Industrial Staffing Report: Sept. 20, 2018

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Top factors attracting warehouse workers: Pay, shifts and HR policies

Wages, shift preferences and more flexible HR policies are the key factors to attracting and retaining hourly warehouse workers, according to the 11th annual Warehouse Employee Opinion Survey released by EmployBridge.

Pay ranked as the single most important factor for the 11th consecutive year among warehouse workers, the industrial staffing firm found. For the first time since the survey was established in 2007, a majority of warehouse workers, 65%, reported earning hourly rates of $12 or more, compared to 26% percent in 2014.

“It appears from our survey findings that $12 an hour has become the bare minimum wage for warehouse workers; however, we're seeing many of our clients offering more attractive wages in order to secure quality talent given the single-digit unemployment market,” said Brian Devine, EmployBridge senior VP and creator of the survey.

When it comes to hourly workers' shift preference, 67% of respondents said they want to work first shift and prefer eight-hour shifts. Companies that require second or third shifts to meet production demands may need to offer higher pay differentials, particularly in a tight labor market. According to the survey, hourly workers on average desire $1 more per hour to accept and stay on second or third shift, as compared to 62 cents in 2011.

At today’s historically low unemployment rates, rigid HR policies may not make good business sense, according to EmployBridge. The survey finding that warehouse workers overwhelmingly prefer their current pay plus five days of paid time off rather than a $1 pay rate increase with no PTO.

“We are in unchartered territory as many employers prepare for peak season and seek to secure seasonal talent,” EmployBridge Chief Workforce Analyst Joanie Courtney said. “With consumer optimism at record levels and unemployment in single-digits, employers must get aggressive and more creative in their efforts to find and maintain an adequate labor force in order to take advantage of increased consumer demands.”

The survey included 15,883 workers nationwide and was conducted between Feb. 12 and March 30, 2018. Respondents included jobseekers, as well as workers employed full-time, part-time or on a contingent basis, and with at least six months of warehouse experience.

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