Increased freight volumes drive jobs growth

Increased freight volumes sees job numbers rise at the operator to mid-management level across transport, warehousing, supply chain and international trade sectors

October 7, 2010

A general increase in freight volumes, particularly in industries focused on international markets, has seen job numbers rise at the operator to mid-management level across transport, warehousing, supply chain and international trade sectors.

In addition, the October-December Hays Quarterly Report finds there has been a general consensus across the industry that during the GFC organisations downsized too far. This is contributing to the current increase in demand at the operator level as organisations attempt to recapture top talent.

Also in demand are fleet controllers in response to increased Christmas road freight; warehouse supervisors to deal with the increased number of floor staff required during the peak Christmas period; and inventory planners/replenishment co-ordinators to ensure stock is on hand in all regional DCs.

As a result, the Hays report says candidate confidence is rising in response to Australia's improving logistics jobs market.

This has resulted in some movement at the management to senior management level and organisations are backfilling vacancies created by employees leaving to capitalise on an improved jobs market.

"While there are fewer active candidates in the market, the semi-active pool has increased significantly in line with growing demand and rising salaries.

"In order to attract these candidates, employers need to adapt their strategies away from traditional website advertising to database utilisation, referrals and networking," it says.

However, while general confidence has steadily improved over recent months, there is still a level of caution with employers wary of over investment, particularly if they operate in international markets, Hays adds.

"Despite this, we expect both temporary and permanent vacancies to increase over the quarter. In particular, the contract market will be busy as we approach the peak Christmas period. Such contractors are likely to be paid above award rates as employers act to ensure they remain in the role for the full duration of the contract," the firm predicts.

"In addition, many middle managers who did not receive what they perceive to be a fair salary package or working conditions over the past 12 months are starting to enter the jobs market and explore their options. As they secure a new role, overall job market momentum will rise."

In order to attract candidates, employers are becoming more flexible in the salaries offered and are also more flexible in the skills, qualifications and experience required in order to widen the pool of potential applicants, Hays reports.

"Increasingly, we are working with other Hays specialist areas, such as manufacturing or engineering, to attract and secure candidates from different backgrounds who have the right transferable skills for a career in logistics. Such candidates bring with them strong process and analytical skills," it says.

"Despite acknowledging that they need to become more flexible, employers are still prolonging the interview process. As a result there have been many instances where an employer has missed out on their preferred candidate to a company with speedier processes."

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