Procurement salaries in the UK have gone up 11% since 2015 and firms have been warned to expect to pay more for skilled buyers.
The average advertised procurement salary surged by 2.7% in 2016, possibly a result of a closer focus on the function following the Brexit vote, before slowing to a more modest 0.8% in 2017.
Supplier relationship manager roles enjoyed the highest rise of 11%, followed by procurement analyst and contract managers, who both saw a 9% increase over the period, according to statistics produced by Reed Procurement & Supply Chain.
The long-term increase in wages was due to a mixture of factors including a sector skills shortage, an increasing number of smaller firms investing in procurement professionals and the growing remit of procurement roles, said Chris Harrington, divisional manager of Reed Procurement & Supply Chain.
Speaking to SM, Harrington said: “The market has moved a lot more to commercial skills, building relationships within business.
“[Employers] want people who are able to communicate and disseminate information across various departments, commercially savvy people who understand where the business is going.”
Buyers are also being embedded more into business units, as opposed to working in silos, and are engaging and meeting with more with suppliers and interacting to get better service, Harrington said. He added that as procurement professionals become more specialised and learn to work with new technologies including AI and robotics firms should expect wages to continue increasing.
“The rise in salaries is due to the wealth of experience needed,” said Harrington.
Firms looking to attract talent need to consider the whole package they can offer candidates, he added. This not only includes salary and benefits, but can also mean offering the chance to work in a strategically important business function.
“They have to make their firm attractive to talent with the profession changing. If you’re attracting a new generation you think about flexibility, pay, purpose – the impact piece. You have to explain sometimes the detail of where the procurement strategy inputs into the business strategy, link it as a business challenge.
“What’s the value of that partner within your organisation? You’re trying to get them excited by the organisation,” said Harrington.
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