What does the procurement job seeker of 2016 look like?

Would you consider paying someone to conduct your job search for you? How about making a video to showcase your skills on LinkedIn? Maybe you’ve even considered writing a blog to demonstrate thought leadership and professional expertise in your field?

All of the above are methods being used by job seekers to find work in the current market and as 2015 comes to a close and 2016 takes hold, the number of people turning towards innovative methods to help them stand out in the talent pool is rising. We are also living in an age where long working hours, busy lives and limited time have encouraged a belief that tablets can solve most of our problems and we’re not alluding to the pharmaceutical variety.  Job seekers in today’s market are heavily reliant on mobile technology because it allows them to find and apply for jobs at anytime and anywhere, despite demanding schedules.

From a Procurement Professional’s perspective there are some definite trends emerging when it comes to the profile of job seekers in 2016. The challenges of managing multi-functional teams, split categories, change programmes, greenfield projects and large areas of spend mean that most procurement leaders have little time to spend sitting down in front of a computer screen searching through multiple job adverts. Many prefer to do the ground work at the beginning and then manage the process remotely, picking up things such as calls from recruiters or emails with job alerts between meetings and responding accordingly. For this reason, mobile phones are still the technology of choice because they enable a job seeker to do both, but tablets are really starting to come into their own where bigger screens and better visuals can make reading detailed text such as job descriptions far easier.

Another entity set to drive the behaviour of procurement job seekers in 2016 will be the desire for quality rather than quantity in terms of the avenues and resources they utilise.  For many this will mean finding a good recruiter who specialises in their field and has a strong network across their region. The benefits of this are unfathomable but can be narrowed down into two key areas; knowledge and relationships. A recruiter worth their salt will already have an in-depth knowledge of the kind of businesses operating locally and where your skills will be a good fit. They will have their finger on the pulse of up and coming opportunities and can advise you on how best to market yourself so that you’re one of the first through the door when those opportunities arise. A good recruiter will also have strong bonds with local hiring managers and business leaders that go far beyond sending a corporate Christmas card in the festive season. These are relationships built on trust, loyalty and respect and will ensure the recruiter can talk knowledgably to you about the business, help you prepare for interview and ensure the lines of communication are kept clear and open throughout the process so that you’re never kept in the dark or left waiting for feedback.

Job boards will still be a relatively popular avenue of choice in 2016 but Procurement leaders with a keen eye on the job market may see this as too reactive. By the time a job has reached the public domain it restricts interested applicants to following a set process and competing with others through use of a CV or application form. Forward thinking and pro-active professionals are starting to engage far more readily through networking forums and events and consciously building up their own networks through LinkedIn. This means that not only are they the first to hear about potential opportunities, they may also have started to form relationships with the hiring managers themselves.

Another sign that procurement professionals are conscious of the power of networking is the growing number who have started fine tuning their LinkedIn profiles and it’s likely that this social media channel will be one of the most actively used in 2016. Even passive candidates who have no real eye on the market are taking steps to ensure they are well-represented by updating their profile pictures, making sure their employment history is accurate and tailoring content to list achievements and reflect the roles that might interest them in the future. For the active seekers much the same is happening although there will be a bigger focus on growing connections and networking socially to find potential career opportunities.

One thing that is unlikely to change next year is the overall demand for talent, and the recruitment landscape for Procurement Professionals in 2016 is set to be one of movement and progression. During the course of the past year, Procurement has secured its place as a vital business function and as result business leaders everywhere have invested time and money into ensuring their procurement teams boast some of the best talent in the market. Next year this investment is set to continue and for career minded procurement people 2016 should provide a prime platform for career progression.


About the Author


Senior Manager and experienced procurement recruiter. Positive and results orientated with a passion for finding innovative solutions and delivering on every project. Specialises in placing senior Procurement Professionals across London and the Home Counties.

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