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Logistics - the industry that will take you places
Logistics will take you places; it’s an evolving industry where international significance and footprint are increasing. For an extensive landscape, logistics has become even more important in Australia, especially in the West, a coastal-based state where Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world.
The logistics market has changed significantly over the past 12 months in Perth. Flatter structures have been adopted, the middle management tier has dissolved and forced out by more strategic senior managers who are in place to pursue new efficiencies and to further develop internal lean structures. What else is changing?
In recent months, job advertisements have changed focus, with a significant increase in businesses identifying tertiary qualifications as necessary or highly desirable when recruiting management roles. When multinational retailer Aldi entered the WA market as its newest player earlier this year, they asked for degree qualified candidates as a preference for their logistics management team. This has led to them hiring individuals from a highly diverse background in terms of age and gender resulting in a balanced and richly talented group of individuals with fresh ideas.
In light of the preference for degree-qualified candidates rising, there has been a decrease in the number of graduates in the industry over the last three years.
What do the stats say?
Curtin University is a leading provider of industry recommended supply chain logistics degrees in WA. Its information technology team disclosed the following trends and demographics around logistics associated degrees:
- In 2015 there was 174 completed Bachelor or Masters Degrees associated with logistics or supply chain
- Between 2013 and 2015 there was a 30.1% reduction in graduates
- The number of women completing degrees in this same time period was reduced by 47.8%
- Women made up 33.9% of the graduates from 2015
Women in logistics
There has also been an effort to attract women to the industry with many employers identifying that they would like a more gender diverse leadership team. Despite this push for diverse management teams, there has been a reduction in the number of women pursuing a career in logistics – the number of women completing degrees in the already male dominated industry having halved over the aforementioned three year period.
What can logistics hiring managers look for?
Over the past 12 months I have recruited a volume of roles and have found that overall most tertiary-qualified candidates have received very positive feedback from managers post placement. During interview processes these candidates have presented well, are able to communicate their drive and ambition succinctly and can be more competitive.
Having said that, the candidates I have placed who are not formally qualified can often be just as successful – which is good news for employers in a tertiary-qualified candidate short market.
My advice to hiring managers is to keep an open mind and consider candidates who might not necessarily tick every box but have external work experience and exposure to a range of industries which could indicate their drive and a wider breadth of knowledge. Identify who will complement the direction of the business and the current personalities within the team by showcasing personable qualities.
The round-peg/round-hole syndrome that has plagued the Perth market is unfortunately leading to excellent candidates, who may not be tertiary-qualified or the perfect match on paper, being overlooked. If you're ready to start discussing your hiring process, get in touch with your local Michael Page Logistics team today.