Procurement & Supply Chain Salary Guide 2018

22/09/2018By Christian Shawcross
What could you earn as a Procurement or Supply Chain Professional? Are you paying your staff a competitive salary? psd look at hiring trends, reward schemes, pay increases and job satisfaction in Procurement and Supply Chain in 2018.
procurement & supply chain

Welcome to the psd Procurement & Supply Chain Salary Guide for 2018.

The Procurement and Supply Chain Salary Survey is published every year not only for permanent and interim industry professionals as a bench-marking tool for themselves, but to also assist CPOs, hiring managers and HR departments to plan for the future. We endeavour to provide a reliable and valuable resource for mid to senior professionals in the industry – one that looks at the hiring trends, reward schemes, and pay increases as well as job satisfaction.

psd specialise in the recruitment of management to board level Procurement and Supply Chain candidates. With this in mind we would be delighted to hear what your plans are for your procurement team in 2018, as well as share insights from around the market. If you would like to discuss additional and more detailed sector specific results, please contact the relevant consultant at the end of this report.

Market Summary

2017 was an interesting year with continued political uncertainty which affected the macro economic climate. However, there is a positive outlook for Procurement this year with the majority of hiring managers expecting to build their teams in 2018.

Whilst it has been observed that Brexit has created hiring paralysis in some sectors, procurement presses on and we observe the market is positive. Procurement professionals have always been able to demonstrate their effectiveness and not just in cost savings.

With risk mitigation, commercial management and forward planning, procurement can show its value and this creates an appetite for teams to grow. However, with the increase in technology, some respondents envisage that procurement teams will shrink and there will be a move to a more technology focused executive.  That said, there is a shortage of talent from respondents with many managers voicing difficulty in hiring the right individual. There is an increasing demand on procurement candidates to up-skill and respond to the changes in expectation on what they can offer.

Technology is advancing and is becoming more accessible and applicable to business. The tools that are now available to Procurement Managers from organisations such as IBM and SAP Ariba are beginning to have a positive impact, increasing the value of what a sourcing professional can give to a stakeholder.

Broadly speaking salaries increased in the procurement profession with the highest rises occurring outside of London and the South East as many organisations utilise other locations.


Even with some of the factors affecting the economy, the value of interim consultants continues to be seen across all sectors of the procurement community. As stated in a recent report more than 600,000 individuals operate via their own Limited Company (source: The Daily Telegraph). Last year we saw the shift away from a client-focused market to a market that is balanced between both client demand and interim support. This has continued and has resulted in a general rise in day rates across all levels. These rates saw a significant rise in 2017 across all sectors and that buoyancy continues.


Recent findings from consulting firms report that as well as cost savings, ensuring continuity of supply and encouraging diversity and innovation were also the key objectives for a forward thinking procurement function. However as stated earlier, all agree that technology procurement will be at the heart of this. Procurement in this area is one of highest paid areas compared to other non IT/Technology categories. This is important for those seeking permanent roles but also for those working as interim. Candidates must respond to digitisation if they are to increase their attractiveness to prospective employees.

procurement technology

Banking & Financial Services

The Banking and Financial Services market has been less busy than in previous years. However there has been substantial activity particularly in the technology category, and is the most requested category in this sector. There has been a move to replace interim’s with permanent members of staff where possible. This sector seems to be the first to adopt new technology and there is an appetite to embrace the enhanced tools that P2P can offer. Most vacancies are still in London and the South East, with some shift to recruit in outposts outside of the city. It remains the highest paid and arguably the most favoured sector for candidates.

There has been a small increase in salaries in the Banking & Financial Services sector and we still regard this sector as the highest paid in procurement.

Bonuses are still relied upon from people in this area and investment banks and retail banks are paying more lucrative packages than life and pensions, insurance and payments. Bonuses paid in this sector are in the region of 20-40% of salary.

We are still seeing the trend where car allowances are being discarded to be replaced by salary and this is welcomed by candidates who recognise the value of this as a higher multiple for aspects such as bonus and pensions.  Technology categories are the highest rewarded with marketing and professional services following closely behind.

banking procurement

Business & Professional Services

There has been high demand in this area. Procurement departments have reduced in size due to advances in technology so there is a greater appetite to push projects out to management consultancies.  Consultancies are offering a broad range of services as the benefits of new technology are becoming more tangible. We have seen the most applicable technology improvements in P2P enablement which is maturing at a very fast rate.

Consulting remains a highly paid area and consultants have to be more available to clients than ever before. Candidates are attracted to the agile working environment and the experience that is offered from working with multiple organisations.

