Is your team in good shape? What skills are you missing?

The CBI advises that 9 out of 10 employees will need to reskill by 2030, to avoid a sustained unemployment crisis and to support the future UK economy.

No matter what sector you work in, competitive advantage in today’s economy has never been more critical and maximising your team’s output is imperative. But with the pandemic affecting many organisations growth plans, there is a clear need to find alternative ways of upskilling or supplementing your teams bandwidth.

We recently reported on how many people have become naturally risk adverse and have decided to stay in post if their role is secure and choosing not to move jobs. The question is, when is the ideal time for employers to reward loyalty, invest in their people, increase their teams skills, capability and future career potential within their own business?

Ultimately, every Procurement & Supply Chain leader’s success relies on having a great team behind them.

It’s therefore vital to take time to regularly assess the teams’ personal development plans, their remote working challenges and understand their individual career plans better. This identifies any skills gaps, builds a higher performing team and matches their capability to the current challenges, as well as mapping future workforce planning needs. To do this you first need to identify the skills most important for your team.

Once you are clear on your needs, the biggest challenge is assessing your people against the organisational requirements quickly. There are very few specialist ‘Procurement & Supply Chain’ competency assessment tools in the market and not all are fit for purpose, as they’re sometimes reliant on workshops or external consulting teams measuring this for you. However, in response to the pandemic these online solutions are now available, find out more.

Upskilling your existing team will help you understand the short, medium and longer term gaps and how to manage them.

Upskilling is an effective strategy, understanding the priorities across the team and engaging in these training areas first will give you a quick impact on the teams performance and also identify the real gaps, where you will need to recruit.

Hire the right people with the right skills.

Taking the time to identify the skillsets you are missing, will greatly enhance your ability to find the right person for the role, first time round. You can also utilise the same competency assessment tools as part of the interview process, ensuring candidates possess the right capability attributes. Getting it right first time can save you a lot of time and money in the long-term.

There is also the option of interim support.

If your needs are more urgent and the time to recruit and train someone prove impractical, then an Interim solution could solve the problem. Bringing experienced interims in who can ‘hit the ground running’ can certainly be the quickest and most straight forward solution. And better still, a good interim will bring experience to the table which can help upskill other members of the team. Whilst it may seem a short-term fix, it can prove to be a good solution for special projects.

Our recent Covid recruitment impacts survey found that prior to Covid only 15% of organisations used ‘Procurement & Supply Chain’ functional capability assessment as part of their interview process, this has now risen to 70% who are either using it now, or plan to use it.

Put simply – upskilling is essential to any team. Make no mistake, those who do not invest will risk being left behind.


If you need support in developing your strategy and approach in this area or would like a copy of the full report from our recent Covid recruitment survey for further insights, do not hesitate to reach out to us at ProSearch Recruitment Solutions, the Procurement & Supply Chain recruitment and training specialists.

Advertising doesn’t always work – is there a better way?

Although we are seeing an increase in permanent job openings, many companies are struggling to find the right candidates.

In 2022 with more positivity and job opportunities, many organisations are finding it difficult to recruit.

Whilst internal recruiters may have access to a lot of prospects, very few good people in secure work want to switch jobs at the moment. Many organisations are therefore finding it increasingly difficult to attract the right candidates and the realisation that advertising simply doesn’t always work.

When it comes to finding the best talent, or the right specialist skills what do you do? Advertising is evidently not working all the time, so how do you ensure you have the right proactive search & selection strategy for the passive candidates in the market? More so than ever, recruiting the right person, the first time is paramount, so how do you win the race for the best talent and attract the right skillsets, if people are rightly risk-averse?

What’s the solution?

Many factors attract people to leave their ‘safe’ secure role and seek a new career, flexible working, training, development, career progression, culture, financial and job security, to name a few. But none of these will matter if candidates are not aware of your company’s recruitment & career USP’s.

By getting to know clients and their requirements in-depth, we can really focus on the top-tier candidates for each role, whether they be passive or active. A professional and informative approach and the fact that any hiring company have retained a specialist recruiter, gives a great first impression to candidates, presenting them as an organisation that allows serious candidates to want to find out more.

Most candidates seeking a new career move are now increasingly selective, so it’s important to position your business and the role correctly as you may get only one chance to make the pitch to your preferred candidate. Actively searching for the right talent match with the right promotional material, 360 capability assessment and other selection tools, also ensures candidates know they are a good fit, providing them with the confidence to make the move. This careful approach reduces the risks for the candidates and allows companies to access the best active and passive talent.

Good specialist recruiters know their market inside out. Through years of working with procurement & supply chain professionals globally, we have access to extensive networks of passive candidates seeking their next career move, most of whom will not actively apply to job adverts. Furthermore, they trust their preferred agents to be able to assess the right roles and represent them properly to ensure they are not lost in the recruitment process.

Hiring great talent does not got any easier, but we can help

Reach out for a confidential discussion and we can guide you through a range of innovative and flexible support options that will help you solve that challenge.


  • Contingent Permanent Search – fee on result
  • ‘Accredited’ Interim resource
  • 360-Degree Procurement & Supply Chain capability assessment – online testing to support the interview process
  • UK, US and International market expertise
Returning to work with gaps in your CV?

