If your company needs a materials handler, now's a good time to be on the lookout. Burning Glass, a labor-market analyst, reports that there were only 15,980 materials handler jobs posted in the past 12 months, making competition for this role lower than others in the manufacturing and logistics arenas.
But don't think hiring for this key role will be a cakewalk. Materials handlers are responsible for the safe transportation of a company's product and help keep warehouses running efficiently — two critical aspects of expediting deliver timetables and keeping customer satisfaction high — so every day without one on board sets you and your company back.
How do you find a great materials handler, one who will be a valuable asset to your organization? Here are the steps you should take to ensure you hire the best person for the role:1. put together an efficient hiring process 2. decide on a competitive compensation package 3. research the skills necessary for the role 4. craft an engaging job description 5. look into trends in the industry 6. identify the best sources to recruit talent
Ready for further insights and guidance on how to go about completing each step? Let's get started.
1. speed up your hiring process
Materials handlers are at the core of your business's logistical operations, so having an open materials handler position can begin affecting your bottom line — fast. Use the diagram below to identify opportunities for making your hiring process as efficient as can be, putting you one step closer to having the right person on your team.
2. develop a competitive compensation package
Deciding on an hourly rate that stacks up to the rest of the industry is important when engaging top-notch candidates. Research is key here, so begin by taking a look at Randstad's salary guide to make sure your offer is competitive.
But keep in mind that the wages included in our salary guide are just national averages. Your location can greatly affect what constitutes a competitive rate, so use our salary calculator to access the most up-to-date information for your market.
3. identify the top skills for materials handlers
Prior to writing the job description, you'll need to define what skills you're looking for in a materials handler. The position isn't only a labor role — materials handlers also play a part in workflow management and selecting the optimal equipment needed to ensure fulfillment is efficient and safe. So in deciding which skills are most important to your organization, enlist the help of the logistics manager and other floor leaders to get their opinion.
Once you've compiled that list of skills, break it down into "must-haves" and "nice-to-haves." For example, a materials handler definitely needs to be able to operate a forklift ("must-have"), but experience in enterprise resource planning (ERP) be less important to you (making it a "nice-to-have"). This will help when you're interviewing potential candidates, as you'll be able to rank them based on their skill set and quickly judge whether they're a good fit.
Kick off your process by reading the skills most requested of materials handlers, based on this past year's job postings:
4. write an eye-catching job description
A job description needs to excite the job seeker to apply and help them understand why your company is a great place to work. When writing your next one, remember these three tips to engage potential applicants.
you want to hire a person — not a robot — so write the job description with a human reader in mind.
For even more writing tips and insights to help you along your way, read our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.
5. brush up on the latest industry trends
Knowing the trends affecting the manufacturing and logistics industries is key to a strong hiring process — since today's changes will affect tomorrow's hiring.
Here are a few current trends happening in these spaces to watch:
In the next decade, it's expected that more than 121,000 new materials handler jobs will be added to the market.
Those new jobs will be heavily concentrated in the southern and western portions of the U.S. — especially near the booming tech hubs in Texas and California.
Jobs for refuse and recyclable material collectors and stock and material movers will grow at an above-average pace, reflecting the country's shifting priorities toward e-commerce and environmental sustainability.
121,300 new materials handler jobs will be created in the next 10 years.
6. choose your channels to find candidates
Job boards. Employee referrals. Career fairs. LinkedIn searches. Not all ways of hiring are created equal, so you need to think about where your potential candidates are — then meet them there. And because of the impact a materials handler has on a business and its customers' happiness, it's important to fill the role with the best person available.
To find those top candidates, it can help to work with a professional staffing firm that prescreens and vets all of the people in their talent network. Having a pool of qualified candidates who are open to new positions and ready to meet can greatly expedite your recruitment timeline.
If you're interested in taking your hiring process to the next level, reach out to one of Randstad's manufacturing and logistics experts to talk about your need for a materials handler. Or, if you're interested in browsing or on-demand talent pool, head on over to our Find Employees portal today.