Procurement & Supply Chain – Market and Hiring Trends 2022

Welcome to our second newsletter for 2022 highlighting Procurement and Supply Chain hiring trends in Quarter Two.

The second quarter of 2022 was another busy period for psd in Procurement and Supply Chain. We were active across all our core areas. Procurement continues to be seen as a core function to help companies navigate through turbulent times. Risk mitigation is as important as savings delivery in all sectors and procurement departments are adapting to sudden changes well. The skill now seems to be anticipated in what will happen next and contingency plans are out in place. Technology as ever is always high on the agenda and investment in new ways to manage third party spend increases every quarter. Procurement is a well-chosen career for executives as our feedback shows. 


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Banking and Financial Services

Consulting and Outsourcing

Energy and Utilities


Facilities Management and Real Estate

Banking and Financial Services

In Quarter 2, we worked on several assignments with large and medium sized businesses across a wide range of categories. Most of the demand came for Heads of Procurement and Senior Category Managers in the professional services categories. Professional services has been the most sought after expertise for 2022 for us, surpassing demand for IT and technology category skills.  

We recruited a Head of Procurement for a mid-sized bank that we have supported in other areas, including recruiting the COO. They realised the need to address their third party spend and we identified a highly experienced Head of Procurement to begin the process. We worked with a Wealth Management firm to locate a Head of Indirect spend in the non-IT area, mainly covering professional services. This was a tricky assignment as they needed someone to start at short notice to manage a time critical project. They selected a candidate from a shortlist of four and they are already making a big impact, as expected. 

We also helped a global investment firm to recruit a Professional Services Lead to manage several areas of critical spend. This was via an outsourced business which made the assignment quite interesting as there were several decisions makers for the candidates to get past. They have started and have already shown their prowess in simplifying the sourcing process for stakeholders. 

Consulting and Outsourcing 

This has easily been psd’s busiest sector in the period with numerous hires for new and existing clients. Demand is high and it shows the health of the consulting and outsourcing market currently. In Quarter 2, we recruited a Practice Lead for The Procurement Transformation Practice with a global advisory firm. They bring many years of consulting experience from both a business development and delivery perspective. For the same client, we also recruited a Manager for the Sourcing Advisory Practice, focusing on ITO projects. The client stepped out of the industry with the brief as they wanted fresh thinking from the candidates. We delivered a strong shortlist and the candidate is enjoying their start. 

We have also been working with a global outsourcing business to recruit a number of candidates in the UK, Romania and the US. So far, we have recruited candidates in the professional services and outsourcing categories to help the firm cope with demand. We are also extending our coverage by recruiting a HR Lead to be based in Romania after delivering on a Romania Sourcing lead. Its a delight to use our international experience to help where other methods have not proved fruitful. 

Energy and Utilities 

The energy and utilities sectors provide significant opportunities for future procurement and supply chain leaders. Expertise within complex construction projects, technical direct sourcing and contract management are highly sort after, with many experts transitioning from the oil and gas sector into renewables and utilities. 

Global demand within the renewables sector continues to grow, and we expect the demand for procurement talent in the UK to grow as further projects aimed to develop the UK’s energy resilience continue. 

We have supported one of our long-standing oil and gas clients to recruit an interim contracts leader within the upstream arm of their exploration business. This was an interesting search requiring specific in-depth category knowledge and immediate availability as they ramp-up their production activities. 

We have also been engaged to provide support to a leading utility provider as they restructure their procurement department. We have leveraged our expertise and networks within this space to advise on role specifications and the local talent market, then provided in-depth individual salary benchmarks to enable a competitive proactive recruitment campaign. 

Finally, we sourced short-term interim support for another utility business as we continue to work with them to attract their new Head of Procurement following retirement. 

Construction and Infrastructure 

The construction industry is still suffering from significant cost increases across the material supply chain. We have seen an increase in the number of Supplier Relationship roles within this sector, as procurement functions work hard to develop long-lasting partnerships with their suppliers and combat short-term market volatility.

One interesting observation is the willingness to consider a wider range of backgrounds to attract quality SRM professionals. We have seen people move into these roles from a variety of areas including sales and account management, traditional procurement, and operational roles. 

The social housing sector continues to be a key area for our team. As ever, demand for new affordable housing significantly outweighs supply. We have observed an increased emphasis on attracting residential sector professionals into the development arms of the larger social housing providers, focusing on controlling costs associated with new build construction and refurbishments. 

We have supported a large Northwest housing association to identify and secure their new Group Head of Procurement. We have also recently begun the search for a senior procurement leader to join a specialist fit-out contractor, in a move to establish a brand-new greenfield function. 

Facilities Management and Real Estate 

We have seen a marked resurgence of roles within the facilities sector throughout the second quarter of the year as confidence within the sector continues to grow.  

Utilities procurement has become a major focus area for service providers within the sector. Market volatility has propelled this category to the forefront as it develops into a significant (and complex!) cost area.  

We have supported a global asset management business to recruit a brand-new team to lead FM and Utilities procurement for their UK investor clients. This has been a particularly intriguing assignment as we have delved deep into the energy and commodities procurement space. 

We have also helped one of the worlds largest facilities services companies to recruit Procurement Managers for their teams in London, the Northwest, Scotland, and the Midlands.  


executive recruiter manchester

Christian Shawcross

Director – Procurement & Supply Chain

Christian is Director of psd’s Procurement & Supply Chain Practice, leading searches for senior executives in the Financial Services and Professional Services sectors in the UK and globally.

Aaron Beesley Procurement Recruitment

Aaron Beesley

Consultant – Procurement & Supply Chain

Aaron is a Consultant in psd’s Procurement & Supply Chain Practice, leading searches in the construction, facilities management and Energy and Utilities sectors.