The beginning of the year is always a busy time for recruitment and, naturally, the question we often get asked by clients and candidates alike is, “What do you think the procurement, purchasing and supply chain trends in 2019 will be?”.

In this blog, I’ll share with you the three key influences I’m seeing affecting recruitment in procurement and supply chain right now and what this means in practical terms.

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Brexit is at the forefront of many businesses’ minds right now. Luckily, in procurement and supply chain it may actually create additional jobs as organisations expand their workforce to deal with the increased workloads and new challenges that Brexit will cause.

Customs checks following the departure from the EU are expected to lead to a pile-up of lorries for 30 miles into Kent, according to senior figures in the transport industry. In addition, consumer goods business often have pan-European supply chain hubs, meaning supply chain planning will be more complex following Brexit. Fluctuating prices and costs could also mean that existing contracts with suppliers need to be renegotiated as they are no longer viable.

Like many businesses, several of our clients have therefore been looking to expand procurement, purchasing and supply chain roles ahead of Brexit to deal with these issues.

The transition in procurement to a strategic value function

What continues to be a big influencing factor on recruitment within procurement is that many businesses are still in a process of transitioning their function from a transactional, support function into a strategic, value-adding function that can help the business to achieve wider objectives.

Mergers and acquisitions across Manufacturing and FMCG sectors

The “combined number of alliances and JVs has increased in the past two years and is now at its highest level since the start of the century”.

A study by PwC

With many markets ripe for disruption, we are seeing an increasing number of mergers and acquisitions taking place, particularly in the FMCG and Manufacturing sectors, in order to combine expertise and achieve faster growth and efficiency within their supply chains. This has resulted in an increase in jobs across procurement and supply chain.

So how do these trends influences affect procurement and supply chain recruitment for 2019?

Anticipated increase in recruitment rates

At Cast UK, our clients have indicated that they anticipate increased recruitment across supply chain and procurement to deal with the anticipated new skill sets required as a result of Brexit challenges, along with the growth in areas such as FMCG and Manufacturing.

Influencing and engagement skills in demand

The move to a strategic function within procurement means that excellent interpersonal and communication skills, along with an experience of stakeholder engagement, are becoming increasingly important to employers.

A rise in internal promotion

There has been a rise in the number of Procurement/Supply Chain Director level roles being won by internal candidates through promotion, perhaps to save on costs. We are therefore finding that recruitment tends to have been more at a more junior level, although there is definitely still movement at the senior level.

Find out more about recruitment trends and what skills, benefits and perks are most in demand right now – as well as discovering average salaries – with our Procurement & Supply Chain Salary Guide 2019.

Download your Salary & Benefits Guide 2019