According to Aaron McEwan, a recent survey by Gartner predicts that in Q1 2022, Australia will be facing a similar event as the US now dubbed “The Great Resignation” – where one in three Australians will be looking to change roles.
The economy has shifted from an “employers market” early in the pandemic to an “employees market” today. Some 18 months ago, employees were stood down, faced a reduction in wages, had workdays cut, benefits taken, and very little received commissions or bonuses. Many employers had to for legitimate reasons, but others joined the “Managing through a Pandemic Conga Line” because it enabled them to create more profit at the top end whilst reducing costs. Besides, with so many redundancies and volatility in the market, no one was going to move jobs – at least they thought.
The supply chain sector was one of the hardest industries hit, with descriptions of the industry focused on “an unstable labor market which is negatively impacting the trucking industry and crippling the system of moving goods.”
Just under two months ago for example, 7000 drivers around Australia protested for better working conditions at one of Australia’s largest 3PLs, causing even longer delays on deliveries across the country.
Today, supply chain workers are becoming increasingly frustrated and overworked, so what can we expect to see more of in 2022?
Make it rain
There’s no denying that in the last two years Supply Chain and Technology have been two industries that have boomed, not just when it comes to demand of goods and services but expertise to deliver on that demand as well. Dealing with experts directly in these fields we have noticed a huge increase in candidate salary expectations, most wanting upwards of 30% to even consider looking at another role.
Two years ago, you could easily find WMS Specialists with a budget of $80,000 to $100,000 – now however, it’s a very difficult task to attract candidates with a budget less than $120,000. This is very similar for Warehousing and Operations Managers who you could previously find between $70,000 and $90,000. Lately however, many at this level will only consider roles above $110,000.
With the current labour market in shortage and resignation levels expected to rise, we predict employers with bigger pockets will be willing to provide unprecedented increases to secure top talent. Especially so if they are facing distressed supply chains. However, this doesn’t mean that companies won’t be able to compete with other offerings.
Watering your own yard
With a need to retain IP in a tight labour market, we expect to see more employers look at how to improve career planning and succession internally to ensure adequate support and training for workers to move up the ladder.
We are starting to see a number of leading organisations invest heavily in graduate programs, offering financial support for further tertiary education studies or providing retention bonuses to ensure continuity.
Now that the borders will re-open and travel restrictions are said to ease; overseas talent will be more accessible.
For omni-channel and eCommerce focused Supply Chain roles for example, we expect to see a surge in talent from the US, India, Asia and the UK arriving – bringing years of experience in an area that only few Australians seem to grasp well and many Australian companies still need.
Prepare for the talent crunch today
What can businesses do in preparation for the impending talent crunch?
- Leverage your internal team with a candidate referral program
- Initiate your internal career development plans
- Partner HR with Marketing to create and promote your employer brand
- Create easy to read, clear and concise job descriptions
- Market map a talent pool or hire an external party to do this for you
- Ensure you are set up with a good Talent Management System and process
- Create a great experience for candidates
- Ensure your salary bands are competitive in the current market
- Create more compelling culture boost initiatives
HR staff will need more PR and marketing skills than ever before as it won’t be just about creating these initiatives – it will be about communicating them. Everyone says they’re flexible – but what does flexibility mean in your business? Remote working options for desk-based work, working four days a week and getting paid for five? What initiatives will set your business apart in a competitive hiring field to help attract the best talent?
It’s safe to say that those decision-makers with a longer-term view who skipped the train may be reaping the benefits very soon – for employees, the next few months will be a time of broad re-evaluation.