Logistics hotspots of skills in demand

The second of Hays’ bi-annual Logistics Job Reports for the year 2019 highlights some areas with significant vacancy rates in the transport and logistics area.
This vacancy activity will be focused on multi-skilled candidates across transport, warehousing and supply chain. This is the result of a focus on efficiency improvements and positive productivity, with employers looking for candidates with a strong knowledge of systems and processes and a history of reducing costs, achieving demanding KPI and diverse experience. Employers also want candidates with a wide technical skillset whom they can utilise to their full potential.
Within the transport industry, strained transport networks in Sydney and Melbourne will continue to fuel demand for Transport Allocators. With a busier transport sector in Brisbane, there is a need for Transport Allocators and experienced Transport Supervisors and Managers to lead operations. Employers require candidates with experience in a similar role.
Lateral thinking Transport Coordinators and Managers who cope well under pressure and find the best route at the cheapest rate are also in demand.
Casual HR Drivers as well as MC Drivers with an MSIC card are needed. So are HR and HC Drivers who are open to a multi-skilled role such as driving and labouring.
Freight Forwarders remain in demand but require relevant experience. The Trans-Pacific Partnership has increased vacancy activity in freight forwarding across Australia and subsequently demand for Import/Export professionals, with a focus from employers on sea freight and Mandarin speaking candidates. Those with CargoWise knowledge are also sought.
The heavy vehicle regulations will continue to create demand in the transport sector for qualified Supervisors with a Chain of Responsibility accreditation.
Within warehouse and distribution, Warehouse Managers and Supervisors are required. Candidates must be analytically sound with a proactive approach to KPI. As companies continue to appreciate the benefit of improving logistical efficiencies, candidates who can track, monitor and manage KPI performance are highly sought after. Warehouse
Supervisors willing to manage small teams are also required.
In the warehousing sector, diploma or degree qualified candidates with experience in lean principles are sought.

Distribution of vacancies

In a localised trend, New South Wales’ growing 3PL footprint is leading to demand for Warehouse Managers, Logistics Coordinators, Analysts, Pallet Controllers and Dispatch Coordinators. Employers want to ensure maximum efficiency is achieved and KPI and contracts are being met. Expectations from 3PL employers are growing and they therefore look for candidates who can ensure service delivery levels are met, if not exceeded. They also want to see degree qualified candidates with experience in a similar environment.
Import and Export Coordinators are another area of demand. With many companies moving their manufacturing overseas, candidates with international shipping experience and cargo software knowledge are required.
Dispatch Coordinators are needed, too.
Wharf Fleet Controllers are also sought in response to turnover resulting from the high pressure working environment. Employers look for candidates with wharf experience and a secure, stable and successful career within this space.
In the SME sector, inventory control professionals who can develop procedures to improve inventory accuracy and transparency are required.
Inventory Controllers are another area of demand. The duties of this role were once the responsibility of Warehouse Supervisors, however employers now have strict stock levels tolerance.
Store persons with inventory management software experience are needed too. Companies seek multi-skilled candidates who can manage inventory needs, possess strong computer skills, a forklift license and the ability to load and unload deliveries, pick and pack orders and tidy a store.
Forklift Operators skilled in operating different attachments and High Reach Forklift Operators are sought. While Forklift Operators are available, those with attachment and high reach expertise are rare, as are those who have worked in busy warehouses and have strong navigation skills.
Casual Skilled Labourers are needed for one to two-day assignments. With most people looking for longer-term assignments, reliable candidates for short-term roles are rare.
Another interesting trend is the recovery of the senior level supply chain market. Today, candidates with change management experience, from both a people and process perspective, are in high demand. This is a result of organisations realising the impact that big data, systems and technology can have on improving efficiencies and reducing costs. Individuals who can coach a business through this transition are highly sought after in the current market.
Demand also exists for quality Supply and Demand Planners and S&OP Managers who have worked with complex manual based systems, have exposure to and have assisted with the development of S&OP processes and implementations, possess an analytical and commercial focus and can influence and educate internal stakeholders across an organisation.
Finally, fixed-term contracts and project roles are available. This is a notable change in a market that was previously dominated by permanent roles.

