Australia’s logistics market is very candidate short in several locations. Sydney is one area where good candidates are secured quickly and where new roles are being created at the senior level following redundancies in the first half of the last financial year.
As a result, employers need to move quickly to secure their preferred candidate.
In fact, outside the mining sector we are seeing a lot of companies expanding or restructuring, which is creating a need to recruit at the supervisor level.
The number of temporary assignments on offer has increased and in many areas is now equal to the number of permanent roles. In general, logistics organisations are recruiting on a temporary basis for roles such as Storeperson, Stock Controller or Inventory Controllers, but want to secure permanent Supervisors and Managers.
We have also seen a big focus from employers on candidates who have used SAP. Increasingly companies say they will not consider candidates if they have not used it.
They also want candidates with like-for-like experience. Today relevant industry experience is viewed more highly than soft skills.
In the mining states the end of several high profile oil & gas, infrastructure and construction projects has impacted flow on industries such as logistics. Employers are therefore cost conscious and are consolidating roles.
When they do recruit they will secure someone in a permanent role rather than a temporary assignment. They are also focusing on cultural fit in order to ensure they recruit the most suitable candidate who is more likely to be retained long term.
In terms of skills in demand for the July to September 2015 quarter, we’re seeing high demand for cost and budget focused Operations Managers. The slowdown of major projects in our resources states has put pressure on logistics organisations to do more with less and work in other lower margin industries such as FMCG. Employers are now looking to hire candidates who can work with reduced budgets while simultaneously maintaining or growing their current scale of operations.
Warehouse Managers are also needed. The number of national and multinational logistics organisations has increased over recent years, which has created more middle management positions. However in many areas there is a lack of candidates with suitable qualifications or key fundamental skills such as literacy with SAP. Consequently companies are now looking to source candidates from interstate but are still not offering relocation assistance.
Good Logistics Coordinators with importing and exporting experience are also in high demand, but there is a shortage of talent in this area.
Inventory and Stock Controllers are needed too since companies want to ensure the stock on hand is accurate.
Supervisors are in high demand but short supply. As noted above, companies are expanding or restructuring and need Supervisors.
We are also seeing a shortage of good Demand/Supply Planners and Logistics Coordinators. Strong available candidates are quickly secured.
Truck Drivers and Storemen/women are another area of demand. Many candidates who previously worked in these roles in logistics are now working in the oil & gas, resources & mining or civil construction industries. Naturally this leaves an extensive number of vacancies within the logistics market, and a shortage of suitably qualified candidates. Storepersons with a forklift licence are also sought.
In terms of candidate trends, people are no longer as transitional as they once were. They are focused on securing a permanent role and are more flexible in their salary expectations. They also want a positive environment where they can remain for the foreseeable future.
In our resources states most candidates have been involved in one of the major projects that have taken place in recent years and therefore the skills and competencies of the talent pool are higher than in previous years.