Andrew Daley, Director of Edbury Daley, specialist recruiters in procurement and spend management has recently published an article aimed at helping professionals in both sectors develop their skills to suit the new era of digital procurement. With a clear emphasis on self-education, Andrew intends to share advice, tips and valuable online resources in a series of articles over the coming months.
We define the Spend Management sector for recruitment purposes as the area which encompasses procurement services and processes that are typically enabled by technology. They include P2P, e-sourcing, analytics, contract lifecycle management and supplier relationship management. There are also associated consulting and outsourcing providers operating in this area.
If you are already working for a spend management/procurement technology provider what are your career options?
The good news is that your skills are in demand, perhaps more so than ever before.
Why? The “solutions provider” market is growing as fast as ever, both in terms of sales revenue and head count.
There is also a growing number of roles dedicated to maximising the potential of these solutions in corporate organisations on both an interim and permanent basis.
As a result, the number of people with industry expertise simply can’t keep pace with the growth in the market overall which means there is significant competition for industry expertise in all the key disciplines – sales, delivery, consulting and technical.
In short if you have the skills and experience in this sector, there is a strong likelihood that other employers in the sector could be interested in you.
So what are your drivers when it comes to considering your future career?
Move for purely career development reasons
You maybe in a good role which you enjoy and feel suitably rewarded financially but question if there is a clear medium to long term career path in front of you in your current organisation.
Competitor organisations maybe growing at a faster rate and creating opportunities for their staff whilst you carry on in the same role.
You may feel that you need to broaden your skill set or gain experience of working on a different technology platform if you are to achieve your long term career objectives.
You may work for a small niche operator and want to work in with a broader range of clients or maybe even fear a possible take over at some stage.
All these are potential reasons to consider a move which is principally driven by your long term career objectives.
In such circumstances it maybe prudent to consider an upward or maybe even a sideways move if it will open up better long term development opportunities.
In this situation it’s important to set yourself criteria for a move and ask yourself whether it would be wise to take a sideways move for little or no improvement in terms.
There are circumstances where that would be prudent and others where it just wouldn’t stack up for you.
Move principally for financial reasons
Do you feel you are underpaid?
2016 could be the best opportunity you will get to take advantage of the current market conditions in the procurement solutions market i.e. a genuine shortage of people with specific sector expertise in spend management, consulting and associated areas.
If you want to maximise your current market value then it’s worth looking at what you might get paid if you were to move into a new role with a competitor organisation. Several organisations are paying premiums for specific skill sets whilst others are facing up to the fact that they will need to so if they are serious about hiring the best talent in the market.
We can give you an insight into your current market value compared to your existing package.
Move for others reasons
The fact is that most job moves are motivated by a combination of a better career opportunity and an improvement in remuneration package. However there are other situations where someone might need to move jobs for completely different reasons. e.g.
- To change your work/life balance
- To improve a tiresome commute
- A significant change in personal circumstances
Whatever your motivation to move, you should analyse your options, seek advice from trusted sources and only move if fits most of your core criteria.
Alternatively you could of course Stay in your current role.
If your employer is doing well in these fertile market conditions and you enjoy your role why move? If you can see a clear career path and feel you are well rewarded there is no obvious reason to move in the short term unless you have issues around one of the other areas mentioned above e.g. onerous commute..
If you are happy and don’t want to even consider alternative roles, it may still be worth speaking to a specialist recruiter to at least benchmark your current package. You could potentially have some evidence to back up your claims for a pay rise at your next appraisal and you can develop your network of contacts in the process.
Whether you actively want to move jobs in 2016, keep an eye on the market trends or just benchmark your current role and salary against the market, we can offer the support you need.
Furthermore we will treat you as we would expect to be treated ourselves. Unlike many recruiters we do not see job seekers as commodities to be traded, we see real people with career ambitions and personal lives that value our expertise in the market.
If you have noticed the increase in the use of the various forms of procurement technology in recent years and wondered how you might move your career into that sector, the information in this article is geared towards helping you.
