July 2017 saw 27,900 jobs created in the Australian economy. This has chipped away at the unemployment rate, falling from 5.7% to 5.6%.
The number of adults in Australia looking for work is rising, with labour force participation sitting at 65.1%, from 65.0% in June and 64.7% in December 2016.
There are signs of the post mining boom being well and truly behind us, as figures show that unemployment rates for Queensland are declining, with employment levels 3% higher than they were in January.
Talent shortage in sales and category. We are seeing an increase in demand for national account manager and category manager roles, however there is not enough talent with a salary between $110K and $130K to fill the gap. While larger FMCG businesses have a need for these roles, smaller businesses do not. Therefore, there is little opportunity for talent as those already in these roles at large FMCG businesses are not motivated to transition into other businesses, as they often offer no point of difference.
Supply chain integration resulting in demand planner shortage. As supply chain becomes more integrated into large and small business structures, there is a growing need for demand planners with commercial skills, rather than analytical skills. Due to this shift, it is becoming harder to fill demand planner roles across the board.
A leadership crisis in corporate. Research has uncovered that there are significant gaps between how business leaders are currently operating and the values their employees are increasingly seeking. Attributes that historically may have defined successful leaders, such as work ethic and a track record of success in the company were no longer regarded as indicators of a successful business leader, while preferred traits such as team building and interpersonal communication skills saw current business leaders ranked poorly by respondents, with over a third of the respondents rating their leader’s ‘ability to communicate effectively’ as poor.
Demand for digitally savvy brand managers. We are receiving an increased number of briefs for Brand Managers who have experience in the digital landscape and an understanding of digital marketing. FMCG brands that are using digital as part of their TTL marketing campaigns are winning by attracting top talent.
CI skills are still in very high demand. Continuous improvement (CI) skills such as Lean and Six Sigma are essential in the optimising process, from concept, to production, to delivery. This trend has remained strong and does not show signs of demand decreasing in the immediate future. Anyone who has CI skills, and especially people who have led large scale CI projects, are in high demand.
John Whitehead is an Associate Director for Supply Chain and Engineering at Six Degrees Executive, a specialist recruitment consultancy providing talent solutions within the FMCG space.