2022 ProSearch Charity

Our charity this year is very close to our hearts.

JET was formed after Flt Lt Jon Egging lost his life whilst completing a display with the Red Arrows at the Bournemouth Air Festival in 2011. 

Jon was a great supporter of young people, helping them to overcome adversity. The trust was formed to raise funds to support young people to get back on track and realise their full potential in life.

ProSearch will be supporting JET in a series of fund raising sporting events in 2022 and will keep you posted throughout the year so you can get involved.

In the meantime, if you would like to donate £1, with the potential to win £25,000 every week to support this well deserving charity, find out more about the JET Lottery.

Find out more about JET and how you can get involved


The start of 2022
Predictions for 2022 and how did we do in 2021?

Here are the 5 predictions we made for the Procurement & Supply Chain community in 2021 and our view for 2022.

1) An Increase in ‘Permanent’ Recruitment   Correct

Our 2020 annual survey confirmed that over 54% of organisations planned to maintain or grow their permanent teams in 2021.

Although the start to 2021 was slow, after the spring, permanent recruitment rose significantly based around the need to deliver key projects such as; Cost reduction, widening the supply base, reducing supply chain risk, developing robust supplier management, improving supplier partnerships to support innovation, sustainability projects, improving spend analytics and supply chain monitoring.

We expect this positive view to continue in 2022, however the challenge for a lot of organisations is and will continue to be finding the right talent. From our current experiences, internal recruiters are struggling to fill strategic appointments as they do not have the market reach or candidate network. We are increasingly working with talent acquisition teams to help them leverage their brand with ‘hard to find’ candidates.

2) Growth in ‘Greenfield’ leadership roles  ✓X Nearly

There are a surprising number of organisations in the SME and Mid-Cap market who still do not have a procurement team, or have limited access to strategic procurement & supply chain leadership.

It was evident from our own experiences in 2020 that more greenfield leadership roles were coming to market. We expected to see more of these in 2021 with a focus on transformation, strategy and building new teams.

In truth, this was partially correct, however the continued uncertainties equally led to an increase in management consulting support delivering some of these improvement projects. We expect an upturn in ‘greenfield’ procurement leadership roles in 2022.

3) Changes to our work-life balance  Correct

For some, the opportunity of a better work-life balance moving forward is one of the few positives to take away from the pandemic. Again, there will be a different approach in each sector.

The way organisations have adapted to remote working has seen a fundamental change in the landscape, to the extent that some will never go back to the 5-day ‘in the office’ working week. However, there will be a need to balance this, especially as all members of the team need to consider mental health awareness, training, guidance and personal interaction, not all of which can be delivered by Zoom or Teams.

In 2022, offering remote or blended hybrid working patterns will ease recruitment challenges by widening the talent search parameters for many organisations.

4) More uncertainty in the short-term  Correct

The key learning from this year, even though we’re optimistic for 2022, is that we must not get ahead of ourselves too soon.

There is a long way to go in the recovery stage and Procurement & Supply Chain functions must continue to focus on preparation for the unpredictable and ensuring their strategies are robust and this will be as important, if not more so in 2022.

This may help the increase in Interim consultancy opportunities now the challenges of IR35 are understood better. These will either be directly with clients, or as part of established management consultancies who are building greater flexibility in their delivery capability with the development of Interim Associate panels, to flex their capacity when needed.

5) Functional Visibility & Value to grow  Correct

Prior to Covid, most procurement and supply chain functions largely operated in the background, only receiving limited attention in the national media, or people’s day-to-day lives. Now however, the nation has an opinion on everything from international supply chain risks, to public sector procurement.

This elevation into the national psyche requires business leaders to ensure they hire and keep the best talent, whether it’s permanent, Interim, or external consulting project support, to improve bottom-line performance, manage risk and develop the ‘sustainability’ future proofing strategies that consumers now expect to be visible as part of any businesses brand values.


As we bring the year towards a close, we wish everyone a healthy 2022 and the resilience to any shifts in the pandemic, to help deliver strong economic recovery and greater business opportunities. 



Thomas International – the need to reshape Recruitment

‘Thomas International’ conducted research with 500 HR and Talent Management professionals.

Here are the quicknotes version of the findings.
Confidence in recruitment is low
1. 50:50 chance for new hires

A survey of 500 businesses revealed that over half (57%) of hires are not working out, according to the people who made the hire. This alarming statistic indicates that traditional recruitment is potentially broken.

