Strategies for recruiting warehouse workers you need to know

August 4, 2021 Christina DeBusk

A warehouse worker stacking a box in a distribution center

The warehouse and storage industry employs more than 1.4 million Americans in 2021 according to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Yet, both news sources and industry experts are pointing their fingers at a warehouse worker shortage as one of the major factors that is disrupting supply chains across the U.S.

If you employ warehouse staff, you’ve likely seen the pinch of a reduced workforce firsthand. What can you do to get your employee numbers up, helping to relieve the bottleneck in supply and demand and enabling your business to meet your own customers’ needs?

Encourage employee referrals

In business, it’s often said that it’s not what you know but who you know that matters most. This can be applied to the recruiting of new warehouse workers in that your current staff is a great resource when you’re hiring. They may have friends or family members who are having trouble finding a job. Tap into their networks to find your next new talent.

Let your staff know that you’d love their referrals by sharing this information in your employee emails and newsletters. Ask your current workers if they know anyone looking for work who would be a good candidate to consider.

Some companies even decide to reward these referrals, either through paying a referral bonus or by offering other perks, such as giving a gift card or making a donation to a charity in the employee’s name should they recommend someone that you decide to hire.

Post open positions in the right places

Do you know where local job applicants are looking for work? You should because this is also where you should be posting your open warehouse positions.

One way to determine where locals are doing their job searches is to ask them. Put a question on your application that asks how that prospect heard about your opening. Also inquire where else they have been looking for work.

Another option is to reach out to your social media followers and ask them. Then post your openings in the places that seem to be the most prevalent

Point out the benefits of working for you

Every company offers different benefits. If you want to recruit new warehouse workers, point out the benefits that you offer that are different (better) than other employers in your area.

Do you have a better health insurance plan? Maybe you offer more days off or provide a top-of-the-line retirement plan? Don’t make job prospects search for this information. Instead, include it as the focal point of your job post so that prospective employees recognize where you stand out.

Pay more competitive wages

When looking for a new job, one of the first things people will look at is the rate of pay. They need to earn enough to help support themselves and their families, hopefully with some monies left over to fund retirement and enjoy life a bit along the way.

They’ll also compare what you pay against other companies hiring for the same position. If you aren’t competitive, you’ll likely lose out.

In a January 2021 news release, Randstad US suggests that businesses need to increase their pay rates by as much as 3.5% for high-demand warehouse roles in order to be competitive. This can make your company first in line for job prospects who are interested in securing this type of work. Even if you can’t increase your rates this much, even a small increase over your competitors can make your company more appealing.

Need more helping with recruitment ideas? Download our free recruitment ideas guide here.

About the Author

Christina M. DeBusk creates small business content for a variety of publications, some of which include Businessing Magazine, Compendent, Chiropractic Economics, and more. She is also the author behind the column, "The Successful Solopreneur.

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