Procurement Job Market Report : 2015

Procurement Job Market Report : 2015 , Compiled by Hireo

Procurement profession is not the same, as what is used to be a decade ago.To figure out what has changed, we analyzed hundred’s of jobs to study the trends in the job market. We looked at different job boards, including linkedIn and individual company sites.

The focus of this study is only sourcing jobs, and this study doesn’t address purchasing or supply chain area. The intent of this study, is to present the key requirements for today's job market and thereby enabling you to assess your current skill sets, and stay current with the job market requirements. If you are looking for additional reading material on Procurement & Sourcing, you can check

Key Highlights

  • Companies are looking for candidates with strong communication and collaboration skills.Basic sourcing expertise is required, but one needs to be very good at communicating the strategic sourcing value to internal customers. Equally important is the need for strong collaboration, so that sourcing can drive the projects end to end.

  • Majority of the companies are looking for minimum Bachelor’s degree but there is a strong preference for candidates with M.B.A (Master of Business Administration.

  • Industry certifications are preferred, but most of the companies are not specifying it as mandatory requirement.

  • Most of the mid level positions, requires candidates to have prior domain experience or category experience.

Scope of This Study

We looked at hundreds of job descriptions and grouped them into different sectors, to identify sectors which are hiring the most.

  • Manufacturing sector is at the top with 30%. This category  includes chemicals, materials,equipments etc.

  • Technology and Services are equal at 12% each, technology includes high tech.

Where are the Jobs?

This might not be the most accurate representation of which states are hiring the most. We looked at the most current jobs, so the trend in few months could be very different.

  • The top three states are California, Ohio and NJ with 22%, 18% and 10% respectively.

  • In California, the jobs are across different sectors; however, the top two are technology including high tech and retail, including companies in the ecommerce space.

What are the Common Job Titles?

We looked at the job titles used by different companies, the idea was to see what is the consistency of job titles across the board.

  • The job titles used across different industries are pretty consistent, 56% of companies use Strategic Sourcing /Sourcing manager as job titles.

  • Though the experience required is very similar, 10% of the jobs needs prior experience of managing teams. However, it is not required in most of the companies, especially the larger companies.

Average Experience Requirement

We looked at average experience requirement

  • 36% of jobs require at least 5 years of relevant sourcing experience. 5 years is the minimum experience required.

  • Average job experience required is anywhere between 5-7 Years.

  • 50% of the jobs requiring 8 - 10 years of experience, also have a requirement of previous supervisory experience.

What Are The Key Skills Required By Companies?

The job responsibilities for sourcing function pretty much remains the same;however we saw certain cases, where there is a mix of job responsibilities both in the area of sourcing and supply chain function. Most of these cases were in the Manufacturing space.

So what we found,

The top 5 skills seeked by Employers are

  1. Strong Communication: This is no surprise that in 100% of the analyzed jobs, strong communication is required for sourcing job profile.The interesting thing though, is that this is not just external/supplier focussed, but equally focussed on internal communications with stakeholders.

  1. Collaboration: Whether it is Direct or Indirect procurement categories, collaboration is the key which is very evident from the results. Collaboration is not just in driving projects/sourcing events, but also working with the stakeholders to  lay out strategic sourcing plans, for the assigned categories. 98% of the employers are categorically defining the need for collaboration in their job descriptions.

  1. Strong analytical skills: This is not a surprise, given the importance of analytics in Sourcing.Whether it is basics like spend analysis or cost modelling, you need to have good analytical skills. The job descriptions clearly specify need for advanced excel skills and strong proficiency in MS office. In our analysis, we found 82% of the jobs having a very strong requirement for analytical skills.

  1. Specific Domain Knowledge: The fourth category is a little bit of surprise, 54% of employers are looking for specific category expertise or general know how about a specific domain. Our analysis is across different set of Industries and states, and this seems to be a trend across the board. We saw multiple cases where jobs in financial services require prior IT sourcing experience or managing outsourcing as a category. The similar trend is in pharma and some speciality chemical companies,where prior specific category sourcing experience is a prerequisite.

  1. Strong negotiation skills: Again this is somewhat an inherent quality required of sourcing professional, however we found that 18% of jobs very clearly define activities around negotiation management, including team management during negotiation and advanced negotiation skills.

Another trend worth mentioning is that companies are looking for prior knowledge of systems. The requirements is around ERP systems like SAP,Oracle and best of breed procurement tools like Ariba.

What Is The Education Requirement?

We looked at the minimum education requirement for these jobs

Some noteworthy trends

  • Though 90% of the jobs require a minimum of Bachelor’s degree, there is a growing trend (40%) of companies preferring candidates with MBA, even though the minimum requirement is a Bachelor's degree.

  • The education background is not generic, we found that 50% of companies ask for degree in Supply chain or related areas, and in some cases (5%) prefer candidates with a degree in finance.

  • 8% of the jobs require a Master’s in Business Administration or a Master's Degree.

Does Industry Certification Matters?

There is always a debate, whether an industry certification like CPSM (Certified Professional in Supply Management) is required or not. So we analyzed the job requirements to identify the market trend.

  • 76% of jobs doesn’t require a formal certification

  • 24% of jobs list this as a requirement, however 60% of these employers prefer the candidates with certification and for other 40%, this is a mandatory requirement.

  • The most common certification asked for is from  Institute of Supply Management (ISM) - CPSM (Certified Professional in Supply Management)