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  • Rachel Doyle

Reducing warehouse operative attrition and attracting future hires

Warehouse staff turnover can be a challenge for any businesses due to lost productivity and the time it takes to properly identify new staff who are most likely to stay. So how can you recruit effectively for warehouse staff who are likely to stay?

We cover our top recruitment tips to identify the right candidates for your warehouse operatives roles to suit your business needs in a challenging environment. That might include time to train new employees in processes, with equipment or even further training needs such as acquiring their forklift truck driving qualification, or renewal. There are also the costs associated with any uniform, safety equipment and of course the recruitment cost for new temporary or new hires.

The pandemic gave back time to employees to work out what it is that they want to do with their time spent in the workplace, which gave rise to the challenge being dubbed “the Great Resignation”. Some employees left the workplace entirely to pursue other interests or retire, others returned to education or moved into other sectors and roles. So how can you recruit effectively to ensure that you find talented and committed warehouse operatives who are more likely to be loyal and committed to the opportunity?

Look at more than just their experience - soft skills are all the rage

If you are looking for people who will meet your company culture and who are more likely to stick with your business, then you need to identify what soft skills your applicants have. When you are recruiting for warehouse staff you want to identify candidates who have good communication skills, time management, work well as part of a team and are capable of problem solving. Even if we look to future proofing businesses and with more technology being routed in the warehouse, you will want to identify candidates who are able to adapt to change and who enjoy a challenge.

Here’s how to evaluate past experience to identify those with staying power

Look through their previous work experience to identify how long they have worked with a business, if they have moved constantly due to pay increases that they were able to get elsewhere, identify what their skills and experience are and how they are motivated by work. Recently pay has increased in a number of sectors where roles were notoriously underpaid, so it may be justified movement. However, you will want to identify some of their softer skills as if they are just motivated by money, then you’re likely to see them move to the next highest bidder. That might not be of concern if you are looking for a temporary hire, or support through seasonal highs - but it will cost you in recruitment fees.

Job descriptions need to be crystal clear

Identify what the skills are that you are looking for in your warehouse employee and make sure you include these in the job description. This may sound obvious but it is rare that job descriptions are well written, so have a review of what you are saying and how easy it is to identify the key attributes of your preferred type of candidate.

Remember your employees health and wellbeing

The pandemic identified some key turning points for businesses. Those companies who looked after and supported their employees throughout the pandemic haven’t lost too many staff in the recent “great resignation”. Furthermore, time away from work during lockdown, led to employees re-evaluating what they want from their employers and the future of their workplace. That ranges from what sort of work they want to do and how they would like to do it. Clearly as a warehouse operative, they are unlikely to be able to work from home, but there might be other health and wellbeing initiatives that they are keen to see. If you haven’t already identified a health and wellbeing policy, it might be work gathering thoughts from your warehouse operative staff as to what they would be keen to see.

Clear scheduling patterns

Ensure that your future warehouse employee is aware of the shift patterns on offer and the expectations as well as the requirements of the job. What type of lifting might be involved.

Culture shift

Share what the culture is like in the business and across the warehouse teams. Are they mostly young employees or a diverse mix of cultures? How do teams get on? What opportunities might there be for progression or other possible roles within the business? Often employees who have worked on the shop floor or within supply chain roles, are best placed for future jobs within head offices as they understand the challenges and opportunities for efficiencies and improvements across the business.

You need a strong payments solution

Partner with a recruiter who is able to offer you a robust payment solution for ensuring temporary warehouse employees are paid on time and accurately. Even better if they cover the employer obligations on your behalf and identify what costs you need to pay, reducing the stress and administration time for your business.

What are your key strengths?!

Identify what the best parts are of your warehouse roles and what areas there are for improvement. If you are honest with future employees about what challenges there might be, as well as the work that is ongoing to address this, then you are more likely to identify loyal warehouse operatives throughout the recruitment process.

Looking for more?

Partner with Auxeris - the 15% agency and you can save on your recruitment costs and can expect to receive support in our temporary staff solutions, including payroll management, timesheets and identifying employer costs. We’re an experienced recruiter with a network of experienced consultants who work with clients in a number of sectors. We understand the importance of partnering with hiring teams for large recruitment briefs, particularly across a number of sites. We work with you to understand the culture of your business and how to create engaging recruitment briefs that will identify the type of candidates you are looking to hire. In doing so, we can help you to reduce your employee warehouse attrition rate. Find out how much you can save using our online calculator here.


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