2. It’s the door for one in four

A quarter of these bad hires have left the business or are not working out, while a further third (32%) are struggling with some elements of their role.

3. Risk is ramping up

After a slow year, 64% of businesses are increasing their recruitment activity again. Making the right hires is vital, yet as recruitment activity increases, so does the risk of making a poor hire. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that direct and indirect costs of a bad hire range from between 50% and 150% of the employee’s annual salary.

Reshaping recruitment
4. Remote working remains

Whilst 44% of recruiters still cite remote working as the biggest driver of transformation in the sector, it is less influential for most. This suggests that a level of adaptation to remote working may already have been achieved.

5. Buffeted by Brexit

Four in ten recruiters are concerned about the impact of Brexit and say that the disruption caused, continues to be a major influence on their hiring and skills acquisition activity.

6. Differentiation difficulties

Despite the disruption, the primary challenge recruiters say they face is distinguishing between candidates (88%). Just 21% of hiring managers think that CVs are a strong indicator of the future performance of a hire.

7. Quality is the Priority

Recruiters’ top priority over the next 12 months is improving the quality of hires. 38% of survey respondents say they prioritise hire quality over any other consideration in the hiring process, including speed, cost and candidate experience.

A new world of recruitment
8. Culprits: complexity and culture fit

According to recruiters, the root cause of frequent failed hires is a combination of complicated, drawn-out processes (31%), poor candidate experience (31%) and an inability to test culture fit (31%).

9. Evolve or die

99% of recruiters think that improving the quality of recruitment systems and processes is important in the current environment. This highlights an overwhelming need for recruitment systems to evolve in order to bridge the trust gap that is currently undermining them.

10. Tech for trust

The majority of recruiters (80%) believe that technology will play a key role in the evolution of recruitment processes. In contrast with ‘gut-feel’, tools like predictive hiring and psychometric testing are considered to offer accurate, objective information that can help to close the trust gap.


Want to dive deeper? Download the full ‘Mind the Trust Gap’ 2021 research report from thomas.


The Future of Work Survey – download the full report

We surveyed an invited audience of over 3000 procurement, supply chain & finance leaders and their teams.

Although the survey was covering the entire UK, the results in different regions were almost identical, as such the report delivers some interesting Insights learned to help shape future recruitment and workforce planning in 2021/22.

With lockdown restrictions changing monthly there are obvious lessons to be learned from the remote working practices developed over the last 18 months.

It’s clear that the recruitment landscape has changed, several companies who had trouble recruiting due to their location, sector, salary challenges, have identified this as an opportunity, offering greater flexibility to new staff and there are others who are suffering due to the historical-cultural inflexibility, where office 9 to 5 working practices have been difficult to transition into new ways of working.

Some of the survey results have been startling, especially when it comes to how people wish to work going forward post-pandemic and also where prospective candidates looking for their next career move.

From the data gathered, there has been a clear shift in the ways people want to work, with 87% seeking hybrid practices with a blend of office and remote working. Also, when asked the question “If a company recruiting did not offer flexible working, would that alter your decision to apply to them for a future career move?” Over 82% answered ‘Yes’.

2022 will soon be with us and with the end of furlough and current lockdown restrictions there will be winners and losers in the challenge to recruit the best talent.


“If a company recruiting did not offer flexible working, would that alter your decision to apply to them for a future career move?”

The ethical dilemma – Public sector procurement

Do Public Sector providers pass early Gov’t payments through to their own suppliers?

For many reasons the pandemic has driven massive changes in the public sector procurement. While the immediate after-effects of the pandemic remain a focus, those in a wide variety of public sector bodies are increasingly mindful of its long-term implications on their procurement and supply chains.

Effects of the pandemic on public sector suppliers

The severity of the impact of the pandemic varied for each individual supplier to the public sector, however many had these in common:

  • Critical delays in the supply chain
  • Increased pressure to deliver new solutions and services
  • Contracts extended past original date to accommodate government requirements
  • Supplier relief measures introduced (including the requirement to pay faster)

One of the long-term effects of the pandemic includes the way the government approaches procurement post COVID-19. Including;

  • Consideration for a supplier’s social value
  • Evaluation of systems to ensure faster payments can be made
  • Push for digitalisation in the bidding and appointment process

Ethical considerations of public sector procurement during and post COVID-19

Flexibility & Expectations

During the pandemic, many public sector suppliers were expected to stick to the terms of their contracts despite the exceptional circumstances they were facing. As we’ve moved through the pandemic some extensions and exceptions have been granted but with no consistency from one contract to the next.

