Valuable Resource

Released in April, the 2008 Employment Market Survey Report, developed by global recruitment company Logistics Recruitment Solutions, highlights critical factors influencing the Supply Chain and Logistics indus­try during a year of continuing global economic growth.

Never more than now has our industry experienced such pressure on the most valuable resource of any organisation — people.

As the expanding middle class drives demand for consumer goods in the world’s emerging economies, we are seeing dramatic increases in demand for talent across the Mining, Resources, Engineering, Construction, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, and ultimately the Supply Chain and Logistics sectors that provide the vital infrastruc­ture for economic growth.

The competition for talent has driv­en the need for unprecedented innovation and flexibility by com­panies, as they find themselves in a war for talent from competitors across the road, city, state, country and the world and increasingly from other sectors as skills are sought and transferred between industry verticals.

Salary packages are a significant attraction to cross over into other industry verticals so it is crucial that the Supply Chain and Logistics industry is providing adequate remuneration packages for their personnel.

In terms of skills shortages, 24.37 per cent of total respondents are employed in the field of Logistics with 51.40 per cent classifying their role as a Logistics Manager.

18.75 per cent of the total respon­dents are employed in the field of Supply Chain with 25 per cent clas­sifying their roles as a National Supply Chain Manager.

13.92 per cent of the total respon­dents indicated that Logistics is the most difficult area to recruit in, followed by Supply Chain and Transport.

There is a need in the industry to address this shortage and to develop clear and defined strategies for the future.

It is clear from these results that post Baby Boomer generations are either not experienced enough for the roles in demand or are not being trained as a secession strategy for when sen­ior personnel retire.

Mentoring, education and training is para­mount to address this serious issue in the industry.

The report also shows the trend toward demand for greater flexibil­ity in workplace conditions and benefits, including private medical care programs, child care, technolo­gy support, salary sacrifice and other incentives to retain existing staff and attract new talent.

Only 15.71per cent of the total respondents indicated that child care is offered by their company.

While this has increased from 7.5per cent in the 2007 results it is a clear indication that employers are not considering child care as an add-on to employee’s packages.

With the increase of working moth­ers in the workforce perhaps it is time that employers recognised their needs.

Interestingly, when it comes to retention strategies, only 41.48 per cent of the total respondents indi­cated that salary sacrifice is offered to all employees within their company.

The style of salary sacrifice programs vary, however traditionally there is no restriction on the types of benefits that can be sacrificed.

The important thing is that these benefits form part of employee remuneration, replacing what otherwise could have been paid as salary.

The types of bene­fits generally provided in salary sacrifice arrangement by employers include fringe benefits, exempt benefits and superannuation.

A salary sacrifice program does not however suit every employee, so talk to a financial planner to work out the best strategy for your lifestyle and working conditions.

The report also highlights enhanced levels of education and professionalism across the Supply Chain and Logistics industry with the survey results revealing 24.93 per cent of the total respondents have completed a postgraduate degree and 21.03 per cent having completed an undergraduate degree.

The international scope of our industry is illustrated by the fact that 30.55 per cent of the total respondents are fluent in two languages and 22.73 per cent are fluent in three languages.

With a significant rise in expatriates working overseas the benefit of speaking more than one language will ensure greater opportunities in the global market.

Increasing career mobility within the Supply Chain and Logistics industry is evidenced by the fact that 83.13 per cent of the total respondents indicated that they would consider relocation for their career in the future.

The increasing trend of mobility, nationally and internationally, is indicative of how personnel are interested in relocating to advance their salaries, skills and career opportunities.

This relates especially to Generation X and Y employees who are looking to take international postings more readily than older employees.

Multi-national companies should recognise this as an opportunity to attract new personnel to their organisations.

It is evident that employees are not only attracted to premium economic and career opportunities but that the Supply Chain & Logistics industry is competing for a limited talent pool globally and that geographical boundaries are becoming less defined.

In order to attract and retain staff in the Supply Chain & Logistics industry companies must recognise want employees really want and implement innovative and flexible strategies to be competitive.

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