Consultancy Referrals – The Value Of Experience And Trust

Consultancy Referrals – The Value Of Experience And Trust

At Edbury Daley the Directors have built strong personal reputations and extensive networks as a result of years of successful hands on executive recruitment. Perhaps the area in which this is most valued by our clients is in Procurement Consultancy. Not only do we recruit on behalf of several of the leading consultancies themselves, but we also have a strong track record with their clients when supporting transformation projects.

Senior Managers trust edbury daley to provide a consistently high level of service to their valued client contacts and have recommended us on numerous occasions. These leaders are confident we can offer the following to their clients:

  • Sound reliable advice on the prevailing recruitment market conditions, availability and cost of relevant candidates.
  • An understanding of how to source the talent that will enable their client to raise the bar in terms of procurement capability.
  • Client relationship management consistent with the standards set by the consultants themselves.
  • Confidence that we will prioritise their client and deliver the desired outcome
  • We don’t over sell and create unrealistic expectations which lead to disappointment for the client and embarrassment for the consultant.

Here are some examples of the work we have done with corporate clients as a direct result of a recommendation from a senior manager in consulting:

  • Recruited a new procurement team consisting of a Head of Procurement, four Category Managers (indirect spend), one Vendor Manager and an interim Category Manager  (IT) for a travel company after being recommended by the Director of a big four consultancy.
  • Three Senior Category Managers and two interim Category Managers appointed for a major electronics firm seeking to develop its category management strategy by working with a niche specialist consultancy.   Recommended by the MD of the consultancy to the client CPO.
  • Successfully recruited a Global Category Leader for a key area of indirect spend in competition with two existing PSL suppliers having been recommended to the client by the owner of a niche procurement consultancy.  We are now working on a European leadership role exclusively for this client.
  • Appointed six interim Sourcing Managers to support a time critical procurement program for a major international sporting event on the recommendation of a Director of a big four consultancy.

If you’d like to talk to us about how we can source the people to support your transformation projects, please contact Andrew Daley on 0161 924 2385 or via


Specialists in Procurement & Supply Chain Consultancy

Specialists in Procurement & Supply Chain Consultancy

We have a long established reputation and an extensive network across the Procurement and Supply Chain Consulting arena.

Our track record dates back to the late 90’s when we first recruited for what was Andersen Consulting’s fledging procurement consultancy business.

Since then we’ve seen the procurement outsourcing companies establish themselves, the rise of the niche procurement consultancy as genuine competitors to the big multi disciplinary practices and more recently the changes to the marketplace due to the emergence of a range of spend management solutions which are of course central to the digital transformation journey that so many target clients are embarking on.

Throughout all these developments in the market we’ve been working with the best emerging talent and established Senior Managers, Directors and Partners.

Our consulting clients us us because:

  • We have in-depth knowledge of the big four and major players through to small niche operators
  • Our reputation – we consistently deliver and our contacts vouch for our service

  • Our experience in the sector means we are able to advise on nuances other recruiters miss.

  • We are able to give real advice on what talent is available and bespoke salary research to back this up

  • Deep market knowledge – we provide quarterly reports on supply and demand market conditions for procurement skills helping people to make informed decisions on the market – link to QMU’s

  • We understand the distinct skills required for client facing roles in consulting and can find people with the transferable skills to succeed.

  • They know we command the respect and confidence of proven consultants who prefer our approach to the more aggressive and transactional approach of many other recruiters.

What we focus on
Predominantly our focus is on Procurement and supply chain and we have a proven track record sourcing candidates from Analyst to Partner level in the following specialisms

  • Procurement and supply chain consulting

  • Digital Procurement transformation – P2P, S2C, Contract Lifecycle Management, eSourcing

  • Spend  Analytics – link to SM page

What distinguishes us
Our experience and understanding of the sector. This gives us the knowledge of style and cultural fit as well as the kind of work firms typically undertake. We are able to see behind generic words and phrases to ensure a real match for client and candidates

  • We act as advisors to several leading players in the market

  • We have hands on Director level input to every project and assignment ensuring that extra insight really does make a difference

  • We recommend candidates that meet the specific brief – we would rather send a shortlist of one candidate than several vaguely matching CV’s

  • We don’t spam the market. We know who to approach in our network first. If we go outside our network we fully screen and qualify people beforehand.

