Beroe LiVE Poll: COVID-19 had minimal impact on Procurement Jobs

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By: Sakthi Prasad -- Content Director

31 January, 2021

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Beroe LiVE Poll: COVID-19 had minimal impact on Procurement Jobs
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Data collection and compilation by Mirza Zack

The once in a century pandemic that stopped the world in the early half of 2020 had a huge impact on the employment front.

Many sectors--ranging from travel to hospitality services--were badly hit. But things are changing. As the world ushered in 2021, the employment situation is beginning to look up across many sectors.

One of the foremost questions that comes to mind is what kind of impact did the pandemic have on the Procurement job market?

In order to assess the broader impact, Beroe conducted a survey amongst Beroe LiVE members to get a sense of what’s happening on the Procurement jobs front. Beroe has also published an interview of recruitment specialist Mark Holyoake to get a deeper understanding of the job market dynamics. You can read his interview here: https://www.beroeinc.com/blog/interview-procurement-job-market-getting-hotter/
 

Over 550 Procurement and Supply Chain professionals from 500 companies took part in the survey.

Nearly three-fourths of respondents were from North America and Europe: 41 percent and 33 percent respectively.

 

1) 

Networking seems to matter the most when it comes to securing a new job in Procurement/Sourcing.

  • 44 percent of respondents said they found their current job through referrals by friends and colleagues.
  • Equal number of respondents (21 percent each) said they found their current job through LinkedIn/Job Sites and Recruitment Agencies.
  • Eleven percent found their current job through postings on job boards and nearly 3 percent gained new employment through postings on college/university websites.

Here are the selected comments from respondents. We are not revealing their names as they are not authorised to speak on behalf of the company.

“Friend currently employed by said company knew of my diverse skillset. I was hired for procurement / purchasing particularly but was much better suited for it than those handling it at that time”.
--Procurement Director based in North America

“Talent Acquisition team reached out to me through LinkedIn”.
--VP Procurement based in North America

“Approached directly through LinkedIn”.
--Procurement Manager based in Europe

“Referred by my relative long time ago, 23 years”.
--Procurement Manager based in Middle East

“I was fully employed when I was made a better offer as a buyer with better salary and prospects in another company”.
--Procurement Manager based in Europe

“Recruited by an ex-colleague”.
--Procurement Manager based in Africa

“Proactive approach to my current company by sending my CV. It was 12 years ago after leaving college”.
--Procurement Manager based in Europe

“Recruitment agencies are active in market but the placement ratio is not commendable”.
--Procurement Director based in South Asia
 

 

2)

Despite the pandemic scare, nearly one-third of respondents said they were not worried about job cuts during the peak phase of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. And 22 percent said they were neutral on this question. Combining both these numbers, over 50 percent were not overly worried about layoffs.

This shows Procurement function was seen as an important bulwark against the onslaught of the pandemic.

As Mark Holyoake told Beroe: “As weeks progressed, I could sense a fair bit of optimism settling in because Procurement professionals realized that they would probably have a job throughout all of this, and that, in fact, their role might take on a higher level of importance. And to some extent, I think that was the case -- Procurement gained prominence over the past nine months.”

But another important number to look at is nearly one-third of them were indeed worried about job losses and layoffs.

Here are the selected comments from respondents. We are not revealing their names as they are not authorised to speak on behalf of the company.

 “In my case no worries for job loss during pandemic”.
-- Procurement Director based in Europe

“I know it was an issue for millions of individuals but was not something that directly affected me at my current position. I am not "indispensable" so to say, but it would definitely cause many problems and mainly just that the business I'm in never closed, even for a day”.
-- Procurement Director based in North America

“We had the opposite problem in the healthcare distribution sector as we needed to ramp up and hire more associates during the pandemic”.
-- VP Procurement based in North America
 

“Was furloughed for a month, but was very fortunate to be called back”.
-- Procurement Director based in North America
 

“I was not too worried that my job would be cut as my role was saving the company money”.
-- Procurement Manager based in North America
 

“Yes lot of industries stopped hiring and also reduced their size. Most of the organizations followed "salary cut".
-- Procurement Director based in South Asia
 

“Since I'am in a senior position I was Neutral but was worried about my staff”.
-- Procurement Manager based in South Asia
 

“Not really sure, but I was told that in case of lockdown, I would be placed on campus so I don't have to travel from home to work. My role required me to be at the workplace. Our system is an e-Procurement, but still I need to come to the campus”.
-- Procurement Director based in North Asia
 

“I was extra busy during this time and was not concerned the projects I was working on would be stopped”.
-- Procurement Manager based in Australia/New Zeland
 

“As far as you have displayed your capabilities and it's recognized by the hierarchy, you should not be worried since you're indispensable”.
-- Procurement Director based in South-East Asia
 

“Our business was fortunate to be in a sector that performed well during COVID-19 in 2020”.
-- Procurement Manager based in Africa

 

3)

The highlight of the survey was a majority of the respondents said the job prospects in Procurement/Supply Chain function have stayed the same. And nearly 23 percent said the prospects improved despite the pandemic.

