Businesses 'too scared' to make the wrong hire in procurement

4 January 2013

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4 January 2013 | Anna Reynolds

Businesses are reluctant to hire permanent procurement staff due to concerns they might appoint the wrong person, but recruiters believe a bold decision could benefit the business.

“Many organisations are either too scared to make the ‘wrong’ hire or too focused on the skills someone should have, and not the individual,” Rupert Gaster, director of recruitment firm Procurement Heads told SM. But, he added, employers should be taking “calculated risks” in recruitment to release the full potential of their business.

Langley Search & Selection has forecast increased demand for interims in 2013 as businesses look to support procurement and supply chain departments that lack permanent staff. International markets, particularly Brazil and the Far East are also expected to be buoyant during 2013.

Managing director Christina Langley added: “Bonuses have returned. Employers will want to retain staff for key programmes and while they are unlikely to give big pay increases this is an area of latitude where they can reward people.”

Nicky Taberner, director of Hays Procurement expects to see a rise in demand for commercially aware, experienced procurement professionals in the public sector, an area that has “increasingly come under the spotlight”. Taberner said that 2013 will see a move towards a more mobile procurement community that could offer career opportunities for those looking to get overseas experience or use language skills. there will continue to be a demand for individuals with in-depth expertise in specific sectors, particularly IT.

For those considering procurement as a career, the advice from recruiters Barclay Meade is to ensure a CV and covering letter demonstrates a clear desire to enter the profession. Russell Soan, associate director procurement and supply chain at Barclay Meade told SM: “Communication, relationship building, adaptability to change and good leadership skills are key competencies for success”. He added that evidence of strategic sourcing, category management and supplier relationship management is also critical to developing a career in modern procurement.

Meanwhile, Soroosh Saghiri and Carlos Mena, senior research fellows at Cranfield University, predicted talent availability would remain a problem for organisations and the economic recovery would exacerbate the skills shortage.

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