Salary trends

According to our FY 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide, more logistics professionals will receive a pay rise this year than last, but it will be a less significant increase than they hoped for.
We found that 92% of employers will increase their transport and distribution staff salaries in their next review, up from 83% who did so in their last review.
However, the value of these increases will fall. 71% intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3% or less, up from 63% who did so in their last review. At the other end of the scale, just 3% of employers intend to grant pay increases of more than 6%. The number of employers who will increase salaries at the mid-level, between 3 and 6%, has risen slightly, from 17% to 18%.
There are only a few exceptions. The recovery of the senior supply chain market led to demand for Supply Chain Managers and, in turn, mid-tier Demand and Supply Planners. In some states, salaries have increased in response to this demand.
Tasmania’s positive economic climate led to a surge in interstate and international exports. Looking ahead, salaries are expected to increase in the state for Multi Combination Drivers and Warehouse Supervisors, who remain in short supply.

New CEO for DHL Express Europe

DHL Express has appointed Alberto Nobis as its new CEO for Europe, paving the way for his return to the Global Management Board of DHL Express.
ALberto was the Global CFO for DHL Express from 2009 to 2012 before relocating to his home country of Italy in 2013. As CEO DHL Express Italy, Alberto Nobis helped to drive the division’s growth in the Italian market. Effective January 1, 2019, he has taken over responsibility for Express Europe from John Pearson, who became the Global CEO of DHL Express.
“For DHL Express, quality and growth are the pillars of our past and future success. Since his move to Italy as Managing Director, Alberto has proven that he is capable focusing on both. His efforts to push the Express Italy business on all fronts have contributed to Italy becoming one of our largest market and one in which we expect continuing high performance. We are looking forward to seeing Alberto use his in-depth expertise to take DHL Express to the next level of its growth Europe-wide in 2019 and beyond,” John Pearson, Global CEO DHL Express said.
Alberto has over 10 years of experience at DHL Express, including several management positions as CFO and CEO for the time-definite shipping provider of the Deutsche Post DHL Group. In his new role, he is responsible for almost 50 countries in Europe with focus on the Region’s performance across the four dimensions that define the strategy: people at the core are motivated to provide great service quality, with a direct positive impact on customers’ loyalty and, finally, on DHL’s network profitability.
“It is both a great honor and an exciting challenge to be appointed CEO for DHLExpress Europe. In this position, I can count on the decade of experience I’ve gained at DHL Express and on the support of our people and network to increase our performance for customers throughout Europe. I am greatly looking forward to working with John to achieve the next level of growth for DHL Express,” Alberto Nobis, CEO Europe at DHL Express said.

