Exclusive FMCG jobs market update – December

Job-Search-ImageIn reflecting upon 2017, at Six Degrees, we felt very positive about the job market and continue to do so as we enter 2018.

The unemployment rate fell to a four and a half year low, at 5.4% in November and many of our clients were reaching out to us with new opportunities right up to the Christmas break.

Business confidence strengthened since 2016, resulting in a stronger employment market and business investment. This economic comfort led to 360,000 job gains from January to October, showing positive signs for 2018. This has not, however, translated to wage growth.

Typically, January and February are busy months for us with job seekers pursuing their new year’s resolution to find a new role. Talent is in good stead to do this with the Australian economy performing well and, unusually, 2018 commencing with a surge of jobs

In 2017, the FMCG sector saw various trends that impacted on the demand for talent across the board. Below is a snapshot of the biggest trends that we expect will continue into 2018.

Gender diversity high on the agenda. One of the most exciting emerging trends of 2017 was the increasing open-mindedness of organisations to think more creatively about the potential of a candidate over the “cookie-cutter” skill set outlined in a PD. A main driver of this is a positive action to address gender-diversity. Women who may not have accumulated all the required experience compared to their male counter-parts on a shortlist, that previously would have precluded them from being considered as a candidate, are now being encouraged to showcase transferrable skills.

Customer engagement high on the agenda. Leading FMCG businesses, such as Fonterra and General Mills, have restructured their customer supply chain teams to optimise the order to fulfilment process with the major retailers. The role of the customer supply chain manager has become more critical to align commercial, manufacturing and supply teams to improve customer service levels and engagement.

Marketers put their social and environmental conscience first. Marketers want to work for companies that resonate with their personal interests and values. Now more than ever marketers are more socially conscious of where they work and what they market. Health, nutrition and “better for you” organisations are in high demand, as well as those affiliated with the not for profit sector such as Thankyou, Keep Cup, Made and Table of Plenty to name a few.

The rise of the contractor. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported more than one million people in Australia are working as contractors, with 93% of them expected to be with their current employer over the next 12 months. Several of our FMCG clients are more frequently opting to take on a contractor as opposed to permanent talent. We are seeing talent wanting flexibility with the goal to increase agility and deliver on key projects, and this is what contracting roles can offer.  

Talent looking to SME’s. Throughout 2017, we saw a significant increase in talent looking to explore opportunities with smaller businesses to acquire a greater breadth of experience. Larger organisations with specialised functions are no longer appealing to talent, as they do not offer to develop a diverse range of skill sets that they are looking to gain.

Mike Dickson is the Director of the Sydney office, specialising in sales and category roles in the FMCG space, for Six Degrees Executive.


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