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Exclusive FMCG jobs market update – February

by Kristan De Sousa

refrigerated supermarket shelf

Australia is taking the lead globally in productivity, with labour productivity growth averaging 2.2% per year since economic cycle 2007-08.

This positive result, however, is not a true reflection of long term productivity growth, as Australia has become largely dependent on other advanced economies which have slowed markedly over the past decade.

The unemployment rate fell from 5.6% in December 2017 to 5.5% in January 2018. The Australian Bureau of Statistics showed 16,000 new jobs were also added in January, the 16th month straight of rises for the Australian economy. Female participation in the workforce has also climbed to a record high.

Smaller business winning big business talent in FMCG.

In the last few years there has been a significant increase in smaller, niche boutique suppliers across a wide range of FMCG sectors. Barriers that previously made talent apprehensive about making the move from big to small businesses are dissipating. Smaller businesses are winning in getting ‘big business’ talent because of one very important factor – they can clearly articulate their business purpose and value proposition. Candidates want brands that they connect with. This, now, transcends consumers and significantly impacts the career decisions of professionals.

Aligned execution plans and integrated strategies high on the agenda for FMCG companies.

As grocery retailers aim to get more shoppers in their stores, FMCG companies are looking for commercial marketers and sales professionals that have a thorough understanding of the shopper, consumer and the customer proposition. Talent must be able to understand the demand landscape and how this then aligns with the retailers. Aligned execution plans and integrated strategies will drive sustainable growth for both the retailer and FMCG business.

FMCG giants looking at engineers with soft skills over technical skills.

As organisations plan for long-term stability, more and more technically heavy roles such as engineering are being recruited based more on a candidate’s soft skills. We have recently rolled out a large project with a pharmaceuticals company, CSL, recruiting seven engineering roles to work on a major systems implementation completing engineering data validation for migration. In pursuing talent with soft skills, CSL have created an internal pipeline of talent who fit their company values and will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience on this project, before being considered for future engineering roles which would otherwise be hard to fill.

Automation and technological advances are having a significant impact on the logistics function.

With the introduction of fully automated warehouses, picking systems that can pick and pack individual items as opposed to full pallets, means there is no doubt the logistics space is in for significant change over the coming decades. This presents significant challenges from a workforce perspective, with a decreasing need for physical labour. The technological changes have also meant the way we run warehouse and the deliverables for logistics providers have evolved significantly. This results in increased competition as providers are racing to have the newest and most effective process’s and equipment.

Kristan De Sousa is the Director for Queensland for Six Degrees Executive, a specialist recruitment consultancy providing talent solutions within the FMCG space.