Disability job training for warehouse, retail workers


Eleven Northcott customers have just completed two pre-employment training programs through TAFE NSW, resulting in them securing employability skills and knowledge to become job-ready.
The tailor-made Statement of Attainment for Introduction to Working in a Warehouse and Statement of Attainment for Introduction to Retail qualifications were offered due to the growth in the retail and warehouse industry, and to support the customers to be ready for work placement with a Northcott employment partner.
Northcott Vocational Skills Coordinator Helen Sara said this is a fantastic opportunity for their customers to broaden their skillsets.
“The TAFE NSW qualification will equip our customers with greater capability to be job ready when they are ready to enter the workforce,” she said.
“It has been great to work with TAFE NSW to develop this tailored program to meet the needs of our participants. Not only will it facilitate growth in confidence, skills and knowledge with employment setting, it has already assisted some customers in achieving their goal of employment.”
TAFE NSW head of supply chain and e-commerce skills team Simon Bolton said this is the first time the disability service provider has worked with TAFE NSW to deliver customised training to their customers.
“TAFE NSW is happy to help Northcott customers reach their career ambitions, ensuring they have the hands-on practical skills employers are looking for,” he said.
“Online shopping in Australia is growing rapidly, with over $2 billion spent in 2017. Businesses in Australia will be increasingly looking to enter the online marketplace or to expand their existing online operations, and as such will require workers with skills in warehousing and drop shipping (a retail delivery method).
“As part of the training, participants will learn how to pick and process orders, package and receive goods, work effectively in a team and work safely. TAFE NSW is happy to provide these qualifications to Northcott customers, to ensure they are equipped to gain employment.”
As Australia’s largest training provider, TAFE NSW delivered this training to Northcott customers using their expert industry trainers in a way that fits their business operations and needs.
Northcott customer Ronald MacKenzie said completing the pre-employment training program has increased his confidence and improved his chances of finding work.
“I feel very confident to engage with employers, now that I have learnt the basics,” he said.
“I normally don’t knuckle down and study much, but participating in this pre-employment program has demonstrated that I can study quite well if I really focus on it. The good thing is that I now have some experience to gain employment.”

Supply chain skills for the future – from MHD magazine

Patrick Van Hull

The supply chain team of the future will look very different from the one we’re familiar with today. In some cases, the team will need radically different skills and capabilities. Many of these skills fall outside the traditional realms of functional supply chain expertise.
It almost goes without saying that people are one of a supply chain organisation’s biggest assets. Although investment in talent is a top priority today for many supply chain leaders, this hasn’t always been the case.
Rewind just a couple of years ago. A 2016 Gartner survey of 261 supply chain leaders revealed that talent development was a top investment priority for only 28 per cent of respondents, a mere 12th on the list of other competing investment buckets.
Supply chain has been, and always will be, an ongoing balancing act of competing priorities. Can supply chain leaders really afford to continue to devalue talent in favour of the functions they serve? In the many conversations Gartner has had with the supply chain community over recent months, the answer is increasingly a resounding “No!”
What’s changed?
A number of external factors have contributed to this urgent realignment and prioritisation of expertise and capability development. First is the growing complexity of business and the level of agility required to meet increasing customer demands, which requires increasing excellence in execution.
Then there’s the elevated role of supply chain within the wider organisation as a creator of value, rather than just a service function or cost centre. This demands a broader understanding of the business through all levels of the supply chain.
Acting as the ‘glue’ between multiple parts of the business — as well as with customers, suppliers and other external partners — requires a shift in skills beyond pure functional supply chain expertise to less tangible social skills around communication and influence. This draws on analytically minded, problem-solving skills to make more effective business decisions, as well as keeping assembly lines running and delivery promises to customers.
Finally, the explosion of new technologies enabling the automation of previously manual activities and the augmentation of other human-led capabilities, have given rise to a new of era of digitalisation requiring new levels of skills and new ways of working.
Once harnessed, digital technologies provide opportunities to deliver innovation in both product and process for the benefit of the customer. They’re also putting pressure on organisations to develop new capabilities and lead the existing workforce through a period of uncertainty.
Now’s the time
These demand drivers for talent realignment and prioritisation are being met with pressures from the supply side of the equation. Supply chain leaders are challenged to develop their existing talent to align with the changes in competency profile. Where gaps on their benches are identified, they must bring in the expertise required.
The speed of change within the business, coupled with the explosion in the need for expertise in digital technologies, is met with the reality that those skills take time to develop and aren’t always readily available from the marketplace. At the same time, a strong competitive market for supply chain talent prevails.
Now’s the time for supply chain leaders to lead the charge on talent strategy and execution by developing winning talent strategies and innovative battle plans. Companies already taking the lead on this are developing strategies that embrace the entire supply chain organisation, from hourly associate to the most senior level executive.
The goal is to build an agile team equipped to face the challenges of tomorrow, starting today. The good news is that Australia has a relative abundance of supply at all hiring levels, indicating a healthy talent pool countered by a tightening of suitable employment opportunities.
Agility is the new watchword for talent
Building out organisations requires a balance of planning for long-term requirements and change management processes, at the same time responding to more short-term needs, such as emerging digital technologies.
A one-size-fits-all approach to strategic workforce planning will no longer work. Develop a talent roadmap for the future.

