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.
Slow Start To The Year?
It has in some ways been a slow start to year in the sense that recruitment processes appear to have slowed in pace in several sectors. In many cases hiring managers are under such pressure with their day to day work that they find it difficult to make the time to focus on recruitment. Others are facing delays in having roles signed off or are having to adapt to changing business needs.
That said there have already been a lot of moves in the middle tier of the permanent market (typically £40-£80k in the south east) this year and there is no shortage of demand in the most competitive areas of the market. e.g. indirect spend, see below for more details.
There is also clear evidence that many companies are planning hires for the new financial year and this could spark a flurry of activity in Q2.
As has been the case since the market began to recover, the competition for best indirect spend expertise remains strong in the corporate world.
Perhaps the best example of this is in Marketing where six blue chip companies within 30 miles of each other were looking for very similar experience at the same time earlier this year. Some of the roles remain vacant.
The other areas of category expertise in greatest demand at present are:
IT – Software more so than hardware and to a lesser extent telecoms.
Professional Services – There is still a relatively small pool of potential candidates in this area
HR – There are roles that are recruitment focused along with positions focusing on other areas like mobility, consultancy, compensation & benefits etc.
Travel & Meetings – Very much back on the agenda in the last twelve months with meetings appearing to grow in importance in the current climate. Supply Management recently commented on some research in this area published by the Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by American Express
Facilities Management – both soft and hard services.
Given the importance of indirect spend appointments to so many of our clients and the market in general, we have decided to formally measure how demand varies over time in the various indirect spend categories to provide some hard data to support our quarterly commentary.
Starting from January this year we are collating figures from across the private sector covering the number of roles in each of the key indirect spend categories. We will then track this on a quarterly basis to create The www.edburydaley.com Indirect Spend Recruitment Index. We will publish our first data in mid April.
The Interim Market
Despite the more pragmatic approach to day rates that has existed for at least 12 months now, the interim market remains slow with many quality contractors seeking new assignments.
Again we expect the new financial year to give this market a boost as is often the case with new budgets. This could be particularly marked this year with several consultancies needing interim resource if the projects referred to above are finally approved and experienced consultants are required at particularly short notice.
We are currently working with clients in FMCG, banking, pharmaceuticals, consultancy, leisure and business services and in each case we are aware of demand for similar skills from our clients competitors. However sector trends remain difficult to define with inconsistencies across each area. A good example is that of the IT Services sector where headcount restrictions exist in a couple of major players whilst some competitors have several open vacancies in procurement,
There remains very little movement at the most senior level of the market. As has been the case for the last two years big moves at CPO level are relatively rare, and leadership roles within smaller functions are still highly sought after by a large pool of highly qualified candidates.
Transformation Consultancy & Spend Management Providers
All of our consulting clients are busy with existing projects and bidding for new work, but headcount restrictions are common. Several of the big multi disciplinary practices and niche procurement specialists have resources stretched to capacity, and with new projects imminent with the start of the new financial year, many are having to plan their recruitment pipelines for the second quarter.
There is growing demand for both senior managers offering business development capability and experienced consultants in specialist Spend Management organisations. In terms of demand for staff this is demonstrating classic signs of a growing market.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this article please contact Andrew Daley on 0161 300 7978 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite continued improving market conditions for the recruitment of procurement professionals, there are many organisations still facing major challenges identifying the talent they need for their business. The very best candidates with specific category expertise are highly sought after in an increasingly competitive hiring marketplace.
A common theme is hiring managers knowing the skills required and when they will need them, but not being in a position to a progress as quickly as they would ideally like.
Under what circumstances do clients face this problem?
The current economic climate is promoting a cautious approach to increasing staffing overhead. Therefore hiring managers can be waiting for headcount sign off and want do some forward planning because the new hire is urgently required to help meet business objectives.
Most businesses want to explore internal candidates before searching the external market for reasons of cost saving and creating opportunity for existing staff. However, this action can create delays spent conducting an internal process that isn’t always expected to be successful.
Consultancies and Procurement Service Providers need to increase capacity for forthcoming projects try to estimate when they will receive client approval to start at which point the need for extra staff becomes urgent.
A hiring company has outsourced recruitment to generalist providers who lack the specialist procurement market knowledge to find the right people quickly.
It is also worth noting the amount of time it takes to to complete a recruitment campaign. If you wish to conduct a thorough selection process interviewing several candidates at first stage and then arranging second and third stage interviews with busy diaries, it can take several months from receiving CV’s of suitable candidates to formalising a job offer for the successful applicant.
If you then factor in notice periods of successful candidates which with senior appointments are often three months, it can take as many as 5 to 6 months before the chosen candidate joins their new employer.
Of course it’s possible to recruit in a much shorter time frame but this demands effective candidate sourcing and commitment to prioritise the process from both line management and HR.
Effective Talent Pipeline planning can help with candidate sourcing and get the recruitment process off to a flying start
Challenges to be overcome
- Accurate forecasting of realistic timescales and achievable targets
- Management of candidate expectations on said timing
- Avoiding losing momentum when the recruitment process takes longer than desired.
- Loss of strong candidates who take other roles or lose interest.
- Competition for the best available talent
Our range of solutions
Our experience tells us that there is no one single solution to overcome these problems. It requires a range of recruitment tools to plan effectively for swift effective recruitment campaigns even as little as two or three months ahead.
We have developed our capability in this area by working in all the potential scenarios mentioned above, particularly with the consultancy businesses seeking to staff anticipated new projects.
The first thing to note is that there needs to be a realistic understanding from all parties of what can be achieved so we begin with educating hiring managers about the definition of a candidate pipeline, and the processes required to develop them.
We make sure that the hiring managers and relevant HR contacts are truly engaged in the process and understand the obstacles involved.
