Succession planning can tackle growing skills gap

10 April 2017

Organisations need to nurture talent internally to address an ongoing skills gap, CPOs were told.

In the last year, 51% of employers had faced challenges in recruiting the right talent, this year’s CIPS/Hays Salary Guide and Procurement Insights Report revealed. The third edition of the annual report surveyed over 4,000 UK procurement professionals.

It is critical for employers to identify future areas of skills shortages and to plan accordingly, said Scott Dance, UK procurement engagement director at Hays, at the launch of the report last week.

“Succession planning also needs to be a key feature in people strategies to avoid gaps in team structure,” he said.

“By developing promising talent from within the organisation, employers can help combat the ongoing skills shortages plaguing the procurement industry and future proof against skills gaps.”

The report found that 70% of managers planned to recruit in the next 12 months—a 6% increase from last year.

In the private sector, the top two industries currently recruiting were found to be the banking, finance and insurance sector at 88%, and the professional and business services sector at 81%.

In the public sector, the two top recruiters were central government at 78% and the NHS at 75%.

At the same time, the report said 71% of respondents stated they wanted to move to a more senior role and 51% wanted to move to a new employer in the next two years.

“The implications of so many employees looking to either progress or move on mean that organisations must place succession planning at the top of their agendas,” it said.

“They need to ensure that they have enough talent coming through at entry level to keep progressing individuals up the value chain.”

However, the report also showed that lack of sector skills and experience was now the most common concern for employers trying to recruit new talent, with 47% stating it was an issue, up from 36% last year. 

Lack of technical skills was also reported to be a growing concern, with 29% reporting it as a recruitment challenge compared with only 18% in 2016.

Employers should look to recruit new talent from other professions into the industry to plug the gap, suggested Dr John Glen, CIPS economist and senior lecturer at Cranfield School of Management.

“This report does draw attention to the number of employers reporting difficulties when seeking to employ new hires,” he said.

“The profession therefore must concentrate on marketing careers in procurement and supporting the development of capability within the profession as well as facilitating movement from other professions into procurement.”

Request a full copy of the report.

Read more: Procurement pay rises higher than UK average but gender gap continues. 

Read more: Benefits are key to retaining talent, CPOs told.

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