Many people’s career plans were hit hard over the last 18 months, affected by furlough, redundancies or simply less permanent or Interim jobs available during lockdown.

We regularly talk with highly experienced people who are struggling to understand how to best present these gaps in employment on their CV’s and this can be a problem many people have never faced before.

How do employers view employment gaps?

Employment rates are climbing and more job opportunities are available, competition is high as people in work feel greater confidence about going back on the market. So, what is the best approach to cover gaps in your CV in a competitive jobs market?

Firstly, this can simply be a confidence issue, given what has happened over the last 20 months the age-old stigma of career gaps is being viewed much more sympathetically by recruiters and currently this is a ‘candidate market’ with more job opportunities than active applicants, which means in the short-term this can be to your advantage, so act quickly.

We have rarely seen anything like 2020/21, so this will not be a hindrance in job searches. According to the ‘International Labour Organisation’, an incredible 255 million jobs were lost globally due to the Covid pandemic therefore employers expect to see gaps in employment for this time period. 

‘What did you do, when you were not working’? 

Hiring companies will be looking for more information about what you did during any gap in employment and this is where you can turn the situation into a positive advantage.

Did you learn or develop any new skills? Gain new qualifications? Undertake any charity or volunteering work? Work as an NHS covid jab volunteer? Use the time to exercise more? Or become a home-schooling teacher to your children. All are incredibly valuable.

A few key tips to keep in mind
Be Positive

It would be easy to fall into the trap of discussing gaps in employment from a negative viewpoint. Try to take any of the positives that came out of the time, in terms of new skills developed and focus on these, which will speak volumes about your character.

Be clear about your availability

Immediate availability can be a big attraction to employers so make sure this is clear on the CV.

Be Honest

Recruiters are very understanding about employment gaps so don’t cover it up. Make sure you take the opportunity to sell your life experiences and self-improvement activities during Covid.

Employers expect your CV to present you in the best possible light, so take this opportunity to portray as many positive aspects about yourself as possible, whether its competency based or general life skills. After all skills are what all employers are after! Read

Most good employers will look past Covid employment gaps, so show how you demonstrated your resilience during the pandemic, either by remaining productive or seeking meaningful experiences which can tip the advantage in your favour in what is likely to become an increasingly competitive employment market.


We work with clients to find, assess and recruit the best procurement and supply chain talent for your business. 

Get in touch with one of our advisors to discuss how we can help you and your business stand out from the crowd. We partner with organisations in a transparent and open approach to ensure they have all the external market knowledge and information needed to make the right hiring decisions.

No longer ‘remote’ but flexible & hybrid working is the norm

The challenges of working remotely are not proving difficult enough to change the direction of travel.

With hybrid flexible working the way forward, nearly 97% of participants surveyed favour blended hybrid home/office working and over 86% see hybrid working as the long term future of work.

Positively, over 57% are not concerned about returning to the office. However, it’s evident that office based working will now be on a planned basis, with the general consensus being 2 or 3 days a week, allowing more productive work outside of face-to-face meetings.


Although the remote working challenges are relatively similar to our 2020 survey, twelve months later the concerns about social isolation appear to be reducing slightly (14% less) as working patterns get more embedded. The biggest issue is communication with colleagues, while online planned meetings and video conferencing can work well, the ability to drop in to quick conversations to solve problems can be difficult to plan remotely, so online chat tools are being increasingly used.


Better organisational planning, working from offices in a way that allows quality meetings to take place, when people can meet to solve business challenges, improve capability through training and gain more beneficial social interactions, whilst also benefitting from more time to work remotely to maintain increased productivity.


Does flexible working increase your productivity?

Understandably many moved to remote working during lockdown and after the initial shock, there is now a view that hybrid working practices can increase productivity…

Over 50% of respondents to the ‘Future of Work’ survey already worked in a hybrid office/flexible way prior to covid, with a further 15% working entirely remotely, which reflects the agile and global nature of procurement & supply chain functions, with the need to work flexibly to visit suppliers and supply chain partners.

However, the hybrid model significantly reduced over the last 18 months with over 60% working fully remote (from 15%), which created the need for more efficient ways of working. This builds habits and has shown some companies the benefits if you have the right people.


The key takeaway from the results is that although challenging, it has allowed for an increase in personal productivity. With the reduction of unnecessary travel, less commuting, and increased access and use of online data systems and video communication tools. In total, nearly 88% felt that productivity improved or did not change, which shows the resilience of the functional teams.


Recruitment & Career choices – in a candidate market

It’s clear that the broader Procurement & Supply Chain functions are in a good place…

With only a few companies reducing headcount due to offshoring or repatriation of roles to other global offices, with over 62% confident of growing headcount in their teams.

In excess of 66% of organisations have changed the way they recruit to include online capability testing and video screening solutions.

No surprise, in a ‘hot’ recruitment market the majority of people do not feel it a necessity to be flexible on their salary aspirations, although 16% said they would consider it.

A key statistic is the difference a flexible working model will make, with over 82% stating that it would alter their opinion about joining a company if it wasn’t offered.


It’s clear that organisations need to build flexible working in to their recruitment value proposition and candidate attraction strategies if they are going to access the best talent.


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