When you manage a warehouse or distribution center, anticipating the number of workers you may need during any given week to meet fluctuating demands can be challenging. As the warehouse gets busier your employees may feel more pressure to perform, resulting in inefficient operations, which could lead to higher turnover rates and less revenue for your company.
We’re here to tell you there’s a better way. If you’re not leveraging temporary warehouse labor to supplement your staff as demand for your distribution or warehouse business fluctuates, you should be. In this blog post, we’ll dive into how you can utilize warehouse gig workers to help you ensure you can accept every fulfillment request that comes your way so that you can continue to grow your business.
What are gig workers?
First, let’s begin by going over the basics. If you’re new to the gig economy, gig workers are temporary laborers you can hire on-demand. Whether you need someone to come in to complete a half-day of entering data into inventory, additional stockers or pickers, or you have several large truckloads you need help loading and unloading, you can use gig workers to cover unfilled warehouse shifts.
What are the benefits of hiring last-minute labor?
Of course, you never want to hire more employees than you anticipate needing. Since you likely have a good idea of how many employees you need to have on staff to cover a typical week, hiring additional full-time employees to meet your changing business demands doesn’t make sense. Instead, consider hiring temporary workers who will only work the warehouse jobs you need them to.
In addition to the cost-savings benefits that accompany hiring temporary warehouse workers over full-time employees, hiring workers on-demand can help you get more done faster, generating more revenue for your business.
Read this customer success story to learn how a global beverage distribution company uses GigSmart’s managed services staffing offering to supplement their staff when the demand for warhouse workers rises.
Lastly, temporary warehouse workers can also be easily added and removed to your weekly schedule based on your upcoming workload. Since you likely experience increased customer requests based on a variety of factors like the time of year (or currently because of COVID-19), you can utilize temporary Workers to quickly scale your workforce as those variables change.
How should you train your temporary warehouse workers?
Preparing temporary workers for warehouse gigs can seem like a daunting task. If you’ve only been using full-time employees, it can be a challenge to know how to train temporary workers. Just like you would with your full-time employees, it’s important to make sure your temporary workers understand the guidelines they must follow when working at your warehouse or distribution center. Whether it’s what equipment or tools to bring, what equipment or tools they’re expected to know how to use, what they should wear, or task-specific requirements, communicate your expectations so workers understand how to be successful on the job site.
Time invested in training temporary warehouse workers can go a long way. Your hourly warehouse workers will be more efficient, less likely to be injured on the job, and more likely interested in working with you again. Here are some recommendations on topics you might wish to cover in your warehouse worker training:
- Provide general ergonomics training and task-specific training to temporary workers to maximize their time.
- Include safe lifting advice, and any other recommendations to prevent physical injury.
- Incorporate industry guidelines, OSHA requirements, and state/ local regulations that apply to the Gig into training to help avoid injury and citations.
- Review basic warehouse industry language to familiarize the worker with terms used on the job for clear communication.
- Educate your workers on company safety measures and procedures.
- Cover information specific to your company or anything else that will help them successfully complete the gig.
It’s important to make your temporary warehouse workers aware of your expectations, and it’s crucial to advise them of what the consequences will be should they not meet those expectations. Make sure you are transparent with them and aligned on what to do and what not to do to prevent confusion on the worksite. With everything clearly laid out, who knows, you might just find a temporary warehouse worker you want to hire over and over again.
Where can I find last-minute skilled warehouse workers?
It can be difficult to find qualified last-minute labor for warehouse shift, but GigSmart makes it easy. If you’re a business that offers warehouse or distribution services, you can find and hire skilled workers with GigSmart.
If your needs are immediate, we can help you find qualified, temporary labor in less than an hour. If you know you’ll be receiving a large shipment soon, you can hire up to 30 days in advance. All of our Workers are insured at no additional cost to you, and you can even require Workers to have passed a background and motor vehicle check prior to working your Gig and operating any heavy machinery. Lastly, you’re in charge of setting each Workers’s hourly pay rate, and GigSmart takes care of the processing payment — without the additional paperwork and overhead that accompanies hiring W-2 employees.
If you’re ready to hire temporary, skilled workers for your warehouse needs (packing, shipping, inventory, picking, loading/unloading, etc.), create your first free gig post in your Get Workers hiring account today.