Recruit – Retain – Rejoice

A few easy tips for keeping your warehouse well-staffed during this competitive labor market.

Warehouse operations are experiencing a period of unprecedented growth, thanks to the boom of e-commerce. As the warehouse-direct/e-commerce model continues to expand, some electrical distribution warehouse managers find themselves up against staffing challenges. Everywhere you turn in our industry, the impact of world and economic events has created a labor shortage in the logistics sector.


The growth of the e-commerce space also means that job applicants have more options within the logistics sector. But electrical distribution warehouses can take measures to attract and keep great team members. The tips below can help your distributor stand out among the myriad of companies competing for logistics talent right now.


Preface: By a large margin, the number one priority among warehouse workers and applicants is pay. Offering a competitive pay plan is essential to recruiting top talent and reducing your turnover rate.  You already know this!  We’ll cover a few areas OTHER than pay.


Facilitate Upward Mobility

A great organic way to mitigate high turnover rates is by enabling upward mobility. Workers won’t want to remain in a workplace where they feel they can’t advance. In a recent Modern Distribution Management (MDM) study, warehouse employees who were promoted in the company within three years had a 70% likelihood of staying, compared to just 45 percent among those who weren’t promoted.

Even a lateral move helps. According to the same study, workers who moved laterally had a 62 percent chance of staying. Any kind of opportunity to move within the company and gain a range of experience will attract and retain employees — but upward mobility is best. You can achieve this through promotions as well as smaller steps like rewarding productivity with incremental roles and raises.


Look for Diversity

During your search for potential applicants, look for ways you might increase workplace diversity. Studies show that diverse teams solve problems faster, thanks to a broader range of perspectives and ideas. Establishing a varied workforce can also help new employees feel more comfortable and foster a more interesting work environment. Workplace diversity may not be a factor that every applicant specifically looks for, but it can be a great benefit that helps retain great employees. Without variety of backgrounds and personalities, work environments might feel dull or unaccepting, leading to high turnover. A diverse team is an effective team!



Create a Work Schedule that Works!

Rigid schedules may make it easier to manage a warehouse, but they can turn away employees. Flexibility is a necessity for many workers and a feature that many employers may not offer. You can stand out among the competition in your local job market by adapting schedules to people’s needs. Flexible scheduling will also help retain employees. Too many times, conflicts between work, family, and other priorities cause good people to leave. Being able to offer a work schedule that fits the rest of their life can provides a key benefit they won’t want to give up. Sometimes, this can be as simple as allowing an employee to schedule their break or lunch hour around picking up kids from school or other family obligations. Creative solutions in the “work/life balance” area can often be the difference in retaining great people!


Build a Talent Pipeline

While job boards and websites are a great way to reach applicants, you should also tap into the local community. Potential workers are often drawn to positions with companies they recognize. If your electrical distributor is known within the community, you’ll form a greater connection to the local workforce. Trade schools, charities, community colleges, and universities are excellent resources to find top logistics personnel. Consider partnering with these institutions to appear at job fairs or establish work programs. Sponsoring or partnering with local nonprofits or community groups is a good way to establish your warehouse as a great place to work and attract logistics talent.


Devising and deploying creative solutions to the mission of finding and retaining great logistics workers can go a long way toward bringing stability to your workforce. A little effort in this area can greatly reduce the costs of hiring, onboarding, and training.


What does your distributor focus on to help find and retain warehouse talent?

Let us know in the comments below.