4 Keys To Better Hiring Shift Workers In Distribution

As your company adjusts its hiring strategy, here's what distributors can keep in mind when hiring shift workers.
Hiring shift workers

The way we think about work has altered dramatically due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The shift employees occupying employment in distribution industries, hospitality and healthcare were hit the hardest. However, there are simple keys to better hiring shift workers in distribution.

Businesses around the world, particularly wholesale distribution companies, rely heavily on shift employees. The pandemic disruptions forced distribution companies to let go of much of their shift workforce, while existing workers may have had even more work to perform.

The changes that ensued as a result of the pandemic disruptions weighed heavily on the minds of shift workers as recent shift working statistics show that 50% of shift workers consider themselves vital workers, 69% are concerned about their job security, and 78% consider sanitation as a top safety protocol.

The wholesale distribution industry will need to adjust to new business methods as it recovers fully from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The influence of the shift working statistics will resonate in the industry’s adjustment to better hiring shift workers.

So, as your wholesale distribution company adjusts its hiring strategy in this period, what key things should you keep in mind to better hire shift workers?

1. Work with a reputable staffing firm

Since shift staff recruiting is more complex than other types of hiring, you might consider partnering with a firm that offers shift staffing services for wholesale distribution companies. Such firms are trained to recognize applicants who would perform well, and to screen out those who would not be a good fit in the long term. Additionally, an employer has a slew of legal obligations, including paying certain taxes, providing insurance and adhering to labor rules. Hiring shift workers entails costly risks from a financial and operational sense, particularly if someone is fired or leaves unexpectedly. When you use a staffing firm, they take on many of these responsibilities for you.

2. Recognize the health and well-being of shift workers

For the wholesale distribution industry, the stress-inducing nature of 2020 puts workplace well-being into focus. Safety and security of your employees are essential, as evidenced in the shift working statistics. Shift workers considered a safe and supportive work environment the most crucial element in deciding where to work.

You as an employer must support your shift workers’ health and well-being to maintain happiness, health and productivity. To get started, here are some suggestions:

  • Keep a clean work environment
  • Promote regular health checkups
  • Tackle stress causes in the workplace
  • Encourage healthy snacks.

You can also allocate funding to strengthen workplace safety procedures like contact tracing and sanitization services to buffer their health safety.

3. Be aware of recent leave policies

Managing leaves of absence is a lot more difficult today than it used to be. The Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) of 2020 gave certain workers compensated time off if they had COVID-19 or if the government suspended their children’s schools or child care providers due to the pandemic.

Although the paid-leave provisions of the FFCRA were set to expire at the end of 2020, a new coronavirus relief package extended the refundable employer payroll tax credit for paid sick and family leave until March 2021.

Additionally, certain states, counties and localities have more expansive leave regulations in place that will last at least part of 2021.

Shift workers in the distribution industry have a right to these policies and while you may opt not to use them, developing policies and processes for maintaining compliance while the rules are still in existence is a smart option.

4. Include employee career development training

While you look to employ wholesale distribution workers in your company, bear in mind that no matter how qualified they are, you should provide or develop programs that encourage further career development.

Employee development encompasses more than just honing a person’s skills for a certain job. Rather, it refers to ongoing education that develops professionals and allows them to advance along their chosen career path.

The warehouse distribution and education programs provide wholesale distribution employers with the best educational tools for their employees’ development.

So, as you recruit staff today, encourage them to develop their careers as that will benefit your business in the long term.

While recruiting in the pandemic period may seem difficult, it is vital to move your company ahead and stay competitive, as better hiring shift workers is critical to the success of your wholesale distribution businesses. When hiring shift workers, providing the right working conditions and adequately organized working schedules can be the edge you have over your competitors.

Derek Jones spearheads key initiatives at Deputy, a global workforce management platform. 

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