A high profile consultancy business with a genuinely global client base approached us recently for assistance with making a number of appointments, ideally on a temporary basis, with a view to taking the best candidates on as permanent members of staff. They asked us about market conditions and this is what we told them:

The contract market has been slow for much of the year with downward pressure on day rates. There are still a number of good contractors without work at the moment so employing good procurement people on an interim basis shouldn’t present any problems, but these people typically are not looking to go permanent at £50k.

The permanent market has been ok but slow this year but we are seeing signs that things are picking up a little and companies are more willing to make decisions about hiring. I think this could be down to improved confidence, and the desire to spend budgets before they are lost at year end.

There remains a great deal of competition for the best procurement people in the £40-£60k bracket for the simple reason that there just aren’t enough good ones at that level.  Pre recession there was such competition for these people that in my opinion salaries got a little out of hand and there were examples of relatively junior (i.e. less than 5 yrs experience) but talented people already earning £50k+ in London.

The “temp to perm” market in procurement is limited because the pure interim market has grown significantly in the last 5 years. Current economic conditions dictate that some very good people are being made redundant through no real fault of their own.  Many of these want another “permanent” role so will consider a temp to perm arrangement and these are our obvious target people.