Summer of 2018 – the weather is at an all-time high, but the Procurement talent pool seems to be experiencing an opposing low. While high flying, well-paying Procurement vacancies across London and the Home Counties are plentiful - the challenge commonly faced by all is sourcing and securing the best high calibre, talented candidates to fill those roles. So how do we overcome this?
A survey conducted on behalf of SAP by WideOpen last year found that 96% of HR and related functional roles within SMEs believed that identifying qualified candidates is the greatest challenge in the recruitment process. It’s not just SMEs either; I’m constantly speaking with clients in large global organisations reporting these same challenges, too. According to workplaceinsight.net, there is a looming talent deficit that could threaten economies and sectors across Europe, with the UK itself facing a shortage of half a million workers in financial and business services! The Global Talent Crunch study by Korn Ferry went as far as to estimate the three sectors that look set to experience the gap between future talent supply and demand in 20 major economies: financial and business services; technology, media and telecommunications.
Now this is where we come into our own and add true value. Our niche experience and depth of knowledge means we’re always analysing current market trends and effectively applying best in practice strategies to our recruitment process, to successfully overcome some of the biggest challenges the recruitment industry can face. A challenge we often face, is the disconnect between what our hiring managers want, and the reality of the talent pool out there. I always tell my clients that we will endeavor to tick every criteria box within the ‘essentials’ and the ‘desirables’ list. It’s important that we establish the ‘must haves’, and where we can allow flexibility with the broader skill set or the soft skills of the candidate. It’s even worth considering the potential of an individual to grow and develop into a role. Whatever recruitment challenge you may be faced with, there is often a simple solution that just requires a confident and assured recruitment agency to implement. However, the real challenges arise when momentum is lost on a role. This can be due to internal issues, “red tape” with clients, or even a lack of appetite to be flexible with requirements. Of course, there will be occasions when flexibility isn’t an option – and we will find ways to work around that.
When recruiting for your next hire, you need to provide us with as much information about the role and responsibilities, and the package – the tangible and intangible; salary and bonus, culture, training and development opportunities so that we can promote you as powerfully as possible. Don’t forget that the role needs to benefit the candidate, as well as you. If your brand is renowned, it will always help sell a position but it’s never enough. You need to demonstrate the growth of the business function that would, in time, be reflected in personal growth. The pay and package you offer needs to be placed competitively so that, at the base line, you have a position of strength against competition, when being reviewed by potential employees.
According to CIPS, Procurement salaries in the UK have risen by 11% since 2015, and skilled Procurement professionals will demand much higher salaries. In 2016, the average Procurement salary increased by 2.7%, before settling at a 0.8% increase in 2017. As we whiz through 2018, the increase in procurement wages looks set to continue, which is largely down to the sector skills shortage and the need to find these rare, highly talented Procurement professionals.
All we ask from our clients once they have engaged with us is commitment; commitment to prioritising timely and honest feedback on our shortlists, the confidence to explain why something isn’t working, and the acknowledgement that working together and being committed to finding the right candidate will quickly reward you. Working in total collaboration, acting as an extension of an organisations recruitment team, is the best way Procurement Heads can work with a business and the only way we can be successful in recruiting.
There is so much to consider when looking for the right candidate… Technical expertise, team or cultural fit, the ability of the individual to influence stakeholders, their commitment to the role and their likelihood to progress within your organisation.
Recently, as part of our Big Interview series, we spoke with Bilal Shaykh, Group Chief Procurement Officer at Centrica. Bilal believes that “the culture and values fit between the individual and the company are critical points that many people, especially early in their careers fail to fully appreciate. At the end of the day, you cannot realise your full potential in a company that does not fit your culture and values.”
It’s important that you invest a lot of time and effort into the recruitment process and are open and honest with us about about the type of person you need, and the type of organisation you really are. A core value that drives Procurement Heads is to act with Integrity – so that’s what we do.
Our team of experts will build your profile with strong specifications that attract only the right candidates. Once the profile is live our Marketing department will carefully position the profile to gain maximum exposure in all the right places. Alongside the traffic self-driven towards the role, our team will scour both our extensive network and the external market to ensure we provide you with the perfect candidates to review. For us, it’s not just about filling a role – it’s about contributing to powerful procurement organisations across the UK and building a trusted network of clients and candidates that we support through the life-cycle of their careers.