How to attract the right procurement and supply chain candidates for your business

Brexit and the pandemic have created the perfect storm, further accentuated by a widespread reprioritisation of people’s career goals, but why is it proving difficult for organisations to entice candidates?


  • UK employment rate is 75.3% (up 0.5 percentage points on the quarter)
  • The unemployment rate in the UK is 4.5% (down 0.4 percentage points)
  • 1.1 million job vacancies in the three months to September (ONS statistics)
  • The best procurement and supply chain candidates are in three to five processes at any one time
  • Companies are offering lucrative long-term incentive plans and pay rises to retain top performers
  • Procurement and supply chains profiles have never been higher and candidates are well aware of their worth

However, there are positives…

  • Companies have been forced to adapt and embrace working from home, which has opened up the talent pool available to them
  • An increase in flexible working has opened up roles to candidates they previously would not have considered
  • The fact that procurement and supply chain’s profile has never been greater makes them attractive prospects with people able to see an obvious career path

How are we helping organisations navigate the procurement and supply chain talent shortage?

  • Rather than focusing on a geographic model, we have pivoted our business to recruit procurement and supply chain professionals in the following practice sectors: Industrial, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Consumer, Professional & Financial Services and Public Sector
  • We have continued to cultivate passive and active candidate pools, offering value-add sessions when the market was at its tightest
  • We place great value in developing and nurturing relationships. Relationships are crucial within both the recruitment and procurement fields and in prioritising them we can support people through the life cycle of their careers

Yes, hiring is tough at the moment but with an extensive and exclusive network, a personal and tailored approach to recruitment and job opportunities across the sectors we specialise in, I am confident Procurement Heads can support you face the challenge.

Five steps to attracting procurement and supply chain candidates

  1. Partner with a reputable specialist recruitment agency

    Procurement and supply chain recruitment are relatively niche areas within the recruitment world, so research agencies with a proven track record for delivery, read their candidate and client testimonials and Google reviews and book an introductory meeting with one of their team to understand their value proposition and how they can help you attract the best candidates to your job opportunity. The best procurement recruitment agencies will offer you advice without obligation and provide a variety of different solutions to your recruitment challenges.
  1. Establish clear requirements

    Take time to collaborate with your recruitment partner so they fully understand the company culture and the type of candidate the role requires. Don’t be afraid to challenge thinking and processes along the way.

  2. Be realistic about the challenges

    Certain sectors may be more hit by a talent shortage than others, and some roles may be in higher demand. Share any useful insight you have with your recruitment partner to maximise the effectiveness of the recruitment campaign. Be willing to listen to advice about hybrid and flexible working and what this should look like in the job description. Candidates are in high demand, and making sure that your employee value proposition is competitive and transparent can be the marginal gain that helps you to successfully hire in a talent-light market space.
  3. Identify the most competitive salary range

    Ask your recruitment agency to provide a salary benchmark for your procurement or supply chain role, this will enable you to go to market with a package that will stand a better chance of enticing in-demand talent.
  4. Communicate regularly with stakeholders. 

    In a candidates’ market, it is even more important than before to keep in touch with all parties involved in the hiring process. If a decision maker has annual leave booked, communicate that with your recruitment partner so they can pass on that message to the candidates and keep them engaged in the process.

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