What is happening with the Freight & Logistics job market? And, how to attract top talent right now!

21 Oct by Natasha Pita

Cargo Ship #1

Overall, the NZ economy bounced back from the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic stronger than expected. This, combined with migration coming to a halt due to border restrictions, has created an unprecedented demand for talent.

'Seek NZ’ report National Job Advertising well above pre-pandemic as of September 2021*

For the Freight and Logistics sector, the supply and demand trend is even more prominent due to global supply chain disruptions. This has resulted in heavier workloads due to increased touchpoints per shipment and the newly created positions to help manage the fall-out.

Remarkable Talent Shortfall

We are able to proactively manage this by understanding the reasons for the decline in available qualified talent. Our consultants communicate with people in Freight and Logistics daily and this is what they tell us:

Job Insecurity - Covid-19 restrictions create insecurity and it’s fuelling a reluctance to shift jobs and companies. There are redundancy concerns around LIFO (last in, first out). People are cautious about leaving their current positions right now and many have asked us to revisit them in the new year.

Burnout and Exit - Workloads have increased, teams are under-resourced and the hours are long. They know their skills and experience are in demand and transferrable and they’re eager to apply them elsewhere.

Counter Offers - This is nothing new; as a recruitment specialist for over twenty years, we’ve successfully mitigated these. However, in a desperate bid to retain staff or compete with other hirers, we’re now facing situations where there are counteroffers of tens of thousands of dollars above their current salaries, coupled with attractive benefits.

Restrictive Employment Contracts - Some larger multinational businesses have staff tied into lengthy notice periods of up to three months. Whilst this serves the employer in the short term, their staff are often disgruntled and considering resigning prior to securing their next role. It’s also a significant deterrent when hiring.

Border Restrictions - We’ve had a steady level of success with placing people on work visas in Freight or Logistics operational roles. However, border closures have decreased this pool of candidates and businesses have been more reluctant to consider visa requirements.

Despite lockdown restrictions, September 2021 was one of Team Recruitment's strongest months for permanent job placements in 2½ years!

Attracting Top Talent

We’ve always had to work hard to attract the high performers in the Freight and Logistics market. Now, every job opportunity needs to have that point of difference in order to be competitive. During this past quarter, we found that businesses who adopted the following policies were most successful with their permanent hiring:

At (or above!) Market Salary

Salaries in International Freight Forwarding were steady for the previous four years according to our Online Salary Guide. Since May/June 2021 there has been a remarkable increase in baseline salaries and benefits. In order to be competitive with strong talent, you must put your best foot forward. Talk to our Consultantsabout current market salaries whilst we wait for entries to update our online guide.


A level of Flexibility

Hybrid working will become the norm. The 2020 lockdown showed us that people can remain engaged and productive when working from home. Moreover, it supports work/life balance and widens your talent pool when travel is less of a consideration. 68% of our roles include an element of flexibility and we anticipate this will increase.


Authentic People Strategy

The way your business looks after their people is a significant factor when attracting top talent. It’s insufficient to only state that your company has a “good culture”. People want specifics, i.e. longevity of staff, how you recognise and reward, how you celebrate diversity and practice inclusion? Ask your existing team what they love about working for your business so you can share an authentic story.

Above all else, honesty is key! It’s reasonable to say “we’ve recognised the need to change and these are our plans”.


Training & Growth opportunities

Shipping and Logistics companies will continue to outgrow the available talent therefore businesses must prepare to invest in training. There are clear, long-term benefits to hiring ‘potential’ over ‘experience’.

High performers want to grow. They want to know the career path and what plans businesses have to facilitate this.


Clear Purpose

Part of our ethos at Team Recruitment is ‘worthwhile work’ – that is, appreciating how each role plays an integral part within an organisation and the overall success of the business.

Employment is fulfilling when people understand their purpose and how their role contributes towards the company's goals and success.


Partner with a Professional

It’s not enough to post a job ad on ‘SEEK’ and then sit back and wait for mediocre applicants to apply. The reality is that your ‘ideal’ candidate probably isn’t scrolling job boards – they’re most likely currently employed. You need access to qualified people and the skills to uncover their true motivation in order to a successful match.

81% of our roles were filled with our existing networks and outside of advertising**

Team Recruitment has been working with people in Freight and Logistics for over 20 years. It’s our craft and our passion. Put simply – let us do what we do best so you can continue with what you do best.

And, watch this space - the candidate market could flip just as quickly. Partner with us and you'll be the first to know!


* Source: SEEK job ad index as of Sept -21

** Source: TEAM permanent job placements during the past quarter (June – Sept 21)