CIPS Career Development
Why choose procurement as your career?
Procurement has evolved to a large extent over the last two decades to become more central to the success of organisations. Today’s professionals have a wider remit, require broader skills and experiences, and are becoming ever-more sought after as business challenges increase in number and complexity.
“The procurement and supply chain profession has evolved at a rapid pace and is a more demanding and rewarding career than it has ever been. Today’s professionals are seen not as buyers, but as enablers, business partners and strategic leaders who understand business needs are core to the success of their organisation, and who are aligned with the social responsibility and ethics agenda.”
Malcolm Harrison, Group CEO, CIPS
Procurement is growing ever-more important, valued, interesting and rewarding as a career. And so, it is perhaps no surprise that we are seeing an influx of new talent into the profession. In fact, a much higher proportion than expected globally stated that they had made a conscious decision to work in procurement which is a different scenario from years gone by when professionals ‘fell’ into procurement. It is a particularly exciting career choice for young professionals who are attracted by the potential to hit the ground running from day one, the prospect of managing large budgets, and opportunities to choose and manage supplier contracts that can make a real difference to people’s lives, and society and economies as a whole.
How do I get a job in procurement?
Whether you are interested in travelling the world, promoting ethical trade or spending other people’s money there are various roles within procurement and supply chain. It is worth considering what type of person you are, your beliefs and skillset, having this self-awareness will assist you in matching a role in procurement that is most suitable and putting a career plan in place.
Examples of Procurement Roles
In our ‘new normal’ world post Coronavirus it’s been shown that hiring and onboarding procurement professionals can continue in a virtual way, so with skills shortages still being widespread, those employers who are carrying on with their recruitment plans to fill skills gaps now will be in the best position as we transition to the other side of the pandemic. In terms of the skills in demand, change management has entered the top ten list of skills needed for a professional to perform their job well for the first time this year. As has been made apparent in the first few months of 2020, change is inevitable, so being adaptable to change will likely become even more sought after within procurement. Professionals should therefore develop in this area to succeed in the new world of work.
What is the typical procurement career path?
Every individual’s career journey in procurement is different, but behind each level of seniority sits a common competency framework. The Global Standard can help you to measure your knowledge and capabilities against the competency levels and identify development needs and mapping out your career development programme.
CIPS Global Standard
CIPS qualifications lead you to MCIPS membership which shows you are a highly skilled professional and strategic thinker. Click below to find out more.
Skills in demand for Procurement Professionals
Organisations continue to look to procurement to manage complex supply chains and manage risk, yet we see employers still struggling to find talent with the right skills. Make sure you are aware of the skills in demand for your role and next career move and proactively take action.
Download CIPS/Hays Salary Guide
Importance of Soft Skills
“As the value of procurement continues to grow, it is up to professionals to ensure they are upskilling not only in technical skills, but also in soft skills such as communication, stakeholder management and strategic thinking. Professionals must continue to develop these skills no matter what their seniority in order to truly drive value within their organisation.”
Scott Dance, Director, Hays Procurement and Supply Chain
While technical skills will always be important for a procurement professional to perform their role effectively, the importance of soft skills must not be underestimated as softer skills around relationships are less easy to train. The CIPS/Hays Salary Guide shows that soft skills are in demand across all levels of seniority and include communication, supplier relationship management, influencing skills and internal stakeholder management. Given that these skills become more sought-after as an individual moves up the career ladder to more senior roles, professionals should ensure they are honing their soft skills throughout the entirety of their career.
Download CIPS Soft Skills resources
The CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights, now in its 6th year can help you to benchmark your salary and benefits every step of your career. It will also help you to identify key skills in demand for your job level and proactively use this to plan your career through identifying training and development opportunities. The guide provides expert insights and tips to help you as an individual throughout your career as well as if you are an employer looking to shape your talent management strategy and development plans for the team.
Download the CIPS/Hays Salary Guide and Insights 2020
CIPS and Hays have partnered for since 2014 to provide CIPS members with guidance when starting out in your procurement career, through to planning your journey to the top, with insights and tips for when you recruit on how to attract and retain the best talent.
Access Hays Careers Advice resources
CIPS has created some resources for tutors and procurement professionals to download and use in schools or colleges to encourage young people to consider a career in procurement.
Request a tutor pack
Career Development Resources