There are several significant factors that could encourage you to consider a career move into the sector:
- There is a skills shortage in key areas of the spend management sector. It covers roles demanding implementation, delivery and/or sales experience.
- All the signs point to the use of technology being a critical part of procurement in future and the growth in the sector is already very impressive.
- This technology is at the heart of corporate transformation projects around procurement and finance.
- The big consultancies are jostling for position in a fast growing market – they will need to hire more people in the next few years.
What Transferable Skills Are In Demand In The Sector?
Given the skills shortage that exists at present and some employers are focused on hiring excellent people with transferable skills that they can develop.
If you have a background in Procurement, Finance, Consulting or Technology Sales there could be organisations in the sector that are interested in you.
What other skills do you need?
- Finance people – some knowledge of P2P and/or ERP systems like SAP or Oracle
- Procurement people – exposure to e sourcing, P2P, SRM and/or analytics
- Sales people – proven track record in SaaS or ERP sales
- Technology people – experience in cloud based B2B platforms or similar.
In addition to some transferability of your professional skills, it is vital to have the right mix of personal qualities.
Excellent inter personal skills – many of the best roles are client facing.
Consulting skills – analytical, problem solving, designing solutions, gaining consensus for change, ability to train and develop staff.
Drive, ambition and desire – many of the companies are still relatively small. They need people who fit their business culturally and in terms of their longer term aspirations to grow market share, develop their systems and technology.
In many companies that are growing quickly, these personal qualities and the ability to fit into the team are at least as important as relevant experience.
Edbury Daley is largely known for our work in what we now refer to internally as the “core procurement market,” but our track record in the spend management sector dates back to 2007 when we first worked with the then market leader.
Fast forward to 2015 and we are now established as true specialists committed to this rapidly growing market.
Whilst other procurement and technology recruiters operate on the fringes of the sector, Edbury Daley has been at the heart of numerous high profile moves over the past two years. The market has truly taken off in recruitment terms.
Of course the increase in recruitment activity is closely correlated to the growth we’ve seen in both the leading procurement technology providers, and their target clients who often need specialist in house resource to project manage implementation and transformation projects.
If you add in the various consultancies seeking to benefit from the growing number of major transformation projects, it really does paint a positive picture of the current job market conditions in the sector.
There are a number of reasons why we have successfully established ourselves as the pre-eminent recruiter in spend management. They include:
- An outstanding network of contacts ranging from business leaders to emerging graduate talent
- Coverage across the entire range of professional skills including sales, implementation, transformation consultancy, senior management and technical staff
- We offer both interim and permanent recruitment services along with talent mapping and bespoke salary benchmarking.
- We are the only established specialist procurement recruiter with a dedicated team for the sector
- We know the UK, EU, US and Asian markets intimately
- We enjoy a high profile on social media and have had positive coverage on the leading industry news website Spend Matters
- Due to our profile, industry professionals regularly come to us for career advice
- We produce regular market analysis and recruitment thought leadership dedicated to the sector.
As a result of this, we observed a three fold increase in the number of roles we’ve filled in 2015 compared to 2014 which itself was a very positive year from our perspective.
We’ve also seen both our client list and network of international candidates grow significantly in the past two years.
As a guide to our coverage of the market, here’s a list of appointments that we’ve made in the past two years with spend management/procurement technology providers:
- Pre-Sales Director
- Sales Director’s in various European countries
- Value Engineers in several European locations
- Senior Business Development Manager
- Account Development Manager
- Account Principal
- Senior Implementation Consultant
- Senior Transformation Consultant
- e Sourcing Manager
- P2P Transformation Lead
- P2P Project Manager
- Spend Analytics Consultant
Our clients Include:
- Several established providers in the spend management SaaS arena
- The Procurement Technology practices of several leading consultancies
- Leading players in the procurement outsourcing sector
- Some niche consultancies focusing on procurement technology implementation and transformation projects.
- Supply Chain Finance and Vendor Management Solutions providers
So in summary, whether you are looking at your own career options or need to hire the best talent available in the market, you really should be talking to Edbury Daley.
Here’s evidence of our specialist capability: European Reach Across Procurement Solutions Market.