Employers who adapted benefit offerings could compete for the best talent, said Hays' Scott Dance.
Employers who adapted benefit offerings could compete for the best talent, said Hays' Scott Dance.

Benefits are key to retaining talent, CPOs told

6 April 2017

The CIPS/Hays 2017 salary survey reveals a lack of sector skills and experience has become the top worry when recruiting procurement staff, up from third last year.

With a growing talent gap, procurement managers struggling to recruit should improve their benefits packages, said Scott Dance, UK procurement engagement director at recruitment firm Hays

Speaking at the launch of this year’s CIPS/Hays Salary Guide and Procurement Insights Report, Dance revealed that 51% of organisations had struggled to recruit the right candidates into their procurement teams over the past year.

“One of the more interesting findings in the report is that 70% of managers expect to recruit in the next 12 months, up by 6% from last year, which is a positive reflection on the industry,” he said.

“But at the same time, 50% of employees plan to leave their jobs in the next two years and 71% want to progress to more senior roles. That’s quite a lot of movement in a short space of time and, with a shortage of talent, we need to address the gap this type of movement creates.”

The survey of more than 4,000 professionals across 25 offices found that when it came to recruiting procurement staff, 47% of those surveyed said their biggest challenge was a lack of sector skills and experience.

Dance suggested that companies needed to look more outside the box to address the growing talent gap.

“Lack of sector skills and experience has moved from being the third biggest worry last year to being the top worry,” he said. 

“Something to consider is facilitating movement from other professions into procurement. I’ve seen a lot more commercial people from within the sector now heading towards procurement.

“Other things I’d ask organisers who say they are struggling to recruit are: do you have a graduate scheme; are you prepared to sponsor people through CIPS to help encourage them to stay in the industry; and are there mentoring schemes to help guide employees through their careers?” 

The report also found that because of the skills shortage, competition for the best procurement professionals meant companies were considering additional benefits to attract and retain talent.

According to the report, 67% of public sector employees and 59% of not-for-profit employees said flexible working was the most important benefit to them, while private medical insurance topped the private sector’s list of priorities at 48%. 

Dance said employers who adapted their benefit offerings would find themselves in good shape to compete for the best talent in the market.

“A lot of candidates we speak to are often not just interested in salary but [in] the overall benefit package. So I’d suggest recruiters consider if there is any flexibility around this. It doesn’t always mean throwing money at it, especially considering budget restraints, but is there working from home, flexitime, gym memberships or other incentives that can change throughout their career?”

Click through to request a full copy of the report. 

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

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