Anecdotally, I have been hearing of huge increases in the amount being paid to sourcing professionals in recent years. From the top down, that has been true. As you know, we have a Career Network at SIG and I keep a folder of executives looking to move on to other senior leadership roles, so I know what kind of packages they are getting since I do a lot of match-making.
In the last five years, I have seen that starting salaries for a recent college graduate are at least 25% higher in the sourcing industry. It is not at all odd for a person with three years of experience to command a minimum salary of $100,000 a year. Ten years ago, I didn’t have a single CPO making over $500,000, and now that is becoming a possibility for fully-loaded compensation. Of course, talent-level, cost of living, and location make a huge difference in the numbers. At the Midwestern Regional SIGnature Event in March, I confirmed the jump in salaries for sourcing professionals.
A master’s degree intern from a strong supply chain or finance school commands $31 per hour for a paid internship and an undergraduate intern makes about $26per hour. What happened to the free internships we vied for when I was an undergrad? Interns now make the equivalent of $54,000-$64,000 per year as an intern. I know someone that was named “intern of the year” at a high tech company who was offered a starting salary of $85,000 after receiving a bachelor’s degree, and they turned it down - that was four years ago.
So, while the economy has improved, Everest Group Research confirms that for every 10 job openings in the industry, there are only nine people available for them – and that doesn’t account for the talent those nine people bring. Therefore, the talent war is going to continue. It also causes the need to automate so we can attract and retain good people who want to do smart work and not boring work.
The real question is, “when are we going to get paid what we truly deserve?” No one person in a company can impact shareholders more than sourcing professionals can. When you change the conversation from savings to “equivalent revenue,” the entire company pays attention. I agree, people in most industries might be happy to have a 20-25% salary increase over five years, but when you look at the meteoric rise of the CFO, who regularly commands seven-figure salaries and bonuses, we have a long way to go. When a CPO is finally launched into the millionaires club, I will be content – they are clearly the most strategic weapon in a company’s arsenal. When you ask a sourcing professional to “show me the money,” we deliver. So show us the money!
Dawn Tiura is the CEO and President of SIG, SIG University and Outsource and has over 26 years' leadership experience, with the past 22 years focused on the sourcing and outsourcing industry. In 2007, Dawn joined SIG as CEO, but has been active in SIG as a speaker and trusted advisor since 1999, bringing the latest developments in sourcing and outsourcing to SIG members. Prior to joining SIG, Dawn held leadership positions as CEO of Denali Group and before that as a partner in a CPA firm. Dawn is actively involved on a number of boards promoting civic, health and children's issues in the Jacksonville, Florida area. Dawn is a licensed CPA and has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MS in taxation from Golden Gate University. Dawn brings to SIG a culture of brainstorming and internal innovation.