Ops managers in demand in 'balanced' job market


Economy will bring balance to the logistics job market; transporters looking for "business-savvy" ops managers

Ops managers in demand in 'balanced' job market
Ops managers in demand in 'balanced' job market
The economic turmoil gripping business will at least balance the logistics job market, one recruitment firm claims.

In its Quarterly Report, Hays says 2009 presents a "more balanced outlook" for recruitment, with the financial downturn generating a return to demand and supply in equal measure.

"While some areas of business have suffered, there has been a simultaneous increase in positions designed to counteract these market conditions," says Tim James, Senior Regional Director of Hays Logistics Personnel.

James says the "hotspot" for demand in the logistics will be lower management positions in key operational roles like team leaders and supervisors in warehousing.

"This is a direct result of the need to monitor costs and drive efficiencies where possible without impacting on service quality," he says.

In the transport industry there will be an increased demand for "business savvy operational managers" able to manage profit and loss as well as operational performance.

The demand for candidates with export experience will also increase, James says, as will the need for qualified customs brokers due to a predicted increase in cargo across the wharf.

"The candidates who remain open-minded and who are prepared to ‘sell’ themselves at interview will be the best placed to compete for jobs in this market," he says.

The Hays report says while the requirement for talented lower and mid-level management will remain strong in the coming quarter, permanent senior management roles will experience a slight downturn.

More employers will be turning to short and medium term contracts to bring in niche skills as required, according to the report.

The supply chain and warehousing sectors will see a demand for contractors with experience in lean processes, it’s claimed, while transport and shipping will see demand focused more closely on candidates who are able to manage process redesign and increase service delivery to customers.

Executive recruitment remained steady over the last quarter and the report predicts a continuation of this over the next period.

Hays reports a strong push for warehousing candidates who have exposure to lean processes, which extends to all levels of management.

"These candidates are needed to ensure maximum profits can be extracted from current operations without impacting on customer service levels," it says.

Senior management candidates will likely experience flattening salary levels this quarter following two years of solid increases due to the larger number of available candidates competing for the same roles.

On the other hand, salaries for lower management roles will continue to increase, albeit at a slower rate than this time last year.

Hays says candidates have become less active in the current market, with many preferring the security of current employment to the risk of a new job search.

The growing pool of ‘inactive’ candidates has become far more selective when considering new roles, according to the report, with a view to longer-term job stability and career advancement opportunities.

"This has resulted in greater interest in working for larger organisations, which are perceived to be more financially stable," the report says.

"Candidates are still seeking work with organisations that are committed to creating an effective work/life balance for their employees."

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