The online business network for procurement professionals, Procurious, has sifted through a major new salary survey to pinpoint the best-paid jobs in procurement. The result is that they will only be available to candidates with great strategic thinking abilities and excellent interpersonal skills.

The recent annual survey of the procurement jobs market in the UK from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and procurement recruitment specialists at Hays found that Brexit is driving unprecedented demand for procurement professionals. The report states, “Professionals will need strategic skills, data management, and a steady disposition to help businesses find their way through the particular challenges faced by their organisations.”

68% of the procurement professionals surveyed saw pay rises averaging 5.1% last year – a 4% increase on 2016. Chief Procurement Officers did especially well, earning £124,000 on average, 11% more than 2016’s £112,000. Experience is definitely rewarded. 72% of professionals with over 20 years’ experience received pay rises, while only 53% with less than two years did. 88% of professionals with procurement jobs in defence received significant pay awards, as did 85% in pharmaceuticals and the life sciences, 81% in hotels and catering, and 81% in fast-moving consumer goods. The largest pay increases were in the telecoms and marketing/advertising/PR sectors, with annual increases of 8% and 7.4% respectively.

Educational achievements also count. Professionals holding CIPs membership (MCIPS) can expect to earn 16% more than their uncertificated colleagues, and the disparity widens with seniority. Continuing professional development should, according to CIPS CEO Gerry Walsh, “be high on everyone’s agenda.” The survey also found that ‘soft’ skills in communication, empathy, active listening, and emotional intelligence were prized by employers, even though 67% of respondents said they’d never received formal training in these areas. Candidates who can combine these with technological expertise (big data, predictive analytics, e-procurement, artificial intelligence, and machine learning) are at the top of the demand league table.

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