Why is there such a need for procurement staff right now? 

Why is there such a need for procurement staff right now? 

Procurement staff are in-demand across a range of industries at the moment. According to the latest CIPS/Hays Salary Guide, around 49% of employers say they have struggled to find the right procurement talent in the last 12 months. But why is this the case, and why is it such a critical challenge for health and social care organisations?  


The impact of Covid-19 


The most obvious culprit behind a rise in demand for procurement professionals is the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 caused enormous supply chain disruption, in nearly all industries across the world.  


But healthcare was one sector that was hit the hardest. One of the most high-profile examples of the procurement crisis within the NHS was the major shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the height of the pandemic.  


While recovering from the global health crisis, organisations have woken up to the urgent need to re-examine supply chains. They are now looking for experts to help them build in resilience, to protect against future shocks.  


In a recent report, global management consulting firm Kearney explained this critical demand in the wake of the ‘Covid experience’: 


“Faced with the impacts of limited product availability, increased lead times, and soaring costs, it is crucial that healthcare procurement and supply chains enhance their capabilities to play an expanded role across their organizations, adding value by building flexibility and resilience.” 


“COVID-19 underlined the essential role procurement plays in delivering life-saving goods and services to end users in urgent need. In turn it has forced organizations to re-examine key strategies and practices going forward, including longer-term contractual relationships, supplier/gateway/mode diversification, and balancing of lean inventory objectives with appropriate safety stocks.” 


And of course, demand for health and social care services has rocketed in the wake of the pandemic.

This puts pressure on all aspects of both private and NHS healthcare systems, including supply chains, buying and procurement.  


‘Use it or lose it’ Covid recovery budgets from DHSC 


In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) allocated over £50 billion of extra funding for 2020/21. However, this additional funding is unlikely to continue for long. In fact, the DHSC is only planning to provide an additional £20.9 billion for Covid-related spending in 2021/22. This funding is designed for the procurement and distribution of vaccines, among other costs necessary in response to the pandemic.  


The rush to hire new procurement staff and get supply chains in order could therefore be motivated by the desire to use Covid recovery budgets before 1st April 2022.  


Looking for a new opportunity in procurement? Or perhaps you’re facing recruitment challenges within your organisation, and need experienced procurement specialists to aid Covid-19 recovery. Whatever the challenge, we’re perfectly placed to help.  


Castlefield Recruitment offer specialist staffing solutions for health, social care and housing, including the NHS, private and public sector organisations. Get in touch to find out more, or you can search our latest vacancies here