Procurement Recruitment Trends In 2021

Recruitment has never been busier.

The profile of procurement and supply chain has never been greater.

So, for specialist procurement recruiters, the last 12 months have been like shooting fish in a barrel, right?


The team has worked exceptionally hard to achieve record results for Procurement Heads.

Yes, it has been the busiest recruitment market I’ve ever known, and sectors hammered by the pandemic have pushed hard to bounce back.

But these need to be counterbalanced with the war on talent and the dreaded c-word.

Not that one.

The counteroffer.

An exceptional year

It is safe to say that this financial year has been Procurement Heads’ most successful in history.

How have we achieved this?

The strength and ability of the team.

The strength and ability of our network.

As a business, our values are:

  • Rewarding relationships
  • Exceeding expectations
  • Doing the right thing

Through authentically living these values, the team has been able to deliver.

But, when I define success, I don’t just look at the numbers.

We are a relationship-driven business, in the dual relationships driven industries of recruitment and procurement.

After a challenging 2020, where the world of work changed almost overnight, I’m incredibly proud of how the entire team has reacted.

Their efforts have enabled us to pivot our business model, allowing us to grow and flourish.

Success has allowed us to bring in experienced procurement recruiters and to develop our Associate model, with clearly defined career path trajectories facilitating personal growth.

All sectors of the economy were busy hiring in 2021

It would be remiss of me not to look at which sectors have experienced the greatest growth.

Below is an infographic on which sectors Procurement Heads has placed candidates into this financial year.

All areas of the business have performed well, with the Financial & Professional Services, Industrial and Consumer sectors showing specifically robust post-lockdown bounce backs.

Here are the procurement roles we saw particular demand for:

  • Head of Procurement 12%
  • Procurement Manager 23%
  • Category Manager 10%
  • Procurement Consultant 10%

The above offers a snapshot of roles we recruited last year, the team also successfully filled a variety of Procurement Leadership, Procurement Directors, Category Leads, Senior Category Managers, SRMs, Senior Buyers and Buyers 2021.

What did the wider market look like?

Within these practice sectors, the available roles* in the market largely mirrored the placements we made last year with Head of Procurement, Category Manager and Senior Buyers being in particular demand.

*Data based on 497 advertised procurement and supply chain roles 1 April 2021 – 22 March 2022

What do the people and organisations we’ve helped say?

“Procurement Heads were professional and took the time to understand me as a candidate to ensure that this role was the right fit for me. They communicated quickly and concisely. I knew exactly what to expect. They were very active in supporting all aspects of my pre-starting progress. They also called once I had started to ensure I was settling in well.” – Category Manager placed in the industrial sector.

“Procurement Heads listen and understand the brief given to them, they carefully select candidates that they know will not only meet the brief but will also match my personality and how I work.” – Hiring Manager in the public sector.

“Procurement Heads walk the walk, in an industry that wants to treat candidates as commodities, they have a process and a perspective that puts value at the centre of the conversation – for candidates and their clients.” – Category Manager placed in the Financial services sector.

One of our key values is rewarding relationships, it’s pivotal to how we operate, our pricing strategy and the extensive network we have developed and built over the last decade. It’s testimonials like these that help measure the authenticity of that approach.

What will next financial year’s trends look like?

From our perspective, we will continue to grow.

We have hugely ambitious plans that are underpinned by bringing new Associates and Recruiters into the business – and, if you are considering the next stage of your career, I’d love to have a conversation with you.

More generally speaking, in-person meetings will hopefully become the norm again, though I think the team will be hard-pressed to find a better backdrop than that of Rory Lamont, who took part in our Big Interview series.

The Heads of Practice will lead and run a number of events across the year, which we will publicise on our website and LinkedIn channels.

Finally, despite continued geopolitical uncertainties, the role of procurement and supply chain will continue to rise, its reputation cemented by the response to the pandemic.

We may well see more digital procurement roles become available, Sourcing professionals will continue to be highly sought after and there will be challenges around hybrid working life versus the needs of a business.

I’m incredibly proud of the team’s achievements in 2021 and am confident that they will build on this stellar year as we move into the next.

If you want to join a proactive, relationships-driven business, we’d love to hear from you.

Click here to start the conversation.

Sign-up for job alerts.

By entering your email you agree to receive job alerts and marketing communications from Procurement Heads. No spam. Unsubscribe anytime. See Privacy Policy.

Scroll to Top