What’s happening in the Procurement Technology job market?

There is evidence that activity in the procurement solutions market is picking up as companies consider accelerating the digitisation of their procurement and finance functions.  Consulting and software business leaders talk about their target clients regretting not having had digital procurement and supply chain solutions in place during the pandemic.  

In the finance world, P2P solution providers are encouraged by talk of reshoring and the problems they can solve for clients who are still on-premise in an age of increased home working.

Many expect buying/sales cycles to be even longer than before with additional stakeholders brought into the decision making progress but at least we have some positive signs.

So what does that mean for the job market in the procurement tech sector? We thought it would be useful for you to know whether you are planning to hire, trying to keep your best people or considering your own options.

We’ll look at some data for professional job markets as a whole before sharing some anecdotal evidence from the procurement, finance, and supply chain tech markets.

Firstly let’s consider some interesting data seen by Edbury Daley from a report produced by Vacancysoft in conjunction with APSCo.   The research looked at trends across all professional job markets (with salaries of £40k upwards) in London and offered sector by sector trends. It told us the following:

“Prior to the COVID-19 crisis we would expect on average that there would be between 500 and 600 professional vacancies per day in the capital, across all sectors. With that in mind we can see that at the beginning of Q2, the five day rolling average was 167, understandable given that we were in the early stages of lockdown. In contrast, on July 31st, this had increased to 358, and, in fact, there were multiple days in July where daily totals exceeded 400. While there’s certainly still some room for improvement, the capital’s hiring is clearly heading in the right direction. 

When analysing activity by sector, Technology continues to dominate in terms of vacancy numbers, with activity up 33% compared to June. However, while it accounts for a significant proportion of the capital’s hiring, Technology was far from the best performing sector when measuring month on month change, with other specialisms outperforming it including Consumer Goods & Services (up 58%) and Real Estate & Construction (up 46%.) 

The fact that so many other sectors outperformed Technology in this regard has resulted in the share of professional vacancies in the sector dropping to under 30% of all roles posted in London, for the first time since before the outbreak.”

The top six sectors for hiring activity in London are Technology, Banking, Retail, Consumer goods, Professional services (accounting & consulting), Real estate and construction and Insurance.

Now let’s look at what’s been happening recently in the procurement, supply chain and finance technology markets:

Hiring understandably slowed in recent months with many software firms placing all but absolutely essential hiring on hold.  

With sales targets seeming a long way off, new hires in sales were hit hardest along with presales.  There have already been some redundancies in these teams and we expect more to follow.

In some cases, companies have clearly taken the opportunity to rationalise by moving their poorer performers on.  Others have cranked up the pressure to deliver in difficult circumstances on their best people resulting in some disenfranchised staff who are still in roles, but are more open to moves than was previously the case.

Customer Success and Account Management roles have been more commonplace because vendors have seen more activity from within their existing customer base.  This has been most notable in spend analytics and other solutions that can accelerate cost saving projects.

The bigger, established players have typically been more inclined to place a total hold on hiring whilst smaller, best of breed companies have been more likely to be flexible and make key strategic hires when the right person becomes available.

So what can we expect for the rest of 2020?

Limited hiring activity in sales and presales as many companies tread carefully and realign both expectations and budgets.

Some very good people coming to the job market but potentially frustrated by the limited options available to them.

Certain companies, the more bullish ones, will demonstrate their financial health and belief in their long term prospects by taking advantage of the lack of competition for top talent. Such companies will be able to snap up some great people who might previously have been reluctant to move.  

We are talking to a network of people who fit this description and value our specialist expertise in the procurement, finance and supply chain tech markets. If you want to understand how you can access this network please get in touch using andrew@edburydaley.com

New Hiring Challenges

For those companies that are recruiting or thinking about their plans for later this year, it’s worth thinking about the questions that are facing hiring managers in this unique set of  market conditions:

How do you make effective hires without meeting candidates face to face?

How do you onboard people if your offices aren’t open or have limited capacity?

Are people reluctant to move jobs for security reasons?

What are employers’ work from home policies and how are they going to change?

We’ve been working with clients to address all these questions so if you want to hear how other companies are managing these challenges we’d be happy to help.

Andrew Daley
Director – Procurement & Spend Management

www.edburydaley.com