We then study the relevant market conditions to analyse the amount of time it takes to identify and engage with relevant candidates before designing an appropriate strategy to develop the pipeline required to meet customer demand.
We combine most or all of the following techniques to build a Talent Pipeline of potentially suitable candidates:
- Assessment of both interim and permanent resource options
- Use of several Executive Search techniques including defining target areas to research for suitable candidates
- Talent Mapping in competitor organisations as agreed with the hiring manager.
- Constant networking to source candidates who are new to the market.
- Effective management of candidate and client expectations.
The crucial factor in delivering this service effectively is understanding the relevant market conditions and using that knowledge to combine the available tools effectively. To discuss how we do that please contact Andrew Daley.
One of our clients, a leading multi disciplined management consultancy, has headcount restrictions across the business, yet the Procurement practice is at full capacity and has several new projects in the pipeline.
The moment one of these projects is signed off by the client, so too will the required head count, but until then they can only plan for the resource they need.
We have assembled a pipeline of both interim and permanent candidates with the relevant skills for the clients requirements using the methods outlined above.
In particular we have used talent mapping and extensive networking to identify the best available candidates in the permanent market. Interim resource has been identified through both networking and online advertising.
We make contact with the candidates every time we receive an update from our client, managing candidate expectations on time scales and gaining an update on their own status.
We then inform the client of any significant changes of candidate availability every 1-2 weeks as agreed.
The deadline has shifted on several occasions now through no fault of our client, however we still have a wide range of highly motivated candidates ready to attend interview with the client as soon as they are able to commence the process.
We currently have eight excellent interim options for two or three roles, and up to eight permanent candidates for one or two full time appointments.
To discuss any aspect of this service please contact Andrew Daley on 0161 300 7978
Why did our client need us?
They are a niche middle tier procurement consultancy requiring a very high calibre board level appointment to drive forward their business development activities. The position is critical to enable the business to move on the next stage in their growth plan. Good wasn’t good enough, the business needed an outstanding candidate
How did we approach the assignment?
To ensure a very high quality shortlist we needed to make sure the best talent wasn’t overlooked so we compiled an extensive long list of competitor companies.
Using our comprehensive market knowledge we identified over 20 relevant organisations where the strongest candidates were likely to be found within 24 hours of campaign sign off.
We then used our network and outstanding research capability to identify and assess the most relevant people in each of those organisations.
In a particularly competitive sector, we needed to make sure we sold the opportunity to the strongest candidates so we met each of the key decision makers in the business to cover every detail ranging from culture fit to the key factors required to attract the best available talent.
Time was of the essence as the client was eager to appoint to help move the business forward. Our specialist procurement knowledge enabled us to get the client from sign off to shortlist in 23 working days by getting quickly to the relevant candidate pool.
What was the outcome?
Initial shortlist interviews were successful producing the desired number of candidates (2) for 2nd interview stage. The overall quality of the shortlist was noted by the client and provided strong evidence that we had conducted a thorough assessment of the defined target companies.
Our client successfully appointed a candidate with a wealth of consultancy experience from a larger competitor. The entire process took just 12 weeks from inception to completion despite busy diaries for all concerned. The majority of our fee was contingent upon successful completion of the assignment.
January is of course a classic time for people to think about their plans for the new year and 2013 is no different with many people encouraged by the improving job market and tempted to assess alternatives to their current role.
At Edbury Daley we spend much of our time networking and sourcing new candidates for the range of blue chip clients we work with so we are constantly in contact with some of the best talent in the market. Following the positive response to our September Profiles we have again decided to publish a sample of the type of people we deal with on a regular basis. We have chosen candidates that reflect where our network and recruitment capabilities are at their strongest but it should be stressed our reach is not limited to these areas.
These profiles feature several outstanding professionals who have indicated that they are interested in seeking new career opportunities in 2013. The experience these people offer is predominantly procurement focused but also includes closely associated areas like spend management where technical capability is also of value, and a range of consulting talent including business development and programme leadership.
Below are the job titles of the people in question. For reasons of confidentiality we can’t publish full profiles but they are available upon request via email@example.com
Procurement Consulting & Outsourcing
Director – Leading Procurement Transformation Consultancy
Associate Director – Niche Procurement Consultancy
Managing Consultant – Big 4 focusing on Procurement
Programme Manager – Procurement Outsourcing
Senior Consultant – Indirect Spend
Business Development Manager – Procurement Transformation Consultancy
Consultants seeking roles in industry
Senior Consultant – Big 4, Supply Chain & Procurement
Senior Consultant – Big 4 – Procurement & Technology
Indirect Spend Specialists
European Category Manager – Marketing
Sourcing Manager – Professional Services
Global Category Manager – HR Services
EMEA Category Manager – General Indirect
IT Procurement Manager
Global Category Lead – IT Outsourcing
Category Manager – FM & Corporate services
EMEA Travel Manager
Category Buying Manager – Property and Facilities
FMCG Sector Specialists
European Purchasing Manager – Flexibles
Procurement Manager – Corporate Services
Senior Group Buyer – Packaging
Group Buyer – Ingredients
Travel & Leisure
Procurement Executive – Non Consumables
Buyer – Food and Non Food
Director of Spend Management Solutions Practice
Business Development Manager – Spend Management Solutions
Spend Management Implementation Specialist
Purchasing Director – FMCG Direct & Indirect
Category Manager – IT, Real Estate & Marketing
Category Manager – FM
Category Manager – IT
Category Manager – FMCG Ingredients & Packaging
If you would like to receive more details of any of the individuals featured here please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively you can call Andrew Daley (0161 776 4603) or Hannah Jackson (0161 776 4608) for a confidential discussion.