The scramble for Procurement talent Part 2: Using contractors….

Elaine Dec.GIFIt is estimated that by 2015 contractors, freelancers and interim managers could make up as much as 50% of the white-collar workforce internationally. Many of these freelancers will be the more mature individuals with extensive experience and, new graduates seeking experience in various job roles. In Part 2 of this series,  Elaine Porteous, a specialist in Procurement Organisational design tells Smartprocurement that:”Many organisations have realised that using contracted staff for short- and medium-term assignments is the most cost effective route to filling vacant positions where procurement skills are in short supply.”


“Extended vacancies in the sourcing function are very costly : efficiencies and savings are not being achieved on an ongoing basis!, ” she says

For the individual…

“The concept of “a job for life” is rapidly becoming a vague memory as the employment marketplace becomes more flexible and fluid.  The growth in temporary and contract positions is a continuing trend and one that is already emerging as a significant growth area in the employment arena in Africa.  

Currently the procurement professional is in an enviable position, there are many more job opportunities than there are people to fill them. Candidates are able to choose their type of work, industry, location and job role.”

For the organization…

Flexibility in staffing levels is required for both project work and where there are peaks and low periods of business activity. In these scenarios it would not be cost effective to appoint a permanent person.   

The increasing globalization of the marketplace combined with an ever increasing shortage of skilled staff and advances in technology have resulted in a large scale shift towards flexible work practices.   

The recruitment agencies are also moving towards sourcing candidates through internet job boards which are fast and efficient as they enable candidates to upload their CVs immediately.  This is particularly useful in filling interim, or short term, positions.”

“The benefits of using a procurement-specific job board are immense, both for the hiring of contract, interim and permanent staff.  A survey recently conducted in the UK found that generalist job boards such as Monster and Yahoo Jobs have a very low success rate in placing ( specialist) candidates – only a 28% success rate overall and even lower for procurement jobs. “

Elaine Porteous can be contacted on  dugport@icon.co.za
or on  +27 11 884 3515 or +27 82 412 5831.


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