Warehouses and logistics facilities have been facing an unprecedented labor shortage, mostly due to the boom in ecommerce over the last decade and a variety of other factors in recent years. Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to warehouse labor woes, but according to a 2021 study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, the manufacturing skills gap in the U.S. could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. The article also found that the cost of those missing jobs could potentially total $1 trillion in 2030 alone.
Although hiring warehouse labor is clearly more difficult than it has been in the past, here are some helpful tips for hiring successful warehouse laborers and bridging the gap.
1. Retain Top Talent By Offering Competitive Pay
Turnover in warehousing can be astronomically high with the average rate being close to 60%. High turnover can have a significant impact on overall profitability and training costs, as having to hire and replace employees time and time again can be very costly. Competitive pay is the number one deciding factor when workers are choosing between multiple job opportunities. Offering competitive in-market pay is a surefire way to make you stand out from your competitors and continue to retain your top performers.
One of the best approaches to staffing for warehouses can be offering performance-based incentives to remain competitive across the industry. When workers feel that their effort is directly and fairly rewarded–beyond their baseline pay– they’re simultaneously incentivized to do their best work, and do so more efficiently and independently. Implementing a performance-based system can attract new warehouse labor into your facility, and help retain your best people.
The best way to create a pay for performance plan at your warehouse is to base your rewards system on a fair set of labor standards that are achievable and well-communicated. This also has the side effect of potentially offsetting the realities of the labor shortage. Properly designed performance-based programs can cause large productivity gains and increase overall profitability without having to hire additional laborers.
In addition to competitive pay, partnering with an online marketplace like Jobble, allows you to offer workers exclusive discounts and access to resources from insurance plans to entertainment, handpicked for each worker. Learn more about what perks Jobble can offer to gig economy workers here.
2. Offer Employee Flexibility
Between seasonality and supply chain issues warehouses can run 24 hours a day. Only a handful of people want to work in the middle of the night and short-staffed managers may ask warehouse workers to labor more than 40 hours a week. It’s vital given current world affairs that employers offer their workers flexibility when scheduling shifts and offer them a schedule that is able to accommodate workers’ overall work/life balance needs.
Flexible scheduling will not only retain employees over time, but also provides an added benefit that helps prevent turnover. Flexible warehousing scheduling options such as flextime, shift work, and split shifts can allow employers access to better warehouse talent, retain happier workers, and reduce absences.
3. Welcome Diversity
There is a growing need for diversity, equity and inclusion within the warehousing industry. It is important to identify opportunities for diversifying workforces through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) programs, and then evaluate leadership performance based on meeting hiring goals. Studies have shown that diverse teams solve problems faster, and the prioritization of cultivating a varied workforce can also help new employees feel more comfortable and create a more engaged work environment.
Workers often leave because of the culture and environment that they’re working in and although workplace diversity may not be a factor that every applicant specifically looks for, it is a draw. Diversity, equity, and inclusion all help in retaining employees. Without an emphasis on hiring diverse talent, work environments can quickly feel dull or even hostile and unaccepting, leading to higher turnover.
4. Perfect Your Job Descriptions
While it’s true that warehousing jobs can be demanding, being transparent when writing your job descriptions is one way to combat turnover. Clearly define your expectations, needs, and preferences in the job posting, that way you can streamline your hiring process, eliminating unqualified applicants and focusing on those who fit the position best. If you’re as specific as possible, you’ll attract the kind of worker you need the most. Specificity will also help retain employees by giving them appropriate and accurate expectations.
Finding this balance between providing enough information without overwhelming the applicant is tough – but crucial. If a job listing is too vague, some applicants may ignore it out of uneasiness. Alternatively, they could apply to and accept the position, only to find its not what they want. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to attract workers who will stay.
5. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Hire
It’s an unfortunate reality of staffing that oftentimes candidates can drop out or not show up last minute. Adequate planning and preparation is one way to combat no-shows, and ensure that you don’t leave yourself in a stressful staffing situation. If you do find yourself in a last-minute staffing scenario, Jobble is here to help.
Nobody has a perfect solution yet, but at Jobble we look at things like activity and responsiveness to ensure reliable candidates. We also over-hire to account for average no-shows. Companies can cut the workers that they end up not needing. Our sweet spot is 48 hours. Depending on the location and the number of people you are looking for, businesses usually get applicants within two days of your posting. To get started today and start hiring tomorrow, post a job here to have full access to our digitized staffing platform for free.
Warehouses are still struggling to fill critical jobs, and businesses should continue to find ways to broaden the talent pipeline, foster inclusive cultures, and utilize gig economy workers to preserve the future of manufacturing. Learn more about how Jobble can help you staff your warehousing needs here.
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