Purchasing and Procurement remains a job trend hot spot in 2019, with skill-gaps and candidate shortages remaining of concern across larger Australian companies and SMEs.
We cover seven of the key 2019 Australian job trend areas below:
1. Niche career opportunities in Purchasing and Procurement
Cost-savings remain high on the Chief Purchasing Officer and Chief Executive Officer agenda. Processes and systems that support increased efficiencies are creating high-salary opportunities in the following niche areas:
- As public and private investment in infrastructure and new building continue across Australia, Capex Procurement skills are needed, especially negotiation experience in engineering and construction.
- Category Managers are in demand in larger organisations with asset management a key focus.
- Contracts Administrators is another skill gap and a solid way to build purchasing experience.
- Relevant ICT experience is a definite advantage and provides a pathway for people outside the industry to move into a procurement role. The ability to integrate complex IT systems across multiple functions within an organisation is highly valued.
- As more functions are outsourced offshore, candidates with international relations and experience in offshoring will find great positions.
2. Where are the Millennials?
America is experiencing a large talent shortage as the skill requirements in procurement shift to being more strategic-thinking, and IT led. An estimated 25-33% of the current supply chain workforce is at or beyond retirement age, creating a shortage of qualified people.
Millennials can take advantage of this gap, as can Gen Xers with complementary skill sets in other sectors. A DHL Research Brief, ‘The Supply Chain Talent Shortage’ states that the ‘demand for supply chain professionals exceeds supply by a ratio of six to one.’ Trends in Australia are following suit.
3. Mining – more roles for women
Mirroring the trend in building and construction, women are finding more purchasing roles than ever before. Mining is leading the way with this thinking, with gender and ethnic equality being high on their human resources and stakeholder agendas.
4. Renewed investment in Training and Development
The public sector is following private company trends, but currently, prefer to employ candidates with existing skill sets rather than invest money in training. With skill gaps widening, we could see a trend towards more public sector investment in training and development.
Most employees require a relevant degree, with the Diploma of Purchasing (BSB51515) being a resume advantage for candidates looking for new opportunities within the sector.
5. Cybersecurity is everyone’s concern
Cybersecurity and data breaches are of growing concern and driving investment in IT security across all parts of the supply chain. Procurement teams are expected to be knowledgeable and proactive in protecting sensitive and financial information.
6. Ethics, sustainability and strategy
Ethics is a key characteristic for success in any career and one that could be driving the ever-increasing focus on sustainability within purchasing and procurement. The new ISO 26000 for sustainability is driving strategic thinking and changes across organisational supply chains.
The trend toward longer and international supply chains are raising environmental and social awareness. Corporate social responsibility is increasingly becoming a procurement-led function that dovetails into marketing, sales and human resources.
Candidates who can demonstrate success in sustainable practices and global thinking are highly valued. Rising energy costs are driving sustainability thinking for procurement in-house as well, with companies converting to solar power and water-efficiency solutions.
7. Mentoring for job satisfaction and career success
Developing robust end-to-end industry knowledge is a requirement for those seeking top-level career opportunities. Along with experience, mentorship can play an important role in streamlining your career trajectory.
A 2018 Hays Salary survey of 94 senior procurement professionals in Australia and New Zealand revealed that the need for quality mentoring is a gap that needs filling.
- Consider being a mentor – The survey states that 53% of CPOs have 16 or more years of experience, including job changes and career progression via promotion, while 57% have worked overseas. Such varied career experience place these individuals as being ideal for mentor roles.
- Find a mentor – 64% of those surveyed say the biggest challenge for CPO’s is organisational politics, while 24% feel lack of mentoring is a career challenge, and 66% say commercial acumen is the most important skill to develop. Finding a good mentor can go a long way towards designing a successful career.
Purchasing and Procurement Jobs are many and varied
Positions available on SEEK remain buoyant and varied, with over 5,000 positions available in Purchasing and Procurement. Construction and Government opportunities are vast across all Australian states. Other industries currently in need include Manufacturing, Production, Real Estate, Logistics and Healthcare.
For a millennial considering a long-term career or a Gen Xer seeking advancement in an exciting new career, the opportunity is vast for qualified candidates looking to invest in their learning and make the most of Purchasing job trends in 2019.