Q3 2015 Procurement Quarterly Market Update

Q3 2015 Procurement Quarterly Market Update

Our latest quarterly analysis of the employment market for the procurement profession is now available for you to download.

The analysis covers each of our specialists markets which are spend management/procurement technology, direct and indirect spend, procurement consultancy, supplier relationship management and the associated interim markets with individual commentary on each sector.


How Do Recruitment Processes Impact On The Battle For Procurement Talent?

How Do Recruitment Processes Impact On The Battle For Procurement Talent?

At Edbury Daley we are instigating some timely new research on the choice of recruitment and selection methods and the impact of those choices on the success rate of a getting  quality recruits in to a hiring business.

As the global economy recovers many companies are pursuing significant growth plans. Often, the key constraining factor is the ability to hire and retain the skills and expertise needed. Employer Branding and Talent Communities are becoming the new parlance of Human Resource Management as bigger corporations embrace the advent of social media to gain an advantage in finding the people they need. This is covered in some detail in a very interesting recent study by Deloitte.

The creation of talent pipelines and new employee engagement techniques are pushing the boundaries of traditional recruitment practice but their success is reliant on the conversion of the initial engagement in to a hire. In other words, they only bring candidates to the start line of the selection process. How a company interacts from this point onwards determines whether the candidate ever crosses the finish line and joins the hiring company.  Our survey is designed to investigate this second stage of recruitment process.

Candidate facing, the questions have been written to test attitudes and experience towards the mechanics of a typical corporate recruitment process. With companies investing heavily in cutting edge talent attraction strategies, this survey is about what happens next; how candidates respond to companies’ selection procedures.

To complete the survey simply think only of your experiences and responses as a candidate. There are just twelve carefully designed multiple choice questions.

The data gathered will be used to formulate a robust framework for a recruitment process which all corporate organisations can use as a benchmark for best practice. As a participant you will automatically have the chance to win one of three free career consultations with Peter Brophy, a qualified HR professional and one of our Directors.

The survey features twelve multiple choice questions and will only take a short time to complete.  The questions are here:

How Do Recruitment Processes Impact On The Battle For Procurement Talent?

If you are a hiring manager you can request a copy of our analysis by e mailing Andrew Daley at andrew@edburydaley.com

If you would like to discuss any aspect of recruitment best practice, please contact the author of this survey, Simon Edbury via simon@edburydaley.com


The edburydaley Indirect Spend Index 2013

The edburydaley Indirect Spend Index 2013

Data For Q1 2013

As regular followers of our Procurement Quarterly Market Update will know, we take great interest in the trends we observe in the employment market for procurement professionals.

Our readers appreciate the insight we offer whether they be job seekers or hiring managers.

Much of our work is focussed on the services sector where indirect spend dominates the agenda, and this gives us a unique insight into this area of the market.

Given the interest now generated by the update, we felt that it would be beneficial to measure and track demand for the key indirect spend categories where our network and expertise are strongest. If you are a hiring manager this information will indicate the degree of competition you will face for the skills you require.  For job seekers the data will help you assess current demand for your category expertise.

Since the beginning of 2013 we have measured the number of vacancies in each key area of indirect spend by collating data from three key sources: our own assignments, competitor analysis and software which analyses online advertising which gives an accurate snapshot of the current market trends.

To view the data please download the full edburydaley Indirect Spend Index pdf.


Bringing Unmanaged Categories Of Spend Under Control – Data & Analysis

Bringing Unmanaged Categories Of Spend Under Control – Data & Analysis

Procurian and Procurement Leaders recently combined to publish some interesting research into a variety of issues facing the profession.  We took particular interest in the results of one question which addressed an area which is a significant issue for many of our clients, that of addressing new areas of spend.  The specific question was “What would you need to bring unmanaged categories of spend under procurement’s control?”

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The data is as follows:

More recruitment resources/capacity                              61%

Great executive support/backing                                     53%

Deeper category expertise/market intelligence              51%

Greater visibility of spend levels                                     33%

Specialised tools and technology                                     14%

From a recruiters perspective, and bearing in mind that we regularly work with clients seeking to extend procurements influence across the business, this makes very interesting reading. Based on the anecdotal evidence we have from our conversations with CPO’s and other functional leaders, we offer the following comments:

Restrictions on head count have been a significant handicap for many organisations in the last 4 years and we believe they will have contributed greatly to thinking of the 61% of CPO’s that voted for this option.  We believe this problem showed clear signs of being alleviated in 2012 and anticipate that this improvement will be sustained for the foreseeable future.  It is also worth noting from our own research published during the initial recession that procurement functions were being asked to get involved in more areas of spend but in some cases lacked the resources to cope with the growing workload.  CPO’s have found it difficult to overcome company wide hiring freezes even when making strong cases for roles to be approved.

The biggest single factor in the success of emerging procurement functions within our clients is the importance of executive level support.  Without the backing of influential senior figures in any organisation procurements’ attempts to increase its influence and deliver suitable results is severely limited.  Further down the chain, the importance of stakeholder engagement skills for Category Managers and the like is stressed in virtually every job brief we take and this only serves to reinforce the importance of engaging effectively with business decision makers to develop a mandate for change.

