After a strong Q3 of hiring Procurement professionals, the end of 2018 is expected to remain busy as businesses continue to look for cost savings and make plans for Brexit.
During Q3 there was an increase in jobs available, both permanent and interim. The hiring of permanent professionals was busy, particularly at AVP and VP level. This is reflective of a buoyant permanent market that is showing no signs of relenting as we move towards the end of the year - the time when businesses want to get their recruitment sorted before the New Year period.
The interim/contract side of things has ticked over gently with a lot of contracting professionals attaching themselves to strategic category management and transformation or roll-out projects. There has been a notable trend of technology adding value to many businesses and ongoing transformation projects consisting mainly of Oracle applications such as Fusion and more procurement aligned applications such as Coupa - this has mainly been across Tier 1 banks.
On the Brexit front, many procurement professionals have taken active steps to focus attention on the possible impacts of the UK’s exit from Europe. Procurement experts and their teams are having to map the potential costs of new tariffs and are subsequently looking for alternative suppliers.
There has consistently been an increase in vendor/third party manager roles within both market data and IT spaces. This is due to businesses looking to strengthen their relationships with suppliers, as well as the all important delivering on cost savings wherever possible.
There will always be an ongoing demand for businesses to make ‘hard savings’ wherever possible and procurement teams are forever under pressure to deliver on those requirements. Stakeholder engagement across various business units continues to be absolutely essential, along with an understanding of and exposure to legislation and specific processes.
With the ever present threat of Brexit looming ominously over the UK, all contracts with suppliers from the EU will need to be reviewed as part of contingency planning. Procurement teams and business leaders should be taking steps to measure the risk involved. It’s unclear at this stage what the best deal will be and what that means for UK businesses and their procurement functions.
As ever, cost saving remains key, and hiring managers are going to continue hiring those specialists who possess strong negotiation skills in the hope that they will improve their processes and efficiency.