how to hire a materials handler.

how to hire a materials handler.

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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:

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 2019 Salary Guide to make sure your offer is competitive. To get you started, here are the average hourly rates for materials handlers, depending on experience level:

entry-level
$14.49/hour

mid-level
$17.46/hour

senior-level
$20.15/hour

But keep in mind that these 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:

forklift operation

lifting ability

packaging

materials transport

basic math

shipping and receiving

inventory management

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.

don't write like a robot
Leave the jargon for company-wide emails. A job description should show the reader what daily life in the role is like and how it fits into your company's vision, so think beyond a densely worded list of job duties and focus on the positive aspects of the job. Consider questions like: How does this role impact the company? What's the operational team like, and how do they collaborate on the floor? What qualities should our materials handlers have in order to make an impact?

Bottom line: You want to hire a human, so write like you're talking to one.

show how the job is meaningful
Now more than ever, people want to feel like they're contributing to something when they go to work every day. So it's important that the job description shows how they're valued and how their work helps achieve success.

Make sure to answer questions like: How often will materials handlers be rotated among various functions, like quality assurance, unloading, scanning weights? What opportunities are there for advancement or learning and development? How is success measured — by reducing manufacturing cycle time, or minimizing product damage? Addressing popular questions like these helps a potential candidate know from the outset that they'll be a valued, respected employee.

you want to hire a person — not a robot — so write the job description with a human reader in mind.

make it easy to skim
A good job description gives candidates an accurate and attractive idea of what the role will entail — but you don't want to overwhelm them with too much information. Instead, make the description informative and keep the layout digestible. Use bullet points, short paragraphs and front-loaded sentences to make it not only easy to read but highly skimmable.

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 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled.

  • A growth in e-commerce will create an additional 452,000 manufacturing jobs by the end of 2019. 

  • The newest jobs will be in the southern and western portions of the United States — near the booming tech hubs in California and Texas in particular.

For more insight into the manufacturing and logistics industries, head on over to our complete 2019 guide to hiring trends.

3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled over 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.

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how to hire a materials handler.

Posted by Michael Cirigliano on Sep 27, 2019 3:02:48 PM

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:

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 2019 Salary Guide to make sure your offer is competitive. To get you started, here are the average hourly rates for materials handlers, depending on experience level:

entry-level
$14.49/hour

mid-level
$17.46/hour

senior-level
$20.15/hour

But keep in mind that these 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:

forklift operation

lifting ability

packaging

materials transport

basic math

shipping and receiving

inventory management

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.

don't write like a robot
Leave the jargon for company-wide emails. A job description should show the reader what daily life in the role is like and how it fits into your company's vision, so think beyond a densely worded list of job duties and focus on the positive aspects of the job. Consider questions like: How does this role impact the company? What's the operational team like, and how do they collaborate on the floor? What qualities should our materials handlers have in order to make an impact?

Bottom line: You want to hire a human, so write like you're talking to one.

show how the job is meaningful
Now more than ever, people want to feel like they're contributing to something when they go to work every day. So it's important that the job description shows how they're valued and how their work helps achieve success.

Make sure to answer questions like: How often will materials handlers be rotated among various functions, like quality assurance, unloading, scanning weights? What opportunities are there for advancement or learning and development? How is success measured — by reducing manufacturing cycle time, or minimizing product damage? Addressing popular questions like these helps a potential candidate know from the outset that they'll be a valued, respected employee.

you want to hire a person — not a robot — so write the job description with a human reader in mind.

make it easy to skim
A good job description gives candidates an accurate and attractive idea of what the role will entail — but you don't want to overwhelm them with too much information. Instead, make the description informative and keep the layout digestible. Use bullet points, short paragraphs and front-loaded sentences to make it not only easy to read but highly skimmable.

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 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled.

  • A growth in e-commerce will create an additional 452,000 manufacturing jobs by the end of 2019. 

  • The newest jobs will be in the southern and western portions of the United States — near the booming tech hubs in California and Texas in particular.

For more insight into the manufacturing and logistics industries, head on over to our complete 2019 guide to hiring trends.

3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled over 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.

Topics: phase:explore, industry:manufacturing & logistics, topic:problems