“Develop connections, both formal and informal, between different parts of your organisation to enable broader exposure to the business and facilitate collaboration across functional teams.”

With a clear business strategy in place, harness this to develop career pathways and roadmaps for existing employees who may need to alter their skill sets with your support to meet the future needs of the business.
Take care to minimise any change-related anxiety that may lead to decreased levels of motivation and workforce effectiveness or even loss of key talent. Where appropriate, consider working with outside providers to fill in capabilities in key areas — blockchain is a good example.
Don’t compete with the ‘cool’ brands – build your own
Competition for talented supply chain professionals is on the rise, with high-profile brands like Amazon, Google and Apple with ‘cool’ value propositions posing a real threat to other companies offering more traditional career pathways. Moving forward, companies will be compelled to sell themselves more overtly as ‘destination employers’ to attract top talent their way.
Create a unique talent brand that establishes clear on-boarding and development paths for new employees, as well as programs to develop existing employees at all levels. Building expertise internally will likely be much more cost-effective than buying new skills.
Take a global view of the talent market landscape
Talent has become an increasingly critical component of overall supply network planning. Take into account the differences in the talent supply market across geographies, when considering where to position teams that require colocation. Could global centres of excellence be located in markets with a richer seam of qualified supply chain talent?
Equally, be prepared to embrace a flexible approach to remotely based employees where supplies of local talent are in short supply.
Develop strong internal ‘glue’ to keep your supply chain organisation integrated and robust
The connections developed between people in your organisation create a glue that holds the parts together. Develop connections, both formal and informal, between different parts of your organisation to enable broader exposure to the business and facilitate collaboration across functional teams.
Likewise, building connections between different levels of the organisation through initiatives such as mentoring, can connect less experienced people with those more tenured and facilitate successful knowledge transfer in both directions.
Similarly, although diversity initiatives may run the risk of neglect during challenging times, they can prove a useful tool for both filling talent gaps and enabling a more inclusive and cohesive workforce.
Patrick Van Hull is a research vice president at Gartner. He provides insights into the key challenges and trends affecting global supply chains, across industries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com/supplychain.

Disrupting the leadership trap – from MHD magazine

Simon Popley and Kim Winter

Leaders working in demanding roles tend to get little or no time to develop their own leadership ability. Focused on getting the job done and developing their own people, their own leadership growth often goes by the wayside. Australians work some of the longest working hours in the developed world, a study has found. About one in five Australians, or two million people, work more than 50 hours a week, the University of Sydney study shows, and many in the logistics and supply chain sector routinely work more than 60 hours a week.

“The lack of investment – of both time and money – is at odds with a plethora of evidence that indicates the magnitude of potential returns.”

Another trap that limits leadership development is under-investment in the area by corporations. Research by Australia’s leading human performance technology specialist DTS International found that more than one in five companies (21%) have no leadership programs at all, while 36% of organisations are yet to establish a leadership development strategy. Only 58% of organisations spend more than US$1,000 per learner on training for senior leaders, compared to just 39% for high potentials and 32% for mid-level management.
The lack of investment – of both time and money – is at odds with a plethora of evidence that indicates the magnitude of potential returns. For example, a recent report by the Human Capital Institute states that organisations that allot more than 31% of annual training and development budgets to leadership development are 12% more likely to report increased revenue.
Train to survive
However, under-investment in leadership development isn’t just a missed opportunity, it’s a major threat to a company’s long-term success. The fact of the matter is – when your leadership gets stale, so do results and the teams and leaders working with you. Everything becomes an effort and leadership feels like it’s sucking your will to live, rather than energising you and lifting up your people.
The fallout of neglecting your own leadership development is that you only have the same old skills, experiences and advice to hand down to your leaders and teams. It becomes a bit like leadership beans on toast, each and every night. After a while, the people to whom you serve your leadership learnings get bored and stop hearing the messages you want them to hear.
Your messaging is experienced as bland and your followers begin to feel that you have nothing new to offer or inspire them with. Preaching career development to them also invites hypocrisy that further diminishes your own leadership standing. This is demonstrated by the fact that only 7% of senior leadership in an international survey by Deloitte finds themselves capable of developing ‘millennial’ leaders, signalling an impending leadership vacuum.

