The Year the Labour Market Had Officially Gone Banana’s and the tale of Cost Vs Reputation
To say that the labour market has been ‘interesting’ or even ‘challenging’ over the last 18 months with border closures due to Covid-19 is certainly an understatement, and then to make things tougher add the vaccine mandates introduced by many employers in 2021 and you now have the Perfect Storm!
After over 22 years in business, it’s fair to say that finding your everyday forklift drivers, process workers, truck drivers and storepersons has never been tougher, especially when there are businesses out there than don’t have the means in their budget to pay above the minimum wage.
Here at APG Workforce we have had to think outside the box with regards to marketing strategies just so we can reach a vaster audience and capture the eyes and ears of the population who want to earn an honest living. Not only have we explored the fastest growing social media platform that is TikTok, we have also invested into radio advertising and visual advertising in busy shopping centres, all of which comes at a cost, however it’s a cost we need to bare just so we can attract the volume of workers required to satisfy our customers demands.
Which brings me to a tale of Cost Vs Reputation.
Recently we have had the pleasure to partner with a globally recognised Australian brand which opted to sacrifice profits and increase wages to 40% above minimum wage just so they could guarantee that they’ll attract the manpower required to get the product out of the factory and shipped to the consumers in what is their busiest trading period. This was just to ensure that they maintain high levels of customer satisfaction whilst at the same time protecting their global reputation. This resulted in over 800 applicants for 50 positions over a 3-month assignment. It’s fair to say that our team of recruitment consultants had never seen this number of applicants for years, if not ever. It was quite a welcomed breath of fresh air for our operations teams who suddenly had candidates fighting for these very well-paid positions. Other customers of ours are offering substantial bonuses to our workers just so they can stay the course through the current peak period. This has previously been unheard of, and it’s become evident to some of the market just how severe the candidate shortage currently is, especially if they are willing to go to such lengths to secure their workforce.
Despite an enormous increase in costs (wages, recruitment costs & advertising etc), APG has maintained its pricing across its customer base. This is a huge investment in the true spirit of creating, nurturing, and growing long term partnerships. We have done so with national, regional, and local clients alike. It is satisfying to see that this is both, appreciated and valued.
No one wins when costs continue to get driven down due to ambitious procurement strategies and bidding wars - something must give. The labour challenges we currently face, the amount of work it takes to attract, retain, and maintain both the labour and the quality of service needs to be understood and considered.
As we approach 2022 and reflect on the year that was, I’m pleased to say that we continue to achieve year-on-year growth here at APG and we haven’t had to sell our souls to do so.
We look forward to open borders, we look forward to more job applicants and furthermore we look forward to partnering with more successful businesses that truly value a partnership rather than a supplier relationship, and value the work required to secure them a productive and engaged workforce.
Have a Merry Christmas everyone and we look forward to working with you in 2022.