In September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 589,000 job vacancies in the warehousing and logistics industry.
Despite the high demand, warehouse jobs are now among the most difficult to fill in the country.
There are a few major reasons why warehouse positions remain tough to fill. For one thing, the sheer surge in consumer demand for online purchases necessitates hiring considerably more warehouse staff than are now available, resulting in a labor shortage.
Another issue is the perception of warehouse employment as being unappealing. This reputation has only been worsened by horror stories about overworked workers at Amazon fulfillment facilities following the epidemic when people are looking for employment flexibility.
Demonstrating An Understanding For The Role’s Arduousness
There is no avoiding the reality that warehouse work is frequently physically demanding, repetitious, and (on average) riskier than office-based ones.
Companies that hire warehouse workers must thus directly address the disadvantages of the job by how they recruit, manage, and pay individuals in these roles.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Offer pay that is commensurate with the responsibilities of the position.
The most straightforward method to provide a remuneration that recognizes and appreciates the responsibilities of the work is to pay warehouse personnel a competitive hourly rate.
By forcing warehouse employees to work more than 40 hours per week, you risk placing them in risky situations, thus their hourly compensation should be high enough that they won’t have to rely on overtime to afford a comfortable existence.
According to recent surveys, the average warehouse laborer makes roughly $16 per hour. Working a 40-hour week still puts warehouse workers significantly below the national average salary, so you may want to consider paying warehouse workers more than $16 per hour.
Workers at United Tires warehouses are paid $19 per hour and have a weekly work limit of 45 hours.
Although the temptation to have a lean supply chain at a low cost may encourage you to run your warehouse as inexpensively as possible, the compensation you provide warehouse workers will most likely have the greatest influence on how readily you can hire these sorts of employees.
As a result, if you are having difficulty finding warehouse talent, the simplest method to enhance your recruitment process is to reconsider your wage offerings.
2. Distribute the most physically demanding jobs among your team members.
Warehouse employees should be handled in a way that demonstrates an understanding of the physical demands of the job.
Throughout the work week, warehouse employees will be required to do a variety of activities.
Loading and unloading shelves and pallets, as well as packing boxes, will be more physically demanding than more intellectual activities such as physical inventory counts and data input.
Warehouse managers may wish to explore more equitably distributing physically hard labor across team members.
Although each operator will have their own set of talents and limitations (and managers should be allowed to play to each employee’s strengths), having one or two team members undertake all of the more physically demanding labor is unfair to both the employee and the team as a whole.
Consider keeping rosters and checklists of which team members are completing what duties on any given day if you are a more senior logistics manager to ensure that work is divided properly.
3. Provide benefits that directly address issues caused by working in a physical profession.
Employees who work in physically demanding jobs for an extended length of time are more prone to develop certain physical health issues.
Companies that hire employees in these professions should consequently provide assistance and perks that help prevent these health issues from arising, as well as easy access to proper treatment if they do occur.
Among these advantages are:
- Increased paid time off
- Free physiotherapy or occupational therapy sessions
- Health insurance that covers everything
- Complimentary gym membership
Offering these sorts of benefits may have three good effects: lowering the number of days your employees may have to miss due to illness or accident, enhancing workplace mood in your warehouse, and making warehouse jobs more desirable to prospects.
4. Make warehouse positions as adaptable as feasible.
One of the primary reasons warehouse jobs are presently seen as unattractive is because there is little opportunity for people in these professions to work from home.
This part of the profession has grown much more visible as a result of the pandemic’s surge in remote working.
Although many of the more hands-on operational positions in warehouses will never be able to be completed remotely, the fact that warehouses frequently need to operate 24/7 (especially if you run an e-commerce firm) means that you may provide personnel work-hour flexibility.
Though flexible working is not the same as working from home, it does provide some of the same advantages.
Some choices that warehouse managers may present to their employees in order to allow greater flexibility in their working hours are as follows:
- Giving priority on the schedule to parents with small children so they may avoid working in the early mornings and/or early evenings.
- Limiting the number of anti-social hours (evenings and weekends) that an employee must work.
- Offering monetary incentives to those ready to labor beyond unsocial hours. Young people, in particular, are frequently willing to work regular evenings and weekends in exchange for a little more money.
