Procurement Talent - Are you getting what you are worth?

by Adam Roughton

So far in 2018 we have seen an increase in demand for certain skills within the procurement marketplace, largely due to increased company growth as well as organisational change. There are several market conditions which are likely to be driving this such as Brexit and an increased focus on digital technology through AI, Block Chain and IOT. 

Overall the recruitment market as a whole has seen a significant rise in demand with 56,000 more jobs across the whole economy in Q1 for 2018 than the same period a year ago. The main issue we have encountered is that whilst demand is increasing, supply of top quality talent is becoming harder for companies to find and attract. 

So what does this mean for you and should you be asking your boss for a pay rise?

For those that haven’t been in the procurement job market for some time, it’s not surprising many are unaware of their value in today’s market. Here are some important facts taken from a recent CIPS survey that will hopefully help you establish if you are getting what you are worth!


Salary increases

The majority of procurement professionals surveyed felt that procurement was becoming a much more valued business function, illustrated in the average procurement professional receiving a 5.1% salary increase in the last 12 months. This is more than double the national average increase of 2.2%.  

Most interestingly was the fact that Graduates and Trainee Procurement salaries saw the biggest increase across all levels of roles at 8.1%. Another factor demonstrating the increased value of procurement as companies seek to attract the best talent of the future. 


Regional differences

It was also found that regional salaries are catching up with London, due in part to some blue chip organisations moving functions out of the capital. The Midlands, North West and Scotland have become much better value for organisations to set up head offices which has seen a growth in salary levels in these regions. However, London still represents the highest salary levels in the UK. But while 60% of London respondents reported a pay rise, increases were more prevalent in other UK regions.


Sector variations

As you would expect the private sector remains the highest paying. It also gave the highest pay increases at 5.6% this year. Benefits packages offered were also more competitive than in the public or third sectors. 

Industries with particularly high pay increases over the last 12 months included Telecoms, Hospitality and Catering. 

Within the Public Sector, Central Government and NHS organsiations received the highest increases. Likely to be due to a need for them to attract a high calibre of candidate. We have also noticed many public sector organisations forgoing the requirement of previous public sector experience as the need for strong commercial skills is more important and deemed more representative from private sector backgrounds.


Does a CIPS Qualification make a difference?

Overall a CIPS qualification clearly has value when it comes to salary levels. In particular, MCIPS professionals have been reported to earn around 12% more than non MCIPS qualified professionals at the same level of seniority. Personally this stat does surprise me. Whilst most of our clients usually  prefer someone who is CIPS qualified, at a more senior level the experience is always more important and clients typically will not turn someone away merely because they do not hold the qualification.

In my experience, for those at entry level or those in the early years of the procurement careers, CIPS is an extremely valuable qualification. It can counteract sometimes where experience is limited and can also show someone is dedicated and committed to a career in procurement, which in a very competitive market can give you the edge. 



Brexit is viewed by many as a risk, which given the uncertainty around it at present it clearly is. However, within procurement, there is an increasing opinion that there will be a growing need for procurement professionals, especially around contracts and as such it is actually a big opportunity for some. 

Right now there has been no drop in companies recruiting. There has in fact been an increase and the market is very buoyant. Perhaps an ideal time to capitalise on your expertise skillsets!


Attracting top talent

We work with a range of businesses all over the world and one thing that is certain is that companies who invest in their talent attraction strategies are far more likely to secure the best talent in the market than those that don’t! In an increasingly demanding market, companies are becoming more and more aware of this and as such are going above and beyond to offer much more attractive opportunities, not just in compensation but in terms of role responsibilities and flexible working etc. 

This is a great time to be in the procurement market. If the above is all news to you and you are interested in exploring the current market conditions and your career in more detail please do get in touch for a confidential chat!

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