The majority of clients seeking to recruit in Category focused roles prefer to hire someone with specific market knowledge of the relevant spend area and this has been the case for some time.  This is exacerbated when you consider “green field” roles focusing on a area of spend. The common perception is that existing category expertise combined with detailed supplier market knowledge is especially valuable when engaging with stakeholders for the first time, and there is clear evidence to support this. However what do you do if you can’t find or afford that particular expertise?  In some areas like professional services and logistics category expertise is rare, whereas others command salaries typically ahead of normal market rate e.g. marketing, software, telecoms.  Both these issues can be major hurdles in hiring the talent required.  Considering candidates with strong transferable skills is one option, an internal move for a rising star is another that has been used.  We also have some additional methods which have helped our clients in the past with these problems and we are happy to discuss them with you if this is a challenge you are facing within your business.

Visibility of spend is an interesting subject in itself and our experience tells us that some leading organisations are really benefiting from using the best available tools in this area whilst others are still struggling to understand how and where the business spends some of its money.  What we can say with certainty is that the emergence of technology has been a major benefit to those who have harnessed its power effectively.  With the almost constant improvements in technological capability in areas like big data, the potential to improve on this area is developing all the time.

Only 14% registered specialised tools and technology as a major factor, its clear that this is not top of the survey respondents agenda just yet.  However many of our contacts in the Spend Management and Big Data sectors are convinced that it is only a matter of time before their respective markets grow significantly and the emerging trends they see should gather pace.

What do you think of our comments on this data?  Do you agree with our theories or can you offer a different perspective?  Please feel free to comment below or contact me at andrew@edburydaley.com or on 0161 776 4603.


Data: Procurement Leaders & Procurian

Analysis: Andrew Daley, Director Edbury Daley

Procurement Systems & Skills – Are we in Balance? Survey Results

Procurement professionals confirm the investment in enabling IT is not creating enough value – and not in balance with the need for on-going skills development.

105 Consulting Perspectives
We set out on this survey with the intention of assessing the trade-off between systems and skills in Procurement, and did not find what we had expected! The combination of tough economic times, requiring business functions to be evermore effective, and the history of systems investment that has taken place over the past five or more years, intuitively indicated that many organisations would be leveraging their technology investment, and operating at a less tactical level than before.

Why might we have expected that outcome? Three simple reasons.

  1. The basic expectation that systems improve efficiency, and enable better performance;
  2. Systems help ensure consistent and compliant adherence to processes and policies;
  3.  The data captured by systems provides more accurate information with which to make better decisions for the future.

Rather surprisingly we appear to have stumbled upon an area where the deployment of systems is much more ad hoc than we expected; the value they add to the enterprise is regarded with more scepticism than we would have predicted; and the up-skilling that we thought would have been made possible by the existence of enabling technology, is not widespread. The bulk of the value from the technology deployed appears aligned to improving transactional efficiency and compliance. We are intrigued that only a minority of respondents felt the technology supports them on their strategic procurement agenda. This perhaps supports our view of the need to build improved procurement capability through skills development, in parallel with technology.

Read more in the full report. Download here.

Where Is The Demand For Procurement Talent?

Where Is The Demand For Procurement Talent?

Despite some challenging economic conditions, we at EdburyDaley continue to see evidence that the procurement job market is still in much better shape than most other professions.

We have recently been the recruiting partner for several transformation projects where large PLCs have driven procurement to the forefront of their business.  Such opportunities are always attractive to strong candidates so this has enabled us to identify some outstanding talent in the following areas:

Graduates with 3-6 years procurement experience

At Edbury Daley we appreciate the importance of  identifying the Procurement Leaders of the future. We specifically target ambitious candidates coming through graduate schemes from the leading developers of procurement talent.  The competition for such people is strong in the current climate, particularly as the salaries represent excellent value for the broad range of skills they offer.

Category Management – Indirect Spend

In the aforementioned transformation projects, several of the organisations in question have looked for accomplished Category Managers with experience in classic areas of indirect spend.  We have identified some outstanding candidates as a result of these searches, particularly in Marketing, HR, FM and Professional Services.

IT category expertise in particular is in much greater demand than 12 months ago.  This article is quite interesting: Global IT spending to rise

Senior Sourcing Managers / Global Category Leads

With so many businesses still seeking to effect real change in how their procurement function operates, the need for “heavyweight” Category Leaders with the gravitas and credibility to influence senior stakeholders remains strong.  The ability to develop and implement a sourcing strategy at senior management level is not as easily available as many perceive but we have had great success in this area recently.

Supplier Relationship Manager

As previous readers of our research know Supplier Relationship Management has become increasingly high profile in recent years.  In fact, relationships with suppliers are more important than ever.  There are currently several outstanding candidates looking to move, ideally to an organisation seeking to develop its SRM capability.

If your business needs to identify the best available talent in Procurement or SRM, then it’s time to talk to us about how we can have a positive impact on your recruitment.