Salary rises under pressure as caution and change rule: Hays

Skilled, flexible candidates sought in transport, while systems knowledge may have to be found overseas

Salary rises under pressure as caution and change rule: Hays
Transport and logistics firms want skills and more of them in each prospective employee


Seventy-one per cent of Australia’s transport and distribution employers will give their staff a pay rise of up to three per cent in their next review, but 16 per cent will not increase salaries at all, recruiting experts at Hays Logistics say.

The 39th annual Hays Salary Guide shows that 10 per cent of employers intend to award a salary increase of between three and six per cent.

Just three per cent of employers will increase salaries at the higher level of more than six per cent.

The Hays Salary Guide shows that many employers have a positive outlook yet remain cautious when it comes to salaries.

"2016-17 proved to be a mixed year for the logistics industry, and while costs remain tightly managed, recruitment activity has increased across all job levels," Hays director of logistics Tim James says.

"3PL providers continue to grow and the trend towards outsourcing logistics functions means salaries are being squeezed to accommodate aggressive pricing strategies geared to win new business on lower margins.

"Across Australia, positive productivity is linked to efficiency improvements, be that in warehousing, transport or supply chain.

"Companies are targeting candidates who have a strong knowledge of systems and processes, combined with a proven track record in reducing costs and achieving demanding KPIs.

"From a supply chain perspective, companies continue to seek jobseekers who have strong systems knowledge, especially SAP/APO.

"However these skills are scarce and subsequently salaries for these roles have increased, especially in NSW and Victoria."

In the Northern Territory, due to seasonal peaks and troughs, the reliance on a fluid temporary and casual workforce continues.

Warehousing staff are in most demand.

In the eastern coastal states, transport continues to see skill shortages and demand for fleet controllers, with companies streamlining processes and wanting staff to possess a broad skillset.

"For example, transport supervisors will often need to have relevant truck licences to be able to provide relief," Hays says.

"We believe this will become more prevalent this financial year as companies continue to look for ways to improve efficiencies."

And just as work visa rules are being tightened, Hays suggests overseas recruitment may need to be considered to fill transport planning personnel holes.

"To overcome the SAP/APO skill shortage, we support and encourage organisations to consider national and international recruitment campaigns, which is proving to be fruitful," the company says.

"We have seen some strong planning candidates based in Europe and the US return or relocate to Australia.

"Regardless of location or role, our advice for 2017-18 is to be proactive and quick when recruiting as good candidates are not on the market long. Projects will pick up momentum and candidates with strong continuous improvement backgrounds will be in high demand."

Other findings from the Hays Salary Guide – across all industries – include:

  • business activity increased for 70 per cent of employers in the past 12 months, while 75 per cent expect it to increase in the next 12 months
  • 36 per cent foresee a strengthening economy in the coming six to 12 months
  • 45 per cent expect to increase permanent staff levels, far exceeding the 11 per cent who say they’ll decrease
  • 23 per cent expect to increase their use of temporary and contract staff, also exceeding the 9 per cent who anticipate decreasing in this area
  • 23 per cent now employ temporary and contract staff on a regular ongoing basis and another 44 per cent employ them for special projects or workloads
  • in the last 12 months, 15 per cent of Australians asked for a pay rise but were declined – a further 17 per cent asked for a pay rise and were successful
  • The success of the latter perhaps explains why 45 per cent say they intend to ask for a pay rise in their next review. A further 24 per cent are as yet unsure
  • 32 per cent of employers say staff turnover has increased in their organisation
  • 65 per cent of employers, compared to 60 per cent last year, are worried that skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their organisation or department in a significant (23 per cent) or minor (42 per cent) way.

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