Yesterday, I posted a long entry that analyzed the market for purchasing jobs: tactical purchasing jobs are being eliminated while strategic purchasing jobs are being created faster than they can be filled by qualified candidates. The latter situation is what is known as the “talent crunch.”

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This can seem like something of a paradox. If purchasing professionals are being displaced at the same time that new purchasing jobs are being created, there shouldn’t be a talent crunch, right?


Employers who struggle to fill their strategic purchasing positions aren’t having a hard time finding available candidates with purchasing experience. They are having a hard time finding candidates who have modern, strategic purchasing expertise.

Just because you’ve been in purchasing for years, doesn’t mean that you are qualified for a higher-level purchasing position. You have to know how to deliver measurable results in the modern purchasing environment. And there is a big difference.

I think that one of the reasons for the talent crunch is some buyers’ reluctance to advance their own capabilities. Daily, I hear from buyers who complain that their employers will not fund purchasing training or a procurement certification for them. But, like their employers, they are also unwilling to invest in their purchasing careers.

This shocks me.

After all, it is their career. They stand to benefit from having advanced capabilities:

  • The average purchasing salary is $74,900 in North America. With the cost of earning the SPSM Certification a mere 1.5% of that salary, it would seem easy for those earning less than the average to make their money back in a hurry.
  • There is no better time than now to secure a higher-level purchasing job. Companies are struggling to find highly-qualified purchasing professionals.
  • By improving one’s capabilities now, s/he would have an edge in the job marketplace until others catch on that a skill upgrade is necessary for success.
  • Those who have improved their capabilities are being rewarded handsomely.

So if those in tactical purchasing roles realize the need for – and the opportunities that will arise from – skill improvement, the talent crunch will end and prosperity will be enjoyed by both employers and purchasing professionals alike.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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