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April - June 2016

We continue to see more activity across Australia’s logistics market, especially for warehousing, shipping and white-collar supply roles.

The move overseas of many manufacturers is creating significant business activity for companies, especially teams that ‘ship, store and plan’ the product.

Demand Planner and Supply Planner roles are very prevalent. In fact the high demand for Demand Planners has seen salaries rise by approximately $10,000 pa over the last 12 months.

A balance between temporary and permanent hiring exists however with the lack of available, quality candidates, employers may need to switch to permanent roles to attract talent.

In a geographical trend, the Northern Territory logistics market has experienced a drop in freight movements and most major warehouses are holding much less volume compared to a year ago. This has led to redundancies. Employers are also amalgamating roles and creating a very long list of duties and responsibilities for employees with no increase in salary.

On the temporary side recruitment levels are positive. Almost all major logistics organisations are using a large pool of temporary labour to achieve greater flexibility and a quick turnaround in bringing staff onboard. This has created better opportunities for the casual workforce but extra turnover too. In addition, candidates are leveraging multiple offers to gain small wage increases. As a result, casual rates increased last year, although they are now holding firm. 

Skills in demand 

Demand Planners are a hiring priority due to suppliers moving overseas. As margins have tightened it has become increasingly important to ensure correct planning to avoid costly airfreight charges.

An increasing number of companies are moving to a third party or “3PL” model creating solid demand for front line managers to run the accounts.

Good Warehouse Managers are very hard to find despite more operations adopting a 3PL model. Quality Warehouse Managers are being hired by 3PL employers to run accounts, which explains why roles are appearing more frequently.

Logistics/Shipping Coordinators are highly valued within the shipping space to ensure the correct movement of product from one place to another.

We are also seeing an increasing number of companies hiring Logistics Engineers. Process improvement roles have always been prevalent in manufacturing but we are now seeing employers in logistics investing in this expertise to look at improvements across their logistics and warehouse functions.

Candidate trends

The power in the market has definitely shifted to the candidate and companies need to act very quickly when they make a recruitment selection. There are very few good people looking for new jobs and many of these have high salary expectations.

Candidates are now generally entering the market with all their tickets and licences rather than expecting employers to help them up-skill to obtain the right qualifications.

In the past, employers paid for training but found employees left for other jobs soon after gaining the appropriate tickets and qualifications. As a result, employers will now only employ qualified candidates.

This shift in employer expectations means candidates are less likely to accept fulltime work preferring the higher hourly rates of a fulltime casual to justify the expense of up-skilling themselves.

In South Australia candidate levels remain fairly consistent for both white and blue-collar roles.

The market in South Australia is feeling the impact of Aldi's new distribution centre of 100 plus staff, which is likely to see more vacancies created at competing companies.

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