“The most fruitful outcome is when your own leadership style becomes an example for others.”

Here are a few practical ideas to assist you in developing some new thinking and raise the energy to revive your leadership.
Tips for revitalising your leadership

  1. Set time aside to think about your current leadership – getting time to think about what changes you need and want to make is crucial. You may need to improve your ability to delegate work to be able to create this space to think: remember, thinking is working!
  2. Ask for feedback from your direct leader and other leaders in your business – what areas do they see in which you need to develop further? What is it they most notice about your leadership? Feedback is the fertile soil in which great leadership grows, without feedback we cannot grow. Feedback can also be hard to process and deal with if you are unfamiliar with getting feedback – think about working with a coach to navigate this journey.
  3. Discuss taking on new leadership challenges. Take on leading a new team or project. Get involved in a different work experience that takes you outside of your current comfort zone. If you are beginning to feel the slight discomfort of being outside of your familiar way of leading, you are probably beginning to grow – this is good pain!
  4. Read some latest thinking and research in leadership development. Read something about leadership you would not usually look at, and share this with another leader.
  5. Develop your ability to reflect on your own leadership experiences. Consider reflective journaling as a means to develop greater insight into your own leadership practice from viewing situations from multiple perspectives. Learn to become comfortable with the ambiguity that leading creates.
  6. Find and join a leadership community of practice – build your own leadership network. The CEO Institute in Australia also organises various networking events, such as the CEO Connect Conference and the CEO Institute Summit that feature top industry leaders. Chief Executive Women is specifically geared towards empowering women through leadership networks that aim to close the gender gap in senior leadership roles across Oceania.
  7. Attends events and conferences that are specifically geared towards leadership development, that offer the opportunity to learn directly and network with inspiring leaders in your field and beyond. A good example is the Annual Leadership Summits organised by the Australian Institute of Management across the country. Logistics Executive Group, an Australia-based international talent management and executive coaching firm, also organises year-round networking events, including a CEO Breakfast Series and the international LogiSYM Conference Series.
  8. Undertake some coach training to become a better-skilled coaching leader so that you are more effectively able to develop the potential of your own people.
  9. Find yourself a qualified and experienced coach and begin a conversation about how to grow and develop your leadership capability.

Regardless of your seniority level and the nature of your organisation, effective leadership is necessary for your success, as well as the success of your team and your stakeholders. Therefore you cannot afford to let your leadership style get stale. Yes, it takes some time and some sweat, some investment on your behalf as well as your organisation and perhaps even the odd tear or two, but the reward is well worth the effort.
The most fruitful outcome is when your own leadership style becomes an example for others. This stimulates a domino effect as your mentees, peers and even seniors attempt to emulate your strategy and foster creative, productive and effective leadership across the organisation. Be the change you wish to be, as Gandhi said. The power rests with you.
Simon Popley is senior partner, leadership and coaching, and Kim Winter is the global CEO of the Logistics Executive Group. The Logistics Executive Group is celebrating its 20th Anniversary of talent acquisition, development  and deploying bespoke leadership programs from their offices throughout Australia, Asia, India and Dubai. Contact Simon Popley at simonp@logisticsexecutive.com, or Kim Winter on +61 411 883 368, email kimw@logisticsexecutive.com.

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