

Ward said that despite a move in recent years for more technical, analytical skills to meet forecasting needs and demand management as well as good communication skills, other competencies such as practical understanding of business in terms of product flow and distribution were also requested by employers.

“There’s plenty of demand out there but because of the level of confidence in the economy, clients are being very careful about their criteria and who they select. They want candidates with a wide range of competencies. I tell candidates to be very clear about the skills they have and the impact they’ve had on businesses,” he said.

He added: “In response to a desire to make efficiencies, a lot of organisations have transformed their procurement operations and have hired senior-level procurement candidates. Now, we are seeing more mid-level professionals and below being hired.”

Information for the survey was gathered over the past six months through discussions with senior procurement professionals looking to hire buyers.

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