Throwing down the gauntlet

9 April 2013
Rebecca Ellinor, managing editor, Supply ManagementThe problem of recruiting and retaining talent is not a new one, but it is an issue that requires urgent focus if procurement is to fight off competition from other functions and hang on to good people in this tough economic climate. At a procurement talent event in March, AstraZeneca CPO Ashley Readshaw threw down the gauntlet for the profession to rise to the challenge of defining itself better and improving its image. “Procurement has a victim mentality – it is not seen as a stimulating career for talent,” he said. He added that there is a “mixed understanding” of the profession, which has yet to classify itself as clearly as the likes of finance or engineering. Meanwhile, as the latest CIPS/Croner Purchasing and Supply Rewards salary survey shows, there’s also the challenge of tightening pay packets. A third of respondents said they experienced a pay freeze last year and, while wages rose by an average of 2 per cent in 2012 (and 43 per cent anticipate a pay rise of at least 3 per cent this year), latest figures show UK inflation is at 2.8 per cent. When it comes to retaining gifted graduates, as far as Russell Soan from recruiter Barclay Meade is concerned, if you can’t hang on to them, it’s your own fault. “You need to have set structures in place to keep them,” he advises in our focus on staff turnover. While in First Person this issue, Nicola Bromby, head of commercial management at Heathrow Airport, offers tips 
on recruiting talent without wasting time on, 
well, time-wasters. In terms of job opportunities for senior professionals, our Careers lead story suggests that many of the top roles are moving abroad. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Asia is among the most popular locations and some companies are relocating staff internationally to gain new skills. Good recruitment is tough; even tougher than retention because you have one chance to get it right. Make the correct choice and you will have 
many more opportunities to keep them once 
they’re in the door.
Chelmsford or Cambridge
£33,797 - £39,152 p.a
Anglia Ruskin University
South Sinai (EG)
$100,660, 2 year contract, tax free salary, housing, meals, medical, relocation,
Multinational Force and Observers
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