Sneak peek: Finance skills in hot demand

Australian supply chain employers adopt a back-to-basics approach when hiring with a focus on core commercial skills: Exclusive Survey

Sneak peek: Finance skills in hot demand
<b>Sneak peek:</b> Finance skills in hot demand

By Anna Game-Lopata | September 17, 2012

Supply chain employers across Australia are adopting a back-to-basics approach when hiring with a focus on core commercial skills: Exclusive Survey

Logistics Executive Recruitment’s (LER) 2012/13 Supply Chain and Logistics Employment Market Survey uncovers a marked increase in demand for finance executives across the extended supply chain.

The survey, released annually to
SupplyChain Review’s Career and Salary Guide, finds in particular, the mining, resources, agriculture, manufacturing, FMCG, retail and pharmaceutical sectors are on the hunt for commercial acumen.

LER CEO Kim Winter says the good news is the supply chain industry has been able to recruit from outside its traditional space.

"We’ve been able to introduce excellent candidates from other sectors including, banking, information technology and print media, where demand has softened over the last 12 months," Winter says.

"In the last 12 months we made twice as many placements in finance and business improvement positions in Western Australia and almost as many on the eastern seaboard as we did in the previous year."

Winter also says employers are looking for candidates proficient in the most popular and up-to-date system and software applications.

"New systems are being rolled out to improve efficiencies, but many organisations continue to require candidates with advanced knowledge of traditional software programs, such as Microsoft Excel, and experience using enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as SAP and Oracle," he says.

In Australia, tertiary qualifications including business, commerce, economics, and social sciences remain the most in-demand credentials for mid to senior level executives.

"Leaders who can conduct financial and strategic analysis can help companies understand trends impacting the business and make them well placed for expansion," Winter says.

"They can also identify cost savings; an activity always on the modern company’s agenda."

Winter adds LER, a leading global logistics executive recruitment firm has witnessed a lift in requirements for experienced sales and business development people.

"This increased demand is so marked, we’re building a national database of candidates with transferable skills that we can provide to clients across a number of similar industry verticals," Winter says.

Winter predicts a general slow-down in the pressure on salary increases resulting from the mining and resources boom in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

"There’s no doubt salaries in Australia’s west and north are still experiencing upward pressure due to high demand for a wide range of roles including supply chain, performance improvement, transport, operations and finance," he says.

"But there is a depletion of east coast skilled labour and executives for roles in WA and the NT which is reducing the pressure on national salary levels we’ve seen in recent years."

Winter says an increasing number of job seekers are indisposed to taking work in the west.

"We’re receiving significant feedback from major WA-based customers and large numbers of candidates from our 40,000-strong Australian database indicating they prefer not to re-locate to WA or the NT."

"An increasing number of senior candidates are giving consideration to family continuity over remuneration and even enhanced career prospects when considering opportunities.

"Many of the senior candidates I speak to are reluctant to move families, especially when children are settled in established schools and friendships," Winter says.

also noticed a drop off in the level of interest in lucrative Fly Out (FIFO) roles due to the disruption of family life."

Read the full article in this year’s Career and Salary Guide out in the October issue of SupplyChain Review.

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