Employment growth in Australia is slowing down. For the first time in 17 months, online job vacancies decreased, with the halt likely to extend to the second half of 2018. An average increase of 13,200 jobs per month added to the economy so far in 2018 falls well below the 2017 average of 34,600. The fall in employment will have a negative impact on wage growth across the nation, as well as inflationary pressure and economic growth. However, in FMCG we’ve seen an unprecedented number of roles being recruited in the sales and marketing space having the opposite effect, with more roles than candidates pushing up salaries. Generally, states are seeing decreases in job vacancies, with New South Wales reporting a decline of 0.2%, Victoria 0.3% and Queensland 0.9% decline. Western Australia was the only state to register a month on month increase.
After several years of battling due to Woolworths and Coles adjusting their profit margins in line with global norms, FMCG suppliers are now looking forward as that bumpy journey ends. Grocery relationships, particularly in Woolworths, are becoming more strategic, creating roles in National Accounts, Category and Shopper. There are many new customer-facing roles in account management and category to build business in new channels such as e-Commerce, QSR, HORECA and Export.
Companies with a strong focus on people, flexibility and development are at the forefront of candidates lists, as other factors such as track records and status are deemed less relevant. Intense cultures that are too process driven have lost appeal due to their limited ability to make an impact. Leading talent prefer to work in an inclusive culture where they are developed, can learn best-practice and are encouraged to challenge and innovate.
While the security of blue-chip organisations was appealing to generations before them, Millennials don’t see security as a motivating factor. Millennials prefer to work for organisations that align with their values, with SME’s that are agile, creative and values-driven leading the charge.
Demand for FMCG sales and marketing talent is high, but only if you have a very particular set of skills. Organisations are looking for people who are insights-driven, analytical, can tell a story and gain influence. Candidates with the old “FMCG -ego” who view anything out of grocery not befitting for them will find career options limited going forward.