The most in demand entry-level role was warehouse operatives and pickers © AFP/Getty Images
The most in demand entry-level role was warehouse operatives and pickers © AFP/Getty Images

Supply chain sector in line for 'job market boom'

13 October 2020

Over 60% of workers in warehouse, logistics and delivery spent time during lockdown searching for a new role, according to research.

A survey, conducted by recruitment platform Monster, found there was likely to be a “job market boom” in the next few months.

According to Monster, all stages of the supply chain experienced an increase in vacancies in September, with around 40,000 vacancies open in the industry. 

The survey of over 2,600 UK employees and jobseekers found almost three quarters (71%) of workers in the logistics and delivery sector would consider searching for a new role within the next 12 months.  

Derek Jenkins, general manager for Monster in the UK and Ireland, said: “The growing demand is due to two factors. Firstly, the changing landscape of labour supply and demand. Remote working has had a huge impact in how we live, work and shop, which has fuelled the need for more supply chain workers. Secondly, those already within the industry have reassessed their current roles and many are now looking to move as a result.”

How firms treated their employees throughout the pandemic has become a key factor for those seeking new roles. The survey found almost two-fifths (39%) of logistics workers were unhappy with how their current employer handled the pandemic, and 70% said this would be an important consideration when choosing their next role.

More than eight in 10 (85%) want their work to have meaning, while 81% are currently on the lookout for a new position that gives them a greater sense of purpose.

Jenkins said: “The global pandemic has given workers a chance to reassess what’s important to them. This has undoubtedly changed since the start of lockdown and, as a result, we predict a hive of activity over the coming weeks as people look to move both within and outside the supply chain industry.

“In many cases, people are looking to change careers entirely or to transfer their skillset over to another sector. There is a huge opportunity for employers, with the right message, to attract experienced staff. Now more than ever it’s important for them to understand exactly what their employees and potential candidates’ truly value if they want to attract, motivate and retain the very best talent.”

Richard Shotton, a behavioural scientist, said the lockdown had encouraged workers to prioritise “non-intrinsic motivations” like job satisfaction over external rewards, such as money, praise or awards.

He said: “The evidence shows that intrinsic motivations – such as the enjoyment of the role, sense of contributing to the wider society, or intellectual appeal of the job – are far more important than money.”

The survey found over half of vacancies are for entry-level positions, demonstrating a need for firms to attract talent from outside the industry to meet the demand. The most common entry-level role with no experience required was a warehouse operative or packer, while the role with the highest demand by volume was HGV drivers.

Meanwhile, CitySprint, the UK’s largest same-day distribution company, announced it will recruit over 750 additional couriers across the UK.

The firm said couriers will play a “vital role” in the run up to Christmas as consumers are being encouraged to do more shopping online due to the coronavirus.

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