Bis Henderson Group, the talent-to-solutions supply chain services company, has seen a significant boost to the recruitment side of the business following the Brexit vote – a jump of some 20% in permanent executive jobs placed over the last six months of 2016 compared with the same period a year earlier.
The figures run contrary to widely held predictions of post-vote gloom and point to a healthy and growing logistics and supply chain jobs market.
"Our level of work hasn't slowed since the Brexit vote, it has grown," says Andy Kaye, CEO of Bis Henderson Group. "We were half expecting a tail-off in hiring following the decision to leave the EU but that simply hasn't materialised so far – far from it."
He continues: "Organisations are looking to future-proof themselves; investing in their business through improving the capability of their people. For us the challenge is finding the right levels of talent employers are demanding. The positive impact of this demand is the rise in creativity from employers to attract the right candidates; enhanced packages and more flexible working arrangements are definitely a trend set to remain. In short, the best candidates are commanding significantly more than the market average."
Andy Kaye explains, "Following the downturn many companies cut back on their graduate recruitment programmes. Whereas organisations would have taken on 20-25 graduates a year, more recently they have been only taking on ten or less. This change has led to a shortage of talented individuals coming through the pipeline and the impacts will be felt for some time to come."
The recruitment business has been experiencing strong demand for jobs commanding salaries in excess of £80,000 pa - such roles as Operations Director, Regional Director, Logistics Director and COO. Likewise, middle management positions with salaries of between £50,000 - £80,000 pa are also finding favour with organisations looking for the top talented individuals.
E-commerce job placements double
Furthermore, Bis Henderson reports that the number of job placements related to ecommerce has almost doubled since 2014. In the last year alone, jobs related to ecommerce represented over a third of the company's recruitment activity.
Mark Botham, COO at Bis Henderson Recruitment says, "The greatest call for skills is for those individuals who understand logistics and supply chain activities related to eCommerce. Managing processes around single-item picking and the preparation of small orders is highly complex and requires talented people with strong problem solving skills, the ability to communicate well and who are up-to-speed on the latest warehouse technology."
However, he sees a looming problem regarding labour hire for warehouse operations. "The flow of people from Eastern Europe has slowed significantly and that will put pressure on middle management roles. Logistics and supply chain managers will have to become more creative about how they resource labour and how they develop future strategies to cope with a tightening labour market. I believe automation will be very much on the agenda and this could well be why organisations are seeking talented individuals capable of implementing such technology."
Bis Henderson Recruitment figures to January 2017 show strong year-on-year job growth across its key sectors, including: 3PL Transport & Logistics, eCommerce / Retail, Procurement and Supply Chain.
"Our experience in recent months points to a very positive future for the UK's logistics and supply chain jobs market, creating optimism and confidence to invest – something that we are actively undertaking ourselves with the re-branding and expansion of Bis Henderson Group across the four operating units of Recruitment, Consulting, Academy and Space," says Andy Kaye.