As we move into the second half of 2018, now is the time to start peak planning to reduce staffing risk.

The cold and grey winter months may seem like a long way away, but as we move into the second half of 2018, the winter peak period will soon be upon us.

Warehouse, retail, and hospitality staffing for the 2018 peak period is set to be the most challenging in recent years, with immigration in flux, higher living wage rates, and the lowest unemployment in the UK since records began; many experts are forecasting a staffing crisis over the months of November and December.
Companies must now look to implement staffing strategies for Q4 to avoid being left out in the cold. Setting a robust and coherent strategy will help defend against staff shortages and reduce the business risk associated with lack of talent.

Here are our top 5 considerations when compiling your strategy to manage peak staffing demands this year:

1. Review your hourly rates: competition for talent is set to be fierce this festive season, so review your hourly rate structure. Jobs advertised with whole numbers have a more positive psychological impact than those with decimal places (think product pricing in reverse). E.g. if you pay £8.85p/h, increase the rate to £9.00; the additional interest in the role will outweigh the extra cost, as will the increased retention of staff. Advertising total shift value is also an effective way to generate interest in your role.
2. Think mobile first: with 74% of job seekers now using mobile phones as their primary search platform, is your job application process mobile phone friendly? Uploading a CV or applying through a clunky website isn’t conducive with mobile phones, so ensure your job application process is aligned with that of the modern job seeker. Try your own job application process to see what candidates must go through to apply for a role on a mobile phone.
3. Working environment: working environment expectations have changed over the past few years, with candidates now expecting more from their employer. Putting simple measures in place can have an enormous impact on both motivation and retention of a workforce. Free tea and coffee facilities, heaters, and a spruced-up canteen all contribute to improving the candidate’s perception of you as an employer and will make workers feel more valued.
4. Onboarding candidates: when it comes to onboarding candidates, speed is of the essence. We often see companies with onboarding processes that take 2-4 weeks, which is simply too long and will often result in candidates finding a job elsewhere. Review your onboarding process and aim to have the entire process take no longer than 48 hours.
5. Select the right staffing partner: the peak period is incredibly demanding, stressful, and fast paced; finding a temporary staffing provider who understands your business and knows the challenges of peak is vital to ensuring a good working relationship during the busy period. Communication is key, setting up supplier meetings well before Q4 and putting a reporting framework in place before volumes increase will help to ensure everyone knows what to expect.

At Flexy we understand the staffing challenges during the Q4 peak period and have dedicated teams to support all your requirements for the warehousing, retail, and hospitality sectors. To schedule a commitment free meeting with a member of our team, contact us today.

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