Our Aim

For procurement and supply to be a Profession of Choice from leaving school.

Our Challenge

We know that for procurement and supply to have a place in the boardroom it has to be a Profession of Choice for young talent. Currently, there is a huge gap in careers advice on the opportunities that this profession can offer and, to some, even what the profession involves. At CIPS we already know what we want to achieve in this area and what the end result will be, our challenge was how best to do this.

WE NEEDED TO ANALYSE WHAT CAREERS ADVISERS, TEACHERS, PARENTS AND STUDENTS KNEW ABOUT THE PROFESSION, WHAT THEIR PERCEPTION OF IT WAS AS A CAREER OF CHOICE AND MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR CIPS, WHAT WAS THE BEST WAY TO TALK TO THE PEOPLE WE WANTED TO REACH TO INFORM AND UPDATE THEM ON THE OPPORTUNITIES.

Our Focus

A series of focus groups and a social media competition were held to gain feedback from each of the groups. We needed to understand what made young people tick, what excited them and how best to talk to them. From this research we learnt that digital and face to face interaction was the most effective way to get them to sit up and listen.

 

However, merely having the medium to talk to them wasn’t enough we also needed to speak their language and use visuals that they could relate to. This led to some very interesting mood boards being created and, believe us, when we say what excites  a 40 year old parent is nothing like what motivates an 18 year old and don't even ask what we found about the early teens!

 

We’ve not used the term ‘buyer’ for a long time but we soon came to realise that this is the most commonly understood term outside the procurement community. We also learnt what their priorities for career satisfaction were and, much to our CEO’s delight, realised that influencing ethical trade was pretty high up. Travelling the world, spending other people’s money, buying big things were all phrases that would conjure up an image of what procurement  is about, whilst appealing to the issues that came out of our focus groups. Finally, we had some answers and a brief that our designers could work to.

Our Site

We invite users to ‘Take our Journey’ and show users example roles within the profession which include sustainability, risk management, supplier relationship, category and indirect buyers giving them bite-sized pieces of information and real industry case studies.

“We wanted to show young people the variety of activities and responsibilities that procurement professionals get involved in. We’ve tried to show every industry and every sector needs professional buyers so if you are interested in engineering but not wanting to get your hands dirty, or fashion but have no flair for design, there are procurement roles that really make a difference to the business in these industries.”

The ‘Day in the life’ pages take you into more detailed case studies about what an average working day is like for our two procurement professionals.

Once the site has successfully enticed young people into considering a career in procurement we offer advice and routes in showcasing three real life different journey's.

“There can often be a misconception that some professions need degrees to get ahead and we wanted to dispel that myth for procurement.”

Our Result

The name

When thinking about what we should call the site we thought about what people are most likely to put into a Google search and came up with how to be a buyer - Beabuyer.org  is a stand alone site and not connected to the main CIPS.org site although we link through at every opportunity.

The site is designed for mobile tablets, is bright and colourful and easy to navigate making use of graphics that the 14 – 24 year age group can relate to. It uses language they can understand in a small easy to digest format, perfect for the dipping in and out characteristic of today’s young.

Our Request

During our research we not only discovered that the best way to ‘speak’ to our target audience was through use of digital and social media but also face to face. We really need our members to help with this either through your organisation or your local Branch. If every member adopted a school or a college and gave a couple of hours a year to talking to students on the opportunities a career in procurement and  supply offers we would soon have a nation of budding CPO’s ready to storm the boardroom.

We have made it as easy as 1,2,3 for you:
•    Contact a local school or college with the offer of delivering a careers talk
•    Download our presentation and materials
•    Go and talk to the students and get them engaged with the ‘Pizza Challenge’
For more information go to www.cips.org/adopt-a-school
Work experience
We all know how invaluable work experience can be when making career choices or building a cv. If you can offer a student any of the following we would love to hear from you:
•    Work placement
•    Short term work experience – even just a day
•    Site visit
For more information go to www.cips.org/adopt-a-school

 

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