Warehouse managers should also implement a system that allows employees to readily switch shifts with one another, which increases flexibility and fosters camaraderie.
5. Create a warehouse that is as “temp-friendly” as feasible.
Due to the abundance of entry-level employment in warehouses, warehouse operative tasks are frequently quite popular among temporary employees searching for short-term, flexible contracts.
Businesses who recruit warehouse workers should aim to profit in this market by making their job postings appealing to temporary workers and making it as simple as possible for temporary workers to slot into warehouse responsibilities.
Recruiting temporary warehouse employees
Hiring managers should do the following when promoting warehouse positions to temporary workers:
- Post job ads on as many temporary-role-specific job listing portals as feasible.
- In your job post, you expressly state that the position is acceptable for temporary employees, and establish a minimum length of time that an employee must commit to a role in order to be qualified for it.
- Work with specialist temp recruiters whenever possible.
- In your job posting, state your offered hourly wage. Temporary workers typically view their income as an hourly rate rather than an annual salary, so frame them accordingly.
Including temporary workers in your team
Working with a steady stream of temporary employees requires a company to have the correct sorts of onboarding and systemization in place.
You must have a strong grasp of how long it takes individuals to learn how to do certain activities, and temporary employees should only be assigned responsibilities that are appropriate for the length of time they will be working at your organization.
If you often recruit temporary workers, it may be worthwhile to have a dedicated team member who monitors, onboards, and manages short-term hires.
It is also worthwhile collaborating with other area warehouses to build a pool of dependable temporary employees from which everyone may draw as needed.
This not only increases the number of prospective temporary employees at your disposal, but it also makes a temporary position at your warehouse more interesting to applicants who may be sent to other warehouses for additional work in the future.
1. Allow your warehouse workers to advance in their careers.
If candidates feel that selecting such a position would lead to possibilities higher up in your organization in the future, you are significantly more likely to draw talent to your warehouse floor.
Warehouse operators will find it much simpler to hire if they provide a clear route from operative jobs to middle and senior management positions.
This results in another win-win situation for a firm and its employees, as employees have more prospects for career advancement, and the company benefits from a quicker hiring process and a ready pool of competent applicants with a strong awareness of ground-level issues.
Companies can establish this path from operational to managerial jobs in a variety of methods, including:
- It requires that a particular percentage of applicants for managerial positions originate from within the organization.
- Creating a mentorship program in which warehouse workers spend time directly with top managers from around the organization.
- Allowing warehouse workers to take “secondments” where they can work in different areas inside the organization for a short length of time (anything from a couple of weeks to a month).
- Having a management structure among operators (such as team leaders) can then be utilized as a stepping stone to future management positions.
You could also seek individuals who have risen through the ranks of your company’s operations to develop case studies. These can be utilized in the future to sell warehouse operative roles in your firm.
2. Make your job adverts as enticing to candidates as possible.
When creating job advertising for warehouse positions, make careful to clearly address any objections that candidates may have to work in such a position.
A strong job description that shows a prospect exactly what they’re getting themselves into while also outlining why the position is a better fit than their rivals.
Some of the primary arguments, as we have already explored, are low pay, work that is physically demanding and potentially dangerous, tasks that go in a cycle, and long-term professional advancement is limited.
To address these concerns, job postings should provide the following information:
- Include the compensation for the role.
- Describe the physical characteristics of the work and provide an estimate of how much time will be spent doing physically demanding duties.
- Describe the safeguards in place to protect employees’ health, safety, and well-being.
- Make it clear how sociable the hours are and what mechanisms are in place to reduce the amount of anti-social hours worked.
- Explain what regulations exist to assist an applicant’s long-term professional goals, providing real-world examples whenever feasible.
In summary, a good job listing informs a candidate exactly what they are getting themselves into while also highlighting why the role is superior to their competition.
It is up to corporate policymakers to develop a welcoming and compassionate work atmosphere that will appeal to applicants.
Attracting Talent for Warehouse Positions Necessitates a Comprehensive Strategy
To recruit talent to warehouse positions, you must actually make your warehouse a desirable place to work.
This includes paying employees a fair wage, providing benefits according to the work they do, and providing career prospects.
If you get them right, hiring should take care of itself.