The training that is offered is highly valued as is the ability to influence at a very high level, and we expect packages to increase in this area. Transformation and international experience continues to be highly sought after by employers, and also the ability to speak more than one language. The buoyancy in this area will continue and we will see more niche players in the procurement and sourcing space.

Senior procurement recruitment within legal firms continues and we see this as a growth area as procurement functions become more integrated into practices. There is a sharing of best practice across firms, therefore we see procurement maturing with the access to legal expertise in house.

Procurement Transformation

Procurement Transformation remains an important area for consulting. During 2017 consultancies continued to secure large scale projects with major organisations where they can re-configure procurement departments. Deeper relationships between organisations and their clients continue, which is encouraging business growth and leading to more employment opportunities for experienced management consultants. Procurement outsourcing remains a highly competitive sector. It is still a good option for candidates but increasingly companies struggle to differentiate. There is also the issue between using an established consulting firm versus interim support.

Facilities Management & Construction

The Facilities Management (FM) market is increasingly competitive, and the last quarter of 2017 saw some challenging times for the large providers which means there is more experienced talent in the market than before. FM and Construction Procurement Executives see Brexit uncertainty as temporary and the UK economy is still expected to grow during 2018.  We observe that construction output is expected to grow in the next eighteen months with UK property and infrastructure projects being the key driver.

UK salaries seem to have remained the same as the previous year.  That being said people tend to move for a more challenging role or for flexibility of working hours rather than the salary it attracts.

More and more employers are recruiting for commercially astute individuals with more of a strategic approach to Procurement rather than a transactional one.

There has been consolidation in the FM market with well-publicised changes in the industry. Therefore, demand has decreased a little but we see this area picking up in the future. Again salaries have increased steadily in the FM area and bonuses have been light. Most of the demand has been in client facing procurement roles with some activity in the indirect category management areas. The sector remains a successful area for psd and we continue to make impressive placements with major FM providers.

In construction we’ve seen salary increases of around 4% and there has been steady demand in most areas. In affordable housing there has been a lot of movement at Director and Head of level.

The categories where we have seen most activity has been in materials, professional services and IT. This is a key area for psd and we expect to see significant requests in these sectors

FM procurement

Energy & Utilities

The Energy and Utilities sector remained buoyant in 2017 with an equal split across interim and permanent placements.

Procurement Transformation is still a key consideration across the majority of organisations and we have been asked for this skill set on most of the assignments we have been given.

As with Financial Services, the heavily regulated environment places greater demand on the candidates in this sector. It does not deter candidates as they see this as another stakeholder of sorts to address and it is a highly marketable skill when candidates decide to move to a different area.

In this sector there has been an average increase of 3% across all areas showing that the market is relatively stable. There has been another increase in the number of interim executives that are required in this area and the demand has been skewed towards technology category management. Other areas where there has been significant demand is professional services and specialist areas such Asset Management. Bonuses remain modest in this area and company cars are being replaced by salary. This is a steady area where there will be opportunities to join well established organisations.

Public Sector 

Within the public sector, budgets remain an important consideration, and the use of interim support is still strong. IR35 as always is at the forefront of an interim executive’s consideration. The changes in IR35 regulation will affect 90% of contractors in the public sector and IR35 status will now be decided by the engaging party which will leave public sector contractors with little or no control over their tax affairs.  As a consequence, those that are uncomfortable with this will have little option but to migrate across to private sector work.

public sector procurement salary


There has been marginal increases in salary across all sectors in the procurement and sourcing profession. This is encouraging as there is still uncertainty economically also politically. It is difficult to predict what will happen post Brexit but it is encouraging to see that procurement retains its value with businesses.

Procurement continues to evolve as a profession and roles are becoming much more commercial. Executives are being asked to address risk, business growth and planning which is encouraging people to choose procurement as a career.

Uncertainty encourages innovation and procurement is a profession that embraces new thinking. As technology continues to advance, it will be interesting to observe how the procurement community implements new ways of working.

Procurement continues to challenge stakeholders to think differently which is key in the current climate.

Thank you to all those who have contributed to this year’s survey. It is always a pleasure to talk to our respondents about the changing trends and opinions in the industry. Your feedback is always welcomed as we use it constructively to improve the content, presentation and structure of the survey. Previous feedback from clients and candidates indicate that our salary surveys have been an invaluable resource for anyone connected to the procurement industry. If you would like to have a more in-depth conversation about pay and reward please do not hesitate to contact us.

Expert knowledge of our specialist markets and our precise search techniques ensure that we can adapt to the fast changing and complex needs of our clients and candidates. A combination of best-in-class search techniques, in-depth industry knowledge and extensive contact networks have helped us build an outstanding reputation for identifying and attracting the very best talent.

About the author

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.