  • Our mix of traditional search techniques allied to active networking and social media attraction means we can identify and target the best people others can’t. We engage and interest people who would not normally respond to an approach.

Why the top performing consulting  candidates come to us

  • Candidates tell us that our pragmatic, genuine and open approach makes us different

  • The knowledge /and the advice we bring to help people understand their options

  • We advise and help rather than sell

  • They know we have a network of genuine connections – a broad network from small niche firms to the large players

  • Our reputation. People regularly recommend us.

  • We have a genuine passion and involvement in the sector

  • We take pride in our approachable style.

September Talent Profiles – Procurement, Consulting & Spend Management

September Talent Profiles – Procurement, Consulting & Spend Management

September is traditionally a busy time in recruitment with fresh candidates coming onto the job market after the summer holidays.

We are currently working with some excellent talent in both direct and indirect spend areas.  We also have a selection of outstanding senior managers in both corporate and consulting roles along with an enhanced network of contacts in the spend management arena.

Below is a list of some of the excellent candidates we are working with at present.  They are:


Head of Direct Procurement – FMCG

Global Category Manager – Raw Materials, API & Chemicals 

Procurement Manager – Engineering & Capital


Group Head of Procurement – Corporate Services

IT & Corporate Services Procurement Specialist

HR Category Manager 

Procurement Intern – European Indirect Spend


Consulting & Spend Management  Director 

eProcurement Change Consultant

e Procurement Implementation Manager 

If  you would like more details on any of these people please contact Andrew Daley on 0161 300 7978 or via

These candidates are just a sample of those we are working with at present, and have largely been identified through our extensive networking and research across the european procurement community.

If you are having difficulty finding the procurement talent you need for you business but can’t see anyone relevant here please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Have you seen our Q2 Procurement Market Update including the latest data on the demand for indirect spend expertise? You can download it here: Procurement Quarterly Market Update & Indirect Spend Index Q2 2013

Emerging Procurement Talent

Emerging Procurement Talent

I recently wrote an article inspired by IBM Global Business Services latest CPO Study which is an excellent piece of research for anyone in the procurement profession to read.  I focused on a key issue they raise, the importance of recruiting and retaining the best available procurement talent.

With this in mind we thought it might be helpful to publish some information about the sort of people who are currently seeking to develop their own procurement careers. The descriptions below are of four excellent young candidates that are currently looking for a new role offering opportunities for career progression and personal development.  For reasons of confidentiality we can’t  publish comprehensive details of their backgrounds here, but full profiles are available upon request. Basic salary expectations for these candidates range from £30-£40k. They are:

Sourcing Assistant

A bi-lingual (English & French with a good knowledge of Spanish) graduate with an MA in International Business and Languages and three years international procurement experience working for a global pharmaceuticals business, mainly in direct spend areas like active ingredients and packaging but also some indirect services.

Procurement Analyst

Currently assisting the Senior Procurement Manager for Technology in the implementation of strategic sourcing initiatives, he has also been responsible for his own sourcing projects including an area of £5m direct spend per year.

Supplier Relationship & Procurement Specialist

An ambitious, articulate character with nearly three years experience in global strategic procurement and supplier management.  Working as the only procurement specialist in a niche consulting business he is solely responsible for managing key client supply chains and has operated across a range of categories.

Buyer  – Global Procurement

A bright graduate from the Bordeaux Management School with an MAI in international purchasing she is currently working for a leading pharmaceutical company looking after their packaging, marketing services and professional services procurement.

To request detailed profiles of any of these candidates, discuss how we can help identify the talent you need for your team or any of the points raised in our recent article please contact Andrew Daley on 0161 300 7978 or via

Procurement Talent – The Importance Of Recruitment And Retention

Procurement Talent – The Importance Of Recruitment And Retention

The IBM CPO Study – A Recruiters Perspective

The latest Chief Procurement Officer Study by IBM Global Business Services is another excellent piece of research which covers some critical topics.  As specialist recruiters to the procurement profession one subject stands out and that is the need to attract the best available talent into your team or as IBM put it “Above all, top performers know the value of great people.”

