Some logistics staff have been made redundant in the Oil & Gas industry due to the drop in oil prices. The lower oil price should increase road transport, but we are yet to notice that flow on effect. Employers currently prefer to hire staff on a temporary basis. This quarter is normally a quiet time for the logistics industry as we head into the winter months. As consumer spending slows so does the transporting of goods.
Supply chain continues to be the area where most roles are being created. There will be the odd warehouse and operations role, however, this will be due to natural attrition rather than newly created roles. White collar roles tend to be permanent positions, while hiring for blue collar roles is mostly temporary.
There is currently a lack of urgency when making hiring decisions as employers believe there is an oversupply of candidates in the market.
In South Australia the new Royal Adelaide Hospital project has about six months to go before completion (end of 2015), so the supply of goods and materials to this site will start to cease around June. This will greatly impact a number of companies who are heavily reliant on those contracts, and ultimately reduce the number of truck drivers and blue collar workers in the workforce.
There is an adequate supply of local talent for small to medium sized businesses, but some of the bigger operations are broadening their search for candidates nationally to find the relevant experience they need. National recruitment strategies are engaged for any management roles that oversee an operation of more than 80 staff.
Employers are being very specific about candidates’ skill sets when hiring. Due to this there is a clear shortage of quality candidates in the market that fit the specific requirements of the role.
In terms of skills in demand for the April – June 2015 quarter, we’re seeing a high demand for
Logistics/Supply Chain/Warehouse Managers with tertiary qualifications. As ALDI are moving into the local market in South Australia the company will be competing for market share with Coles, Woolworths and Metcash. The logistical operations (both transport and warehousing) behind these supermarket chains will be affected by the new market entrant.
Distribution Centre Team Leaders/Supervisors with diplomas/education in supply chain management are also in demand for the same reasons above. ALDI's new distribution centre will employ in excess of 140 staff and will need to be staffed with a number of experienced Team Leaders and Supervisors.
Store Persons and Warehouse Operators with Forklift Licences are also sought after. Again, ALDI's distribution centre will need to employ in excess of 100 store persons. There will be a lot of movement of candidates with this skill in the coming quarter. At the same time ALDI is recruiting, SA Health's distribution centre is going to move to three shifts and triple its current output as soon as the new Royal Adelaide Hospital has finished construction. This will create a shortage in good quality, well presented blue collar Store Persons. These candidates always hold their value across the South Australian logistics market.
Good quality Demand Planners are always needed as they ensure there are adequate stock levels of products in a company’s inventory. So too are Analysts (Logistics & Supply Chain) as companies are seeking to reduce costs by analysing how they supply and transport products.
In terms of candidate trends, those with tertiary qualifications are standing out from the crowd in the white collar space. Formal qualifications across the logistics industry have become more prevalent. It has become a lot harder to work your way up into an operational management or even into a supervisory role without some formal training/education.
Candidates are still being attracted to the big brands and are happy to work in large teams. Roles with progression, variety and challenge have consistently attracted a better calibre of candidate across the blue collar logistics market.