The pressure these terms have put on businesses (and their employees) should be a concern for many – how ethical is it to demand the same service from suppliers under these circumstances? And how ethical has the process been to determine who is allowed an extension and for how long?

When circumstances change, an argument could be made for contractual changes however the government did very little of this besides their basic supplier relief measures. Moving forward, both the contracting authorities and the businesses themselves should take legal advice around exceptions and extensions – particularly in relation to high value contracts.

Increasing flexibility in contracts for unforeseen circumstances will be needed to help and support businesses in a wide variety of public sector supply chain.

Financial Stability & Accessibility

The delays in supply alongside other pandemic circumstances (e.g. social distancing,  the pingdemic, and lockdown requirements) will cause significant financial difficulties for companies of all sizes. Those that were able to continuously provide a relatively normal service still struggled to get paid on time from others in their own supply chains.

This is not necessarily a new problem since companies have always faced issues with payment schedules, however with the government’s determination to pay their suppliers immediately during the pandemic they will need to ensure greater transparency is provided to ensure these payments flow through to everyone and provide better resources and policing of payments to ensure everyone in the whole supply chain is paid on time from the bigger public sector provide

While there was a lot of support for smaller businesses across the board from the government, they have to acknowledge that larger businesses would often have the financial security that allowed them to put their name down for public sector contracts that SMEs wouldn’t. The push for digital bidding and awarding systems is a step in the right direction to make everything more accessible, but it doesn’t remove the privileged position of bigger companies.

How can SME’s benefit from post Covid-19 public sector contracts?

There are misconceptions around public sector contracts only being awarded to large companies, as there has been a recent drive for the government to award contracts to SME’s. Contracts are awarded to the business that can offer the best value for money as well as demonstrating efficient payment processes and a positive impact on the local community.

SMEs are better equipped to be flexible and efficient without the bureaucracy often found in large corporate organisations and are often more engaged with their community through local networking and fundraising events.


We cannot change how public sector contacts were handled in the past but we can use those experiences to work towards more ethical procurement and supply chain contracts in the future. The government has started down a good path but needs to remember that the businesses and people behind those businesses need to survive.  Some of measures introduced during the pandemic have significant benefits, particularly for small businesses, while others could likely have been handled better.Any public sector procurement contracts should be kept under close review as we recover from the pandemic and return to a ‘normal’ way of operating to ensure the terms reflect the needs of businesses in evolving circumstances.

ProSearch recruitment solutions work with clients to find, assess and recruit the best procurement and supply chain talent for your business. Supply chains are only as strong as the people and processes managing them. 

Get in touch with one of our advisors to discuss how we can help you and your business. 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.

CIPS UK Conference 2021 – a return to live events

The CIPS conference has returned to a live format once again in 2021, taking place on the 29th and 30th of September at the Queen Elizabeth II centre in the heart of London.

This years’ live conference offers an opportunity for those attending to network with hundreds of other attendees face to face which many have been missing out on over the past 18 months due to the pandemic. There will also be a virtual experience for those who are unable to physically attended the event providing access to a wide range of events and speakers and the ability to network online with other virtual attendees.

What exactly can you expect to see from this year’s event?

This year CIPS have focused on 5 key topics and takeaways over the 2-day event. The key theme is ‘Championing resilient and responsible Supply Chains’ an understandable focus as we come out of pandemic restrictions in the UK.
The speakers will focus on responsible procurement, developing procurement leaders, building resilient supply chains, ensuring diversity in procurement and finally putting the ‘social’ into environmental and governance reporting. Find out more here www.cipsukconference.com/key-topics

There a number of very experienced key note speakers at this year’s conference and over the two days they will be presenting case studies to help you ‘elevate your knowledge in key areas of procurement and supply’. These include James Allen (Arriva), Ruth Bromley (Heineken), Lazar Armianov (EcoVadis), Jacqui Rock (NHS Test & Trace), Henrik Larsen (Maersk) and many more. Find out more about speakers attending the event www.cipsukconference.com/conference-speakers

Preceding the conference this year on the 22nd of September CIPS will also be hosting the Excellence in Procurement Awards, a black-tie event which will this year be hosted at the JW Marriot Grosvenor House on Park Lane in London.
This event offers a fantastic chance to network with a wide range of experienced procurement professionals. If you wish to find more out about this event follow this link www.cipsexcellenceinprocurementawards.com/awards-night


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