Automation has made its way into every aspect of running a business, and warehouses are no exception. Companies like Amazon are constantly in the news for their robot-operated warehouses, but considering they're still a solid 10 years away from being fully automated according to SupplyChainBrain, human staffing is still necessary. There are still tasks that can only be accomplished with a human touch - even with the advancements in technology and robotics.
When you're looking to staff your warehouse you are generally looking for reliable, organized and physical capable employees. And as the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts overall employment for hand laborers and material movers to increase by 4% within this decade, it is important to know how to approach the hiring process.
1. Be transparent in the job posting
The first thing you're going to do when hiring warehouse employees is set up a job posting outlining the duties of the job. While the BLS outline some of the general duties of a hand laborer as, "manually moving freight, stock or other materials," a job posting cannot just begin and end with this description. Just as you would for other roles, you want to articulate other general information such as salary and required experience.
There are also some additions to a warehouse job posting that are unique to the position. Though there are general duties, your warehouse may have more specific needs in mind that should be a clear part of your job description. It is widely accepted that a warehouse job is physically demanding, but how many hours a day? Or are the shifts overnight? Alert potential candidates to any other distinctive working conditions. Is the warehouse kept cold? Do they need to operate heavy equipment?
Being highly detailed and transparent in a job posting may feel like you're scaring away potential candidates, but that is definitely not the case. An honest job posting will attract candidates who know they are physically capable for the work you need and will help avoid any conflict over miscommunication of expectations from the start.
2. Encourage employee referrals
Having an open position in your warehouse is a great opportunity to ask any existing warehouse staff for referrals. They may know of others in the warehouse community that are seeking employment or have the qualifications to join your team. And while this does not mean you should discard a traditional hiring process or posting on job boards, referrals can put you in immediate contact with a qualified candidate. A great way to encourage employee referrals is to put a referral program in place and reward employees who recommend successful candidates. They already know the ins-and-outs of their job, and they will most likely refer someone that can not only handle the requirements but also has the personality to fit in with the team.
3. Check all licenses and certifications
Once you have narrowed down your top candidates it is crucial to check for valid licenses and certifications if applicable. Indeed suggests including required licenses under necessary skills and qualifications on a warehouse worker job posting. This is especially needed for workers who will be operating machinery commonly utilized in a warehouse like forklifts and electric jacks. Even if a candidate claims they have these certifications, make sure they are up to date.
To truly understand if a candidate has the proper skills, consider an industrial skills test. Working in a warehouse comes with a lot of hazards, but making sure your candidate has the skills they need before allowing them to work can keep your workman's compensation insurance rates low as well as helping you find a qualified candidate.