Flexible working becoming the norm

London, UK: More than 40% of logistics companies are offering workers flexible hours in a bid to retain and attract new staff, according to temporary work recruitment agency Indeed Flex.

Two in five logistics companies say their biggest staffing challenge is ensuring they have enough workers for each shift. Since 2019 there has been a 43% rise in the number of job adverts for warehouse staff, with the biggest increase in the northeast where demand has nearly doubled, according to previous analysis of ONS data by Indeed Flex.

Over a quarter (28%) of professionals working in the warehouse and facilities management industry surveyed by Indeed Flex said their biggest staffing challenge is recruitment, while 23% said retaining permanent employees and contract workers is their biggest problem.But while firms continue to hunt for staff, it is forcing many to think outside of the box when it comes to filling positions day-to-day to ensure their operations can continue as planned, Indeed Flex says.

“Historically, some companies in the sector have been reluctant to offer flexible working hours but competition for staff with other industries which do offer such flexibility may be leading to a change in attitudes.” “The same proportion of companies are also turning to temporary workers to pick up the load. Although temporary workers are not directly employed by the company, they can still work regular and consistent shifts for the business. Two in five firms have also increased wages. 

How logistics and warehouse companies are filling vacancies

Novo Constare, chief executive, Indeed Flex, said: “Not having enough staff has a massive impact on the logistics sector. Deliveries go out as normal but the cost for the employer rises as limited numbers of staff work overtime to ensure the job gets done. This often leads to burnout for employees, meaning more absences and even more positions to fill.

“The fact that two in five logistics firms are turning to temporary workers and increasing wages is a real sign that they are struggling to attract people. Crucially, temporary staff still work regularly and consistently for the same employers meaning they can be an important part of hiring strategies. 

“Companies are also using other methods to recruit and retain staff. While the sector has traditionally shied away from offering flexible hours to staff, they are competing for workers with other sectors that are offering much more flexibility over working hours. 

“This is leading to a change in attitudes in the sector, as employers realise flexibility is becoming increasingly important to staff and can differentiate them from other companies in a very competitive industry.”