Win the Talent War for Purchasing Professionals in 2017

APD Placement conducted a survey of nearly 200 purchasing professionals in 2016 to find out what they valued in their current position, and what their priorities would be in a new job.  The results were published in the white paper “Win the Talent War to Build a High Performing Purchasing Team”, which you can download at

Perhaps the most surprising finding from the 2016 survey was that top purchasing professionals reported they are contacted by recruiters between 8 and 20 times per month.  90% reported being contacted at least once per month.

For 2017, we’ve conducted a follow-up survey to get a snapshot of the current purchasing talent market.

What We Learned in 2017:

Most purchasing professionals feel under-paid.  57% of purchasing professionals surveyed in 2017 indicated they believe their current compensation is not competitive given their skills and experience.  In our 2016 survey, that number was only 29%.

Many purchasing professionals want to change jobs because they are feeling unfulfilled.  When we asked why they would leave their current employer, the top response was they feel unfilled filled in their current role.  Last year, this response was third behind management recognition and overall corporate culture.

Purchasing professionals are looking for meaningful tasks and a good corporate culture.  These two responses rose to the top for the question “what is important to you personally as you consider a new job.”  In our 2016 survey, more meaningful tasks was a top response (3rd highest out of 10), but a good corporate culture was at the bottom.

What Purchasing Organizations Should Do To Win the Talent War:

Provide competitive compensation to retain top talent.  It’s clear from the survey results that purchasing professionals are feeling increasingly frustrated that their compensation isn’t keeping up with the market.  The purchasing job market continues to be hot – on any given day, there are more than 50 job openings on LinkedIn for Buyers in manufacturing companies in the Detroit area.  Also, we find that some organization can’t land the candidates they want because their salary bands are out of sync with the market.

Find ways to offer purchasing professionals more meaningful tasks.  Every job has wasteful tasks that take time away from more fulfilling work (especially purchasing jobs).  Become a champion for workplace improvement by identifying those non-value added tasks and eliminating as many as possible.  Leverage technology to take time out of the many transactional and tactical tasks that buyers do every day, for example issuing RFQs and evaluating supplier quotes.

Create a positive team culture.  Even if your corporate culture leaves something to be desired, you have the ability as a leader to create a team atmosphere that is both high-performing and highly rewarding.  The number one source of job stress is unclear expectations, so start by ensuring everyone knows what is expected of them.  Recognize that your behavior sets the tone for your group, so make the effort to engage with your staff and bring the positive attitude you want them to exhibit.

Similar Posts