Procurement professionals ‘more ambitious’

2 June 2017

Procurement professionals are more ambitious than the average UK worker and will turn down jobs if no training or development is offered, according to research by Hays.

The survey of more than 440 procurement and supply chain professionals, as part of the wider What Workers Want Report 2017, found that 81% of those in procurement consider themselves to be ambitious. The UK average is 78%.

Some 19% of those in procurement said they want to reach CPO level, while 46% have senior management aspirations. More than a quarter (27%) said they expect to work for fewer than five employers over their career. However 40% are dissatisfied or indifferent in their current role.

The findings highlighted the importance of training and development as 38% of procurement respondents said they would turn down a job without training or development. The majority (84%) said they consider CPD and training policies when assessing a new employer.

Pay remains a major motivator, with 68% saying they would be looking for a better pay package in their new role. In terms of pay structure, 60% said they would like fixed pay with small bonuses, and 49% said they found bonuses motivating.

According to the latest CIPS/Hays Salary Guide and Procurement Insights Report, the average procurement salary is £44,936 and salaries are expected to rise by 5.3% this year.

However factors beyond pay are also ranked highly by procurement professionals. More than half (54%) said areas like workplace culture, benefits and career progression would influence their decision to move jobs. Almost two-thirds (64%) said they would consider a pay cut for a more attractive workplace culture, including a better work/life balance. Nearly half (47%) say their work/life balance now is average, poor or terrible.

“It’s encouraging to see the majority of the procurement workforce is ambitious, with many desiring to reach board level during their career,” said Scott Dance, director of Hays Procurement and Supply Chain.

“However, employers need to ensure they are looking for ways to nurture this and providing the work-life balance and positive career experience that their employees want.”

The research also revealed a mismatch between how employers and employees perceive the interview process, suggesting that employers need to work harder to attract the best talent.

While 83% of employers said they discuss career progression opportunities with candidates at interview stage, only 44% of candidates agreed this was the case. And while 85% of employers said they discussed culture, only 66% of candidates agreed.

Dance called for better communication during the recruitment process to avoid losing out in a competitive market. More than half (51%) of organisations are struggling to recruit procurement talent, according to the CIPS/Hays Salary Guide and Procurement Insights Report.

“Ensuring training and development opportunities are discussed at interview stage is key, helping prospective employees understand the available options from the outset,” Dance advised.

“Employers who effectively communicate career progression opportunities will be better placed to attract and retain ambitious procurement professionals.”

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