Within ACT’s government sector, ASL caps are still under review, creating contract vacancy activity. There has been a strong requirement for APS5 and APS6 staff across all departments as hiring managers and directors need hands-on professionals as opposed to executive or managerial staff.
During the last year the government reviewed its procurement and contract processes. As a result we have seen vacancies for more complex end-to-end procurement professionals in order to provide a higher level of advice to achieve commercial outcomes on existing processes.
Developing more complex contract management teams and negotiation processes are expected to be the next strategic step for the government, with an emphasis on building separate, yet collaborative, contract management teams that will sit alongside corporate procurement areas. Most contract management is still managed by corporate procurement areas that don't necessarily have specialist Contract Managers.
New jobs are being created based on new project requirements. These are mostly six to12 month contract opportunities as government departments like the flexibility and productivity of temporary staff.
Despite voluntary redundancies over the last six to 12 months, there is still a skill shortage as the need for procurement professionals across all departments continues to grow.
Given infrastructure investment in NSW, we are seeing more contract and permanent senior-level positions within the state’s public sector, especially for Contract Managers and Category Managers. On the whole salaries have reduced slightly, which impacts those people actively looking to change jobs. The result is that available candidates are being drawn towards better paid contract roles.
In Queensland, the market has seen an influx of entry-level procurement roles. There are more permanent roles on the market than there have been in the last two years. As such employers are becoming more flexible on industry-relevant experience and will consider candidates who are the right cultural fit and who possess the right systems experience. This is particularly evident in the mining industry, where employers will recruit people without mining experience.
In South Australia, SMEs that are growing are adding stand-alone procurement professionals to their team rather than merge their purchasing function with another role.
In the public sector, the need for short-term contractors continues, particularly in areas where employees have been seconded to other major contracts.
The Victorian State Government is in the process of reorganising departments and statutory bodies to support a number of major projects, particularly in the transport and infrastructure space. This is creating shorter-term and project-based contracts for end-to-end procurement specialists. Hiring managers still prefer to see candidates with previous public sector experience given the lengths of contracts, but are open to considering those who have worked in tier one companies with rigorous probity and process policies.
Outside the government sector, the healthcare and not-for-profit sectors have seen an increased demand for commercially minded professionals in preparation for the NDIS rollout. This is because organisations need to become more competitive.
Overall, the private sector is buoyant as businesses appreciate what an investment in procurement can deliver to the bottom line.
Hotspots of demand
In the ACT, NV1/2 Cleared Defense Procurement candidates are needed to work on the increasing number of project needs.
Senior Procurement Specialists at the middle-management level with experience leading small teams are sought in the commercial sector as procurement teams continue to grow.
Procurement Managers at the $100,000 to $120,000 level are in demand for contract roles.
End-to-end Procurement Specialists are sought to manage the re-tender of contracts in the open market as the end of last year saw a number of large contracts expire.
More contracts are coming to the end of their lifecycle and many need to be renewed. Consequently Tender Specialists are required to manage the process as well as conduct more in-depth assessments.
Contract Managers are needed. Larger contracts and new contracts have been established and as a result of their complexity and size, specialists with these skills are in demand.
New South Wales
NSW also needs Contract Managers due to an increase in bids and tenders resulting from infrastructure investment.
Good Procurement Officers are in short supply in the state as teams expand.
ICT Specific Procurement Professionals across all levels, from Procurement Officers through to Category Managers, are needed due to the specific background and experience that ICT roles require.
In Queensland, SAP experienced professionals are in short supply. The cost and time involved in learning SAP skills have led to this shortage.
Contracts Administrators are required to assist with the many projects at pre-award stage. Those with pivot table and advanced Excel skills are needed to perform data analysis.
NPI electronics skills are in demand, as this is a rare system and not many candidates possess this experience. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) experience is also required within freight management.
In South Australia, Category Managers with state government experience are in high demand due to employees being seconded onto major projects, causing an increase in temporary requirements.
Procurement Managers with international experience are needed by SMEs that have international purchasing requirements. As markets become tighter and more focus is placed on the cost to supply, internationally experienced professionals are needed to take the reins.
Similarly, Purchasing Managers with inventory management experience and strong ERP knowledge are needed by SMEs focusing on cost efficiency.
Procurement Officers with defense experience are in high demand due to South Australian employers adding new headcount with a view to win more tenders.
ICT Category Managers are also in high demand due to an increase in projects.
Procurement Administrators/Support Officers with advanced Excel skills are in demand to provide relief to busy procurement teams where the budgets are tight.
Demand for Procurement Specialists and Category Managers with experience in infrastructure, capital works and construction is expected to grow as projects are signed off and ground broken.
Mid-level Procurement Officers with strong stakeholder management skills, proficiency in end-to-end procurement and the ability to manage their own low to medium risk tenders are needed.
Commercially savvy procurement professionals at all levels with public sector, not-for-profit or healthcare experience will be well placed to find work in 2017.
Candidates with detailed, higher quality CVs tailored to the role they are applying for are more successful in gaining an interview because employers are less interested in generalist skills and experience. We’ve seen an increasing number of people developing multiple resumes to demonstrate more specific experience for particular job applications.
Longer-term contracts tend to attract more candidates as opposed to short-term arrangements, with particular interest being shown towards smaller government departments that can offer more project and stakeholder-facing opportunities.
Candidates are looking to stand out by gaining a CIPS qualification. If they don't have a legal background some Contract Managers want to undertake a legal qualification to make them more competitive in the job market.
Within the public sector we have seen hiring managers place preference on candidates who have come from the private sector and worked on fast-paced projects.
As there have been more contract positions in many locations, senior-level candidates are more open to short and long-term contracts.