The early signs for this year’s procurement recruitment market are very encouraging as we are currently experiencing our busiest January for several years, with this coming on the back of a very strong Q4 last year.

In fact we were very surprised by the figures announced earlier this week indicating that Q4 saw a 0.5% contraction in the economy.  During this period, the demand for procurement staff was as strong as at any time since mid 2008 levels.

Here’s a summary of our observations on the current market trends:

Recruitment activity for procurement staff across almost all areas of private sector is up significantly on the same period last year, particularly in the Electronics, IT, FMCG, Business services and Consultancy markets.

Using our own data, we have observed the resurgence of the permanent recruitment market with a 127% increase in activity between Q4 2009 and Q4 2010.   This is in part due to an increase in business confidence and less pressure on head count.

Demand for accomplished category specialists in key areas of indirect spend like Marketing, Professional Services, IT, Telco, Facilities and Travel is strong, particularly for those who offer the vital combination of stakeholder engagement and change management expertise.

Many Procurement & Supply Chain Consultancies are actively recruiting into their consulting force.  In recruitment terms this is generally viewed as a good sign of an increase in activity and spending within target client organisations, also stimulating demand for the very best candidates.

Fortunately the market is characterised by a large number of excellent people looking for new roles, particularly those who have stayed in the same role during the recession but are now looking for their next career move.

This is also boosted by the availability of many people in the public sector who are concerned about their futures. However there is very little evidence of private sector companies recruiting public sector Buyers in any significant numbers so far.

After a lengthy period of relative stagnation, moves at the senior end of the market are starting to become more regular now. It will be very interesting to see when the CPO market really takes off but we anticipate it being at some stage later this year.  We’ll keep you updated on this next quarter.

The availability of interim candidates is markedly down since the middle of 2009.   In our opinion that particular niche market has now genuinely recovered, and we have already seen evidence of day rates starting to creep back up this year.

There is a noticeable increase in competition for “up & coming” procurement professionals. Such people are often graduates with 3-6 years professional experience and are perceived as being relatively inexpensive by CPO’s given the range of modern procurement skills they can offer.

At Edbury Daley we are specifically working to identify the best emerging talent in the profession. If you are a looking for that next step in your career please talk to Chris McGowan (chris@edburydaley.com 0161 776 4605) about the roles we are working on at present.

Good news for all involved in the FMCG market, Hannah Jackson will be returning from maternity leave on 1st March. If you are seeking a new role in the sector or need to add new talent to your team, particularly in core categories like Packaging, Ingredients or Raw Materials then you can contact Hannah now via hannah@edburydaley.com

Procurement Systems & Skills Survey – are we in balance? Our latest research topic is still available online.  We’ve already had some very interesting contributions and would really welcome your input before we start our analysis. You contribute to our research here http://www.edburydaley.com/wp/category/surveys/ and also access our research archive which is increasingly popular.

Having difficultly finding the talent you need for your procurement team? Are you facing some of the challenges we have touched on in this market report? If so please call Andrew Daley on 0161 776 4603 to discuss how we can help, or contact him via andrew@edburydaley.com