Category Managers - Demand for category management expertise is high, particularly within the financial services industry, due to a number of transformations occurring within this space. Both generalists and specialists are sought, with the key requirement demonstrated true end-to-end category management methodology and experience.
Purchasing Officers – Good quality Purchasing Officers are always in demand. In addition, we are seeing an increase in demand for Purchasing Officers with shipping, freight or logistics experience with overseas suppliers. Given growing overseas manufacturing, low cost country sourcing or supplier relationship management experience is increasingly sought.
Purchasing Analysts - Organisations are adding to their headcount in this area of specialty as they examine spending more closely.
Contracts Managers - Typically demand exists within defence and the public sector as organisations look for expertise to manage a contract from end-to-end.
ICT Procurement Specialists – Organisations that are improving their ICT systems are looking for specialist skills within this area.
Advanced Excel skills – Candidates at any level, from Purchasing Officers through to Category Managers, need to be able to confidently analyse spend, suppliers or opportunities using Excel. This requirement is very common in job descriptions.
Stakeholder engagement and influencing skills - Employers across all sectors and industries view this as the most important quality in any candidate. If you cannot demonstrate the value of what you are doing, at any level, you will never succeed in delivering value to the bottom line or impacting change across an organisation. Many of the vacancies we have exist because the incumbent was not able to successfully influence decision makers.
Within the not-for-profit and SME sectors the demand for greenfield procurement experience has significantly increased. A large number of these organisations are establishing brand new procurement functions. This provides an excellent opportunity for entry-level candidates to step into autonomous roles and gain significant exposure at an early stage in their careers.
For such roles, employers are not necessarily seeking expertise or proven experience in establishing process or policy, as most of these frameworks already exist in line with procurement policy. This desire not to focus on duplicating existing methods is a refreshing shift of perception in the market.
Outside the not-for-profit and SME sectors, the focus remains on temporary assignments. Good candidates are available, and their expectations are flexible.