The Big Shift is here. Are you ready to meet it?


In the post-pandemic business world, many businesses are struggling to keep up with consumer and commercial demands. During much of 2020 and the first half of 2021, consumers’ disposable income and online shopping habits placed major strains on supply chains across all industries. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the retail world. E-commerce has grown two to five times faster in the past 18 months than in the year preceding the pandemic. Warehouses and fulfillment centers across the country struggle to re-fill shelves with consumer goods in high demand. 

Another commodity in short supply? Employees. A record four million people quit their jobs in April alone, which comes to 2.7% of the work force. Many human resource managers report that hiring qualified, dedicated employees is their company’s greatest challenge right now. And it can be expensive, too: the cost to find warehouse workers jumped 383% during the 2020 holiday shopping season. The cost to replace a warehouse worker can be up to 25% of salary. Assuming the industry average of $28,000 provided by Salary.com, that could mean up to $7,000 to replace one worker that quits. A hiring manager, then, really wants to be sure they are targeting the right people for the job in order to stave off excessive costs and pricey job churn.

Scaling teams will be vital for companies in 2021 and beyond, as pandemic buying habits and employee movement stay in the post-COVID world. At Phoenix Innovate, we have worked with clients like Walmart and Sonoco to recruit qualified, long-term warehouse and skilled trade associates.

To accomplish this, we consult with our clients to identify the ideal applicant profile and develop a recruitment strategy using sophisticated data techniques to identify qualified candidates. We then developed communications, following the client’s brand, to engage these ideal targets and drive applicants to recruiting events and web applications for conversion. In Sonoco’s case, we achieved a 90% candidate response rate to local hiring rates when the candidate received the direct communication.

Through 2021, supply chain problems, manufacturing increases and customer demand will likely continue to create backlogs of consumer goods, necessitating the hiring of more warehouse and logistics workers. For hiring managers and recruiters, finding the right candidates is far more important than finding a lot of candidates. 

With turnover rates and training costs both high — and expected to stay elevated through much of 2021 — it is crucial to invest in smart solutions for recruiting and hiring. By pinpointing the applicants who are a good fit for the company’s goals and culture, hiring managers can lessen wasteful spending, speed up the process and find long-term success. 

Mark M Gaskill
Mark M Gaskill

EVP of Marketing Solutions

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