Should you consider a contract procurement job?

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Some may balk at the idea of an interim role, due to the potential for instability – on the other hand, many executives attribute their career progression to taking on project roles. In this guide, Portfolio Procurement’s recruitment specialists explain the positives and negatives to consider if you’re offered a contract procurement job.

The pros

  • Working as an interim can be a way to supercharge your career development. You will have the opportunity to learn a lot in a short space of time, potentially gaining the experience of three or four short-term jobs in the space of just a year.
  • If you are excited by variety, interim work certainly provides that – your job will be fast paced and exhilarating, your day-to-day tasks will never be the same, and your number of LinkedIn connections will go through the roof.
  • Finally, there is the consideration that (depending on your experience) contract jobs can be generously paid. Employers will pay over the equivalent permanent pay grade for the chance to gain short-term expertise in times of need.

The cons

  • To capitalise on the best opportunities out there, you will need to be flexible in terms of where you work – potentially moving all over the UK and even further afield. Contract work may therefore not be suited to those with young families or other big commitments.
  • You need to be flexible, adaptable, able to build relationships and assess situations very quickly. There is very little room for mistakes or ‘getting comfortable’ and as such the lifestyle will not suit slow starters.
  • Of course, there is always the risk of a gap between contracts, where you may not be getting paid.

Is it right for you?

The ideal personality for contract procurement jobs is someone who is thrilled by new environments and challenges, and is able to ‘get stuck in’ and complete projects within short timeframes.

In terms of experience, you may have an aptitude for change and transformation, such as implementing new systems or processes, or building and developing a procurement team. Succession planning is also an important aspect of contract roles, ensuring the changes and improvements made are embedded in the company culture after your departure.

Pat Law at Portfolio Procurement commented:

“Interim work is a very viable career path and lifestyle choice, but It will not suit the more cautious – and of course it is always going to be affected by economic and commercial issues. Interim appointments are usually most plentiful when the economic outlook is less than positive, as organisations have things that need doing but can’t commit to a permanent hire. Despite these ups and downs there will always be opportunity for interim managers to make a difference, especially in bigger organisational transformation programmes or change agendas which are less sensitive to external factors.”

What’s in it for the business?

Professionals with a history of working in contract procurement jobs often have a depth and breadth of experience to offer that really appeals to employers; it is likely that they have encountered similar issues or environments in the past, and can bring their insights and ‘fresh eyes’ to each new business they work for. Their experience of working on short-term projects may also allow them to settle in more quickly and work more efficiently than a permanent employee.

Of course, it can also provide the company with more time to recruit a permanent staff member, and at the end of the contract there will be no need to pay redundancy.

Find your next job with Portfolio Procurement

From a procurement officer to a head of procurement, we specialise in recruiting talent for both permanent and interim procurement jobs. For assistance finding your next role, call Pat Law on 020 3650 3191, or browse our current vacancies and apply online.