At the start of the study the authors highlight “three key points of differentiation that separate high-performing procurement organisations from the pack.”  They are Capability, Influence and Innovation and in our opinion excellence in these areas comes from the quality of your people throughout the function.

At edburydaley we have always strongly believed that a key attribute for any functional leader is the ability to attract top talent.  Indeed many of our best clients ask us to source candidates who will be strong enough to push the hiring manager, and help create a culture of striving for excellence in key areas.

There are of course obvious benefits to this in terms of succession planning, and from our perspective it gives us licence to pursue the best available people in the market for opportunities in leading procurement functions with strong leadership.

The data shows that the CPO’s that IBM define as “Top Performers” place considerably greater emphasis on recruiting, retaining and developing talent than the sample average and this is magnified when compared with those defined as “Emerging Performers.”  For example 83% of top performers consider developing talent to be a strength compared to 38% of emerging performers.  Furthermore 81% of top performers believe recruitment is an investment priority compared to 35% of emerging performers.

The report mentions one CPO who “initiated a recruiting program that focuses on attracting top graduates from the most elite institutions in the world. As process standardisation, procurement automation and corporate compliance increased, this CPO found that higher-order skills were needed from his staff to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding business.”

The report goes on to say that in this case “top talent has become an essential ingredient of procurement success at this company, and the intense focus on talent among procurement top performers suggests that this trend may well continue.”

Whilst we agree that the trend for identifying and competing for the best available talent will continue, we would argue that formal programmes for procurement to attract the best graduates straight from leading Universities remain very rare. In fact the CPO mentioned is one of a relatively small group who have taken it upon themselves to formally invest in this area.

Iain Stewart, founding Director of 105 Consulting, works with some of world’s leading CPO’s on learning and development programmes for their highest achievers and he believes that “a huge opportunity exists for companies who are serious about recruiting and retaining the very best  talent to precisely define the competencies and behaviours needed from both high-performing individuals and teams.   This then enables them to baseline their existing people and new recruits, and relentlessly invest in developing these people to a level of full competence.”

Iain adds that “in parallel they should be developing, perfecting, and rolling-out world-class processes and systems for these people to apply if they are to truly achieve results comparable with the highest performing functions.  This includes excellence in key competencies and behaviours like stakeholder engagement, deep knowledge of supply markets, and the high-quality collection, analysis and use of data.”

“The ideal scenario is to create a virtuous circle whereby companies who follow this menu and install good recruitment, reward, retention and progression programmes stand an above-average chance of both delivering outstanding results and  attracting and retaining outstanding people.”

Of course one concern is that by recruiting outstanding people early in their careers and equipping them with a broad tool kit of procurement skills, there is a strong likelihood that those people will be targeted by head hunters working on behalf of organisations seeking to attract the best available talent themselves.  This only emphasises the need to develop an effective retention strategy and generate a strong sense of loyalty in high achievers, which is a point emphasised in IBM’s research.

At edburydaley we believe that an effective specialist recruiter should know exactly where the best emerging talent is being developed, and we frequently use that knowledge to the benefit of our clients when sourcing potential candidates.  We consistently target the leading procurement functions and track the career progression of their best people as part of our ongoing talent identification initiative.

In addition to the typical recruitment services of Contingency, Executive Search and Interim Management, we offer a formal Talent Mapping service and have also developed an effective range of techniques that can be used to build a Talent Pipeline.

The full report including the data is available here: IBM Chief Procurement Officer Study

Andrew Daley is a Director of a niche executive recruitment consultancy specialising in Procurement, SRM, Consultancy and Spend Management.  He is also the author of the Quarterly Procurement Market Update and The edburydaley Indirect Spend Index.


If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this article Andrew can be contacted on 0161 300 7978 or via

How Do You Develop A Talent Pipeline For Your Future Recruitment Needs?

How Do You Develop A Talent Pipeline For Your Future Recruitment Needs?

