Warehouse Talent

Since the pandemic, there have been shifts relative to recruitment and onboarding. The warehouse and distribution sector in particular may be set to see significantly higher demand than it did previously. During the pandemic, social distancing and precautionary measures played a huge part in ensuring workplace safety.

These measures also carried over into private lives, as more people have become reliant on e-commerce for products and services. The resulting e-commerce and e-retail boom have helped giants like Amazon and Walmart earn billions in revenue over the preceding two years. Likewise, the benefits may trickle down to supporting industries like the warehouse sector.

Read on to discover more information on how businesses can make the right recruiting moves to position themselves better in anticipation of this expectation.

If the surge in digital consumer buying continues, it is only logical to expect more activity in supply chains and distribution channels. For physical products in both instances, the warehouse industry plays a key role in receiving, handling, storing, and retrieving assets like inventory, tools, and the like. The boost in digital consumer spending could very well indicate a proportionate increase in the demand for warehouse services.

Warehouse service providers may need to rethink many of their strategies. That includes expanding their total workforce as well as upskilling them to handle the increased workload. Of course, recruiting for warehouses is relatively less complicated, as candidates require less specialized skills, such as those required during a mortgage staffing drive, but businesses would do well to understand changes in candidate and employee behavior, particularly in the context of the Great Resignation.

Workforce managers must prioritize retention on par with talent acquisition and recruitment strategies. Here are some key ways to increase hiring and retention success in the warehouse industry:

Streamline Hiring and Onboarding

For many warehouse businesses, the biggest roadblock to hiring and retaining talent is inefficient recruitment, especially when it comes to high-volume centralized hiring. Many warehouse companies simply don’t value recruitment enough to divert more resources to it. As a result, most hiring and onboarding processes lack the manpower and the budgets to execute streamlined hiring. This, in turn, can lower the quality of hires as well as increase the rate of unsuccessful onboarding.

The first step to ensuring better hiring and retention is to make the entire process more efficient and less complicated. There can be many ways to accomplish this. But working with a specialized staffing agency usually helps warehouse businesses stay on top of their talent needs. That way, they can focus more on the retention aspect, leaving the acquisition effort to experienced third-party recruiters.

Improve Compensation and Benefits

Candidate priorities are changing, and not just in terms of preferring contract-to-hire roles instead of temporary ones. One major contributor to poor acquisition outcomes and higher attrition rates is always the compensation and benefits structure. This is true of every industry, including the warehouse sector. The issue here, usually, is a gap between the monetary and financial benefits candidates now expect for a role, and the structure an employer is willing to offer for it.

Warehouse companies need to carefully consider the most important perks and benefits that most workers perceive favorably, but these considerations must never come at the expense of making payroll costs unsustainable.

Businesses will have to find a middle ground between competitive compensation and business sustainability. Too low, and it could become impossible to attract (or retain) high-quality talent. If too high, an overpaid workforce can threaten a business’s ability to pay its workers, leading to additional problems down the road.

Offer More Value to Soft Skills

Finally, successful hires and retaining talent can improve with a broader definition of the “value” they bring to their role. Conventional workplaces want experienced workers with demonstrable productivity. But, as more workforce managers now understand, soft skills can often be a very reliable indicator of how well a candidate can perform if hired. Soft skills like leadership, communication, and even empathy, may not seem like core workplace skills, but they are attributes that often resonate with workplace values. By extension, they can add more value to a workplace than the average candidate.

A great work ethic comprising honesty, responsibility, and accountability is not standard in any candidate pool. It is a reasonable assumption that any candidate with these attributes will display them in their quality of work. Conversely, a candidate with poor interpersonal skills could prove a potentially dangerous addition.

In this case, even if the candidate has the requisite experience, their lack of personability could cause serious workforce problems. Some may even trigger a serious workplace investigation. However, identifying the presence (or lack) of key soft skills can often help recruiters minimize the chances of recruiting the wrong candidate.

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