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Manufacturing & Operations

January - March 2016

Food and beverage manufacturers have increased hiring activity and there is greater demand for Quality Managers and production operations staff, but candidates must have previous experience working in the food industry.

The hiring demand is due in part to potential labelling changes for the industry. Due to public concern the authorities are considering “country of origin” labels for all products sold for local consumption.

We are also seeing employers add additional levels to their recruitment process including psychometric testing to achieve the right fit for their teams to improve staff retention.

Skills in demand

In terms of the January to March quarter we are seeing good demand for Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Operators, particularly those able to read design as well as program the machinery. Employers are looking for candidates with stable employment histories and strong skills.

Blue-collar roles in demand include Maintenance Electricians and Service Technicians for manufacturing plants.

Food Technologists are in high demand particularly those with new product development experience. Manufacturers want to increase their share of the market by promoting their products to a wider audience through innovative products and recipes.

Production Planners have been in good demand, particularly those with batch manufacturing experience who can add value to a plant during busy seasons.

Candidate trends

Blue-collar candidates are starting to use LinkedIn in increasing numbers to showcase their skills and promote their availability. We are also seeing greater demand for quality resumes for trade-based roles with the typical two-page resume no longer enough.

Candidates in permanent positions value the stability of their current employment and are therefore cautious about applying for roles.

In South Australia a few of the larger manufacturers are moving permanent employees on to long-term contracts. Employers want more flexibility to adapt to market changes. Candidates are fine with this when the manufacturer is regarded as a stable employer.

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