Including these two figures, a whopping 60 percent of respondents have either said there is no impact or the pandemic has improved the prospects. While 24 percent did say the prospects worsened due to the pandemic, 16 percent of the respondents weren’t sure if the prospects brightened or dimmed.

Here are the selected comments from respondents. We are not revealing their names as they are not authorised to speak on behalf of the company.

“Procurement was heavily relied upon to save money during the pandemic”.
-- Procurement Manager based in North America
 

“We need more staff not less”.
-- Procurement Director based in Europe
 

“Corporates recognized the value of skilled procurement professionals during the pandemic”.
-- Procurement Manager based in Europe
 

“We have a hiring freeze.  No cuts in our area, but no additions either although we need more help”.
-- Procurement Director based in North America
 

“Many companies are downsizing and accelerating automation and digitalization”.
-- Procurement Director based in Europe
 

“It is an employers’ market at the moment due to the good amount of people out of work”.
-- Procurement Manager based in Europe

“All depends on the industry they support.  Some went up, others down. Net-net neutral in my opinion”.
-- Procurement Manager based in North America
 

“Employees added to Procurement Department from outside the organisation in the last couple of month”.
-- Procurement Manager based in Australia/New Zealand
 

“I would say it is more influenced by the area you live in. I see many openings of SCM or Procurement jobs in larger cities and metros, but fewer opportunities in my city, in general.  We have a lot of Oil and Gas jobs, which took a beating before COVID-19. The pandemic made everything else worse for sure”.
-- Procurement Manager based in North America
 

“Not improved but not so worsened as other functions. We can say the situation is below average”.
-- Procurement Director based in South Asia
 

From my own perspective, I can't really say, but the challenges now are the delivery of the goods is delaying, and we can't really get everything we need due to limited of supplies. The good thing about the pandemic is there is no travel, which is one of the biggest cost for our institution:)
-- Procurement Director based in North Asia

 

4)

The verdict is clear: job prospects in 2021 will be better than 2020. About 4 percent even said the job market will be better than even 2018/2019.

16 percent opine the job market will be worse than 2020 -- this is consistent with the number of people who were worried about job cuts during the intense lockdown period last year.

Here are the selected comments from respondents. We are not revealing their names as they are not authorised to speak on behalf of the company.

“If it were closer to home and the salary was greater, I'd certainly entertain the notion”.
-- Procurement Manager based in North America
 

“If a job meets the requirements for me to interview for them and consider leaving my current position in 2019 they would still meet those requirements now. Stability of the new job position and the company that holds it was already an important factor so I would still be looking for the same traits now”.
-- Procurement Director based in North America
 

“Very happy in my present position but always willing to talk”.
-- Procurement Director based in North America
 

“Chaos will always create opportunity; any one that would not explore an opportunity would do themselves an injustice”.
-- Procurement Manager based in Europe
 

“If the opportunity would appear and the offer is something that I really want, I would gamble. But the conditions must be there as well. Good salary, safe workplace, challangeing job tasks and a stability and a secured employment”.
-- Procurement Manager based in Europe
 

“It depends, but attend interviews I don't see any issue with that, because we have the technology that makes it easy to do online interview via zoom and other online devices. Regarding switch jobs not really sure unless I understand how it will affect me personally and professionally”.
-- Procurement Director based in North Asia
 

“Happy in my current employment”.
-- Procurement Manager based in Australia/New Zealand

 

5)

A majority of respondents are open to attend interviews and switch jobs even in this uncertain business environment. 22 percent were neutral on this question while 14 percent disagreed.

It appears that the job market will continue to remain dynamic and those who spot act on good opportunities will be richly rewarded.

Here are the selected comments from respondents. We are not revealing their names as they are not authorised to speak on behalf of the company.

“Businesses will reopen and or reorganize to increase the job market from 2020”.
-- Procurement Director based in North America
 

“I guess things will be better, but not so sure. When I perform my duties, I always find better ways to complete my tasks. I find ways not to work harder, but work smarter”.
-- Procurement Director based in North Asia
 

“I suspect that skilled candidates will be in high demand, perhaps with fewer prospects for less experienced/junior professionals”.
-- Procurement Manager based in Africa
 

“It's actually very hard to say, but I think with the initial shock of the pandemic done, companies that have survived will have more focus on efficiency and cost control. Both of which procurement directly contribute too”.
-- Procurement Manager based in Australia/New Zealand

 




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