Supply Chain Council of European Union |

What do your Procurement career development options look like?

‘Procurement & Spend Management Insider,’ the report that looks at conditions and trends in the European procurement recruitment market, from international recruitment firm Edbury Daley, is always worth a read if you are interested in what the market looks like now, and how to weigh up your staffing options or indeed career moves. The latest update is complete and is now available to download for free.

As well as examining some of the senior people moves in the solution provider space, the skills that are high on the search list of employers and the general state of the market for those already in or looking to move into the procurement profession, this Autumn’s report also includes the findings of a survey on procurement leaders’ biggest challenges with their existing teams and the problems they face when hiring.

Using data on the UK job market from KPMG and recruitment professional bodies APSCo and REC, the report compares how the wider trends compare with the procurement and spend management professions particularly, to help you with your recruitment or career decisions, whether permanent or interim.

Here’s an overview of some of the highlights from the report to whet your appetite for the key trends you will find within:

High-profile people moves in the procurement technology sector

It was an active past few months, with some ‘unexpected’ high-profile movement in the market, particularly in the area of sales leadership and business development. The report highlights losses and gains for firms such as Basware, Ivalua, Jaggaer, SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, Tradeshift, GEP, and smaller firms. The details of which you can read in the report, but suffice to say it concludes that “the software vendors almost always favour hiring people from competitors in the sector who understand how to articulate the value proposition.” It also highlights the market position, financial announcements and new developments among the leading players.

The wider job market

In terms of the wider procurement job market, it finds that sales, presales and implementation skills continue to be in high demand, and that hiring activity remains strong. So read the specifics in the report if you are considering a job move into these areas. Geographically, it finds the relatively mature markets like UK, Germany, France and Netherlands are seeing the most competition for sector-experienced people, but there are also clear signs of growth in the Nordics and Southern Europe, particularly Italy. Although in an encouraging sign of the market, it also sees some organisations thinking more creatively and hiring people from outside the sector and then providing the necessary training and development.

Skills shortage

It continues to be the case that the growth in the market is outpacing the growth in the talent pool. “Skills shortages are genuinely constraining growth,” it finds. Particularly in consulting, skills shortages are genuinely constraining growth because they are limiting the number of projects consultants can deliver. One area that may provide a stimulus to the supply of experienced implementation and transformation talent is the interim market – again read the report to find out about that opportunity.


New placements into permanent jobs by recruitment agencies has fallen for the seventh month in a row. There are a number of reasons for this, including that EU (and non-EU) citizens are not as prepared to take the risk of a move to the UK, which is commensurate with the previous report, finding a 30% fall in applicants. Edbury looks at whether this has a significant impact on the bigger picture and attempts to look beyond political and Brexit-related hype.

The report goes further than a look at the current state of market performance, it looks at the effects of IR35 in the private sector, the landscape for contractors, current costs of day rates, and more, and gives some pointers on what considerations firms should be giving to supply and demand. Its new and recent survey reveals what organisations in the Edbury Daley procurement and supply chain network are finding the most challenging.

It’s worth noting that the findings, commentary and advice in the report are not based solely on survey questions, Edbury Daley maintains a close relationship with professional bodies and its own clients, from these conversations it hears first-hand the challenges of urgent requests, gaps in the market, budget constraints, and basically the struggle to recruit the right skill, right person, and right behavioural traits given the current market skill shortages.

Read the report in full here, and look out for the next update in the spring 2020 edition.


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