Warehouse Recruiting Ideas to Overcome Labor Shortages And Find the Best Workers
In an era of labor shortages, it's more difficult than ever to keep warehouses properly staffed. According to Instawork's State of Warehouse Labor report for 2022, a shocking 73 percent of employers struggle to attract employees.
Yes, automated solutions can streamline essential processes to help fill in some of the gaps — but there is no substitute for the hardworking employees who have kept warehouses functioning optimally for generations.
Both recruiting and retaining employees are crucial pieces of this complicated puzzle. Unfortunately, both can be difficult given the realities of the current job market. No one solution will solve all your staffing woes, but a layered approach can make a difference if it incorporates strategies that help potential workers feel energized — and just as importantly, solutions to ensure that current employees feel appreciated.
Below, we've highlighted several warehouse recruiting essentials to keep in mind as you aim for a fully-staffed workplace:
Create an Easy and Efficient Hiring Process
A higher volume of job applicants will increase the likelihood that excellent candidates make the final cut. If your application and interview processes are confusing or time-consuming, however, you will struggle to get potential employees expressing interest.
To streamline the process, provide an easy-to-navigate online application that aspiring warehouse workers can complete at a moment's notice. Avoid redundancy, as this will annoy applicants or even cause them to give up halfway through the process. For example: job candidates will not be pleased if they need to both attach resumes as documents and type resume information into a text box.
While background checks and drug testing can increase your confidence in employees, these might not be as necessary for warehouse work as you think. Should you choose to include them in the process, make them as easy to complete as possible.
Ease of access should extend to the interview process. Offer multiple options for interviewing, including several times and days of the week to accommodate busy schedules. Some job candidates may also appreciate conducting virtual interviews via phone or videoconferencing.
No matter which of the above strategies you implement, transparency is vital every step of the way. Employees should know exactly what to expect from the hiring process before they begin.
Craft Good Warehouse Job Ads
Before you start posting job ads all over the internet, verify that the language and tone of these ads reflect the realities of your warehouse environment. Highlight the biggest benefits of working there. This should encompass not only pay and bonuses, but also, the various initiatives you've implemented to make your warehouse as safe, comfortable, and inviting as possible.
We'll delve more into specific initiatives below, but remember: no matter which advantages your warehouse offers, they need to be obvious to potential applicants. Compensation, in particular, should be noted. First, this could provide a competitive advantage if candidates are unimpressed with pay from other employers. Plus, compensation details are actually a matter of legality in some states.
Job ads need to be as succinct as possible (while covering all the necessary details), as applicants aren't interested in reading through lengthy blocks of text. Highlight the most important information about the position while using language that conveys your workplace culture and general philosophy.
Advertise Your Openings in a Variety of Places
Get the word out about job opportunities with help from strategically-placed ads. These should be made available in a variety of locations, so applicants can easily find out more about available positions.
Key opportunities for displaying job ads include:
- Online job boards. Many aspiring workers begin the job search process with websites such as Indeed. Create job ads on these sites, complete with an easy transition to the application process.
- Social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all provide excellent opportunities for attracting attention from a variety of users. Better yet: LinkedIn, which combines the benefits of social media and job boards to create a valuable space for connecting with job candidates. Create shareable posts that get followers excited — and encourage them to spread the word so more users learn about warehouse job openings.
- Training programs. Craft an effective job pipeline by supporting (or even creating) training programs that help local residents gain vital skills. Let participants know about job opportunities in your warehouse — and explain how these jobs will help training program members apply newfound knowledge in a real-world setting.
- Job fairs. The classic job fair remains an excellent option for drawing interest from people who are highly motivated to find work. That being said, you'll likely need to compete against similar enterprises, which are also desperate to hire more employees. Create an eye-catching display to get potential workers talking — and be sure to prominently display opportunities for bonuses or other enticing propositions.
Solicit Referrals From Your Employees
Word of mouth can be a powerful tool for recruiting, so don't hesitate to get current employees in on this effort. Many will be happy to spread the word if they love their jobs — and especially if they get the opportunity to work closely with their friends. Not only will this increase the volume of quality applicants, it could improve workplace morale and create a more cohesive environment.
To encourage employees to refer excellent candidates, provide a streamlined referral process. This should be accompanied by significant bonuses for referred applicants who are ultimately hired. Consider fast-tracking these candidates through the hiring process. They'll be evaluated on all the same criteria, but at a faster pace so they can be hired quickly if they qualify.
Be Better to Work for Than Your Competitors
While employee referrals can provide a wealth of applicants, these are unlikely if your warehouse fails to provide a desirable work environment. If you have a problematic reputation, you can rest assured that aspiring warehouse workers will apply to work with your competitors instead.
Pay attention to these competitors to determine how they're treating their employees — both good and bad. Identify their weaknesses and determine how you can provide a clear difference in your warehouse. Use their strengths as motivation to adopt practices that today's best job candidates find desirable.
Make Sure to Retain Employees
Recruitment is important, of course, but it becomes a lot less urgent if you're able to retain experienced employees. Many of the strategies highlighted above should help, but you'll need to go above and beyond to keep the best and brightest employees on board.
Above all else, employees need to genuinely believe that your organization rewards loyalty. This means providing excellent opportunities for long-term workers. Great benefits are essential, as are retention bonuses to keep employees from going after more lucrative positions from competing warehouses.
Don't underestimate the value of employee comfort. Yes, they want excellent pay and benefits, but this won't be enough to overcome a workplace that feels unwelcoming or unpleasant. Find automated solutions that limit physical strain, plus thoughtful amenities for workers to enjoy during their breaks.
Improve Worker Satisfaction and Retention With Warehouse1
Warehouse design and technology implementation can make a huge difference for employees. A well-designed workplace means less physical strain and more opportunities for rewarding tasks. This, in turn, may help you retain the best workers, instead of constantly struggling to recruit new applicants.
Our team at Warehouse1 is happy to steer you in the right direction. We offer a variety of services designed to optimize the modern warehouse environment. Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve maximum efficiency and employee satisfaction in your warehouse.