Despite continued improving market conditions for the recruitment of procurement professionals, there are many organisations still facing major challenges identifying the talent they need for their business. The very best candidates with specific category expertise are highly sought after in an increasingly competitive hiring marketplace. A common theme is hiring managers knowing the skills required and when they will need them, but not being in a position to a progress as quickly as they would ideally like.

Under what circumstances do clients face this problem?

The current economic climate is promoting a cautious approach to increasing staffing overhead. Therefore hiring managers can be waiting for headcount sign off and want do some forward planning because the new hire is urgently required to help meet business objectives.

Most businesses want to explore internal candidates before searching the external market for reasons of cost saving and creating opportunity for existing staff. However, this action can create delays spent conducting an internal process that isn’t always expected to be successful.

Consultancies and Procurement Service Providers need to increase capacity for forthcoming projects try to estimate when they will receive client approval to start at which point the need for extra staff becomes urgent. A hiring company has outsourced recruitment to generalist providers who lack the specialist procurement market knowledge to find the right people quickly.

Project Timescales
It is also worth noting the amount of time it takes to to complete a recruitment campaign.  If you wish to conduct a thorough selection process interviewing several candidates at first stage and then arranging second and third stage interviews with busy diaries, it can take several months from receiving CV’s of suitable candidates to formalising a job offer for the successful applicant. If you then factor in notice periods of successful candidates which with senior appointments are often three months, it can take as many as 5 to 6 months before the chosen candidate joins their new employer. Of course it’s possible to recruit in a much shorter time frame but this demands effective candidate sourcing and commitment to prioritise the process from both line management and HR.

Effective Talent Pipeline planning can help with candidate sourcing and get the recruitment process off to a flying start.

Challenges to be overcome

  • Accurate forecasting of realistic timescales and achievable targets
  • Management of candidate expectations on said timing
  • Avoiding losing momentum when the recruitment process takes longer than desired.
  • Loss of strong candidates who take other roles or lose interest.
  • Competition for the best available talent

Our range of solutions
Our experience tells us that there is no one single solution to overcome these problems.  It requires a range of recruitment tools to plan effectively for swift effective recruitment campaigns even as little as two or three months ahead. We have developed our capability in this area by working in all the potential scenarios mentioned above, particularly with the consultancy businesses seeking to staff anticipated new projects.

The first thing to note is that there needs to be a realistic understanding from all parties of what can be achieved so we begin with educating hiring managers about the definition of a candidate pipeline, and the processes required to develop them. We make sure that the hiring managers and relevant HR contacts are truly engaged in the process and understand the obstacles involved.

We then study the relevant market conditions to analyse the amount of time it takes to identify and engage with relevant candidates before designing an appropriate strategy to develop the pipeline required to meet customer demand. We combine most or all of the following techniques to build a Talent Pipeline of potentially suitable candidates:

  • Assessment of both interim and permanent resource options
  • Use of several Executive Search techniques including defining target areas to research for suitable candidates
  • Talent Mapping in competitor organisations as agreed with the hiring manager.
  • Constant networking to source candidates who are new to the market.
  • Effective management of candidate and client expectations.

The crucial factor in delivering this service effectively is understanding the relevant market conditions and using that knowledge to combine the available tools effectively.

Case Study
One of our clients, a leading multi disciplined management consultancy, has headcount restrictions across the business, yet the Procurement practice is at full capacity and has several new projects in the pipeline. The moment one of these projects is signed off by the client, so too will the required head count, but until then they can only plan for the resource they need.

We have assembled a pipeline of both interim and permanent candidates with the relevant skills for the clients requirements using the methods outlined above. In particular we have used talent mapping and extensive networking to identify the best available candidates in the permanent market.  Interim resource has been identified through both networking and online advertising. We make contact with the candidates every time we receive an update from our client, managing candidate expectations on time scales and gaining an update on their own status.

We then inform the client of any significant changes of candidate availability every 1-2 weeks as agreed. The deadline has shifted on several occasions now through no fault of our client, however we still have a wide range of highly motivated candidates ready to attend interview with the client as soon as they are able to commence the process. We currently have eight excellent interim options for two or three roles, and up to eight permanent candidates for one or two full time appointments.