CPIA Report – Procurement

cpindustryanalyticscoverThe Clinical Professionals Group aim to provide candidates and clients with the best career advice and knowledge on recruitment by being attentive and responsive to the latest changes within life sciences.

Our desire to be at the forefront of analysis and reporting allow us to provide the best service to all who conduct business with us, which in turn enables us to aid sectors within the life science industry to evolve and progress for many years to come.

In order to achieve this, Clinical Professionals collaborate regularly with VacancySoft to produce a report that analyses vacancy data across a wide range of countries within the EU for particular sectors within the Life Science industry.

The reports identify new and increasing job roles within business areas and locations that tom_hancoxare becoming more prominent in the industry and therefore demand more staff.

This month’s report looks at Procurement within the life science industry so we invited Thomas Hancox, procurement consultant at Clinical Professionals, to provide his insight and analysis of the findings.

Geographical Analysis


  • Germany, UK and Switzerland offer at least 16% of all procurement vacancies, followed by Belgium with 6%




  • UK was top for growth with 43% compared to Germany with 13% growth rate within the past 12 months




  • Belgium and Netherlands saw the highest growth within Western Europe with 31% and 63% respectively




  • Czech Republic saw the biggest growth in Eastern and Central Europe



“Europe’s ageing population will further increase the demand for drugs and with the UK, Germany and Switzerland being the key European drivers within pharma, it is no surprise that the procurement teams are often set up close to many of the named companies European or global HQs.

Furthermore, many companies see Eastern-Europe as the next key strategic location and investment is starting to back this up.  J&J are expected to add a further 300 people into their Prague-based ‘Global Business Services Centre’; much of the focus there is on sourcing & finance-related roles. Although Brexit seems to have done little in the way of stopping the growth of roles, we are aware that some smaller companies who had planned to invest in logistics & procurement hubs in the UK are now changing their plans, in favour of the Czech Republic and Poland.”

Role Analysis


  • Only a small number of procurement vacancies in pharmaceuticals are specialised to the industry and required some form of scientific training




  • General procurement roles accounted for 63% of all vacancies, jobs that include import, export, logistics, admin and more




  • Demand for scientifically-qualified procurement staff in Europe grew by 42% year on year



“Somewhat different to other pharma roles, procurement and logistics positions do tend to need less of a scientific background.  The fundamentals of sourcing, negotiating & cost-cutting is generalised across all markets although more senior positions in both will often require more related experience.

This may be about to change though, if the demand for scientific-related roles grew faster than any other category. The decline in the last 12 months of logistics & buying roles is no surprise due to the huge growth in the area during the 12 months prior.”

Company Analysis


  • 90% of pharmaceutical companies reviewed offered 20 or fewer jobs over the past two years, accounting for less than 1% of all vacancies recorded




  • Johnson and Johnson advertised most procurement & logistics openings over the past 2 years and added the newest vacancies in the past 12 months




  • February 2016 saw a burst of hiring by GSK into their Brentford headquarters



“Those with 5,000+ employees producing more procurement positions is not a surprise either. These larger companies tend to divide their procurement categories up, be that as simple as direct/indirect or individual categories (HR, computer services, R&D etc.). This will create new positions itself and the larger companies, such as AstraZeneca, will have multiple ‘Category Managers’ & ‘Buyers’ as well as ‘Procurement Managers’.  SMEs are much more likely to have a variety of different levels of ‘Procurement Managers’, where they perform a broader role.

The point made about the staff of healthcare wholesale companies often being procurement/logistics based is an interesting one particularly as some of these wholesale companies are not your typically small organisations. McKesson, for example, boast around 80,000 employees worldwide and have recently announced further recruitment plans to support their new global JV with Walmart, something Clinical Professionals are looking forward to supporting them with”

To view the full report please visit this page

For more information about how the Clinical Professionals Group can assist with your career in procurement/logistics or assist with procurement vacancies within your business please contact us on 0207 822 1710.

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