How to Recruit Warehouse Workers 

How to Recruit Warehouse Workers 

In this blog, we’ll look at how to recruit warehouse workers and the most common challenges that come with it. We’ll talk about what skills warehouse workers need, effective recruitment strategies, and how tech can help. Whether you’re an HR professional or a business owner, this blog will help you build a strong workforce for your warehouse operations. 

In 2022, 86% of businesses working in Manufacturing & Logistics suffered warehouse shortages. Brexit, the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis have all had a part to play. Up until recently, around 39% of warehouse workers were foreign. But Brexit meant the warehousing industry was the worst hit, with 128,000 (around 8% of the entire industry) workers leaving. But there have been some benefits. Since the pandemic, the shift to online retail means the need for warehousing has only grown.  

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The Role of Warehouse Workers 

The need for warehouse workers has never been more important than it is now. Warehouse workers play a vital role in making sure the movement and storage of goods is efficient and on schedule. The role of a warehouse worker involves a range of responsibilities. From inventory management, order picking & packing, and even operating machinery, it’s a varied role that needs a mixture of different skills.

recognising the importance of the role is the first step to recruitment

Skills Needed to Be a Warehouse Worker 

To attract the right candidates, we first need to look at what skills a good warehouse worker needs to have. Let’s look at some of them below:  


Time Management 

Good time management is crucial in a warehouse setting. Workers need to know which tasks to prioritise, meet deadlines, and keep a smooth workflow. Look for candidates who show excellent time management skills during the recruitment process. If candidates are already showing up late to interviews or training days, that might already be a red flag.  


If though, candidates are showing up to interviews and training days early or on time, or completing tests you’ve prepared earlier than expected, then that’s a good sign to look out for.  



Warehouse operations need teamwork. Workers need to work together with colleagues to handle tasks quickly and to a good standard. When recruiting, assess a candidate’s ability to work effectively in a team-oriented environment. If you’re hosting training days or group interviews, this could be the perfect time to test their teamwork skills.  


Do they listen to other people? Do they offer their own ideas, and feedback on those of others? Do they then work effectively with the rest of the team, or do they prioritise their own tasks and ideas? If you don’t host training days or group interview days, look for signs on their CV that might hint to it. Even if it’s extracurricular, like sports, for example.  


Physical Fitness 

There’s no getting around the fact that warehouse work is physically demanding. Warehouse workers need to be able to lift heavy items, walk, and stand for long periods of time. You can make sure your candidates are physically fit enough to meet these demands. 


You could do that by having trial shifts and training days to give new candidates an idea of the kind of work they might expect. That way, you can reduce your employee turnover as well. The last thing you want is to hire a candidate only for them to quit in the first week if they realise the job is too hard for them.  

a warehouse worker moving a box


Just like in most other jobs, problems are bound to happen from time to time. In a warehouse environment (which is often fast-paced and hectic) warehouse workers must be able to anticipate issues and find solutions before they happen. Look for candidates with strong problem-solving skills to make sure your operation runs smoothly. 


You can incorporate certain tests to check applicants have these skills. TestGorilla for example, has a test you can use for warehouse pickers, operatives and general warehouse floor staff. It not only tests their problem-solving skills but also their attention to detail, language ability, and speed.  


How to Attract Warehouse Workers 

Now that we know some of the key skills you should look for, let’s look at the different ways you can recruit warehouse workers – and that starts by attracting them to your organisation.  


Utilise Online Job Boards, Social Media, and Industry-Specific Boards 

The first step in recruiting warehouse workers is posting to the right channels. By posting job ads on a mixture of online job boards, social media, and industry-specific job boards – your ads will have a much wider audience. 

cartoon of a pen and pad

Here is a list of the top ten most used job sites for Manufacturing in the UK. Some of those in the list (like British Manufacturing Jobs) are industry-specific, and others are more general. There’s also a mixture of paid and free boards. These platforms can help you connect with potential candidates actively looking for warehouse positions. 

Write a Great Job Ad 

Writing a great job ad is a topic that’s worthy of being explored on its own and (if you do want to go into more detail) we’ve done just that. But to summarise it, a great job ad includes essential details like salary, location, and job responsibilities 


You’re going to want to consider which job title gets searched for more, is it warehouse operative or warehouse associate to give an example. Lastly, you’re going to want to sell your company, the benefits, and add anything else that’s relevant. A well-written job ad attracts more qualified candidates and helps reduce employee turnover.  


Offer Competitive Pay 

Competitive pay is a powerful magnet in attracting warehouse workers to your organisation. Just earlier this year, Aldi increased their pay for their warehouse workers for the third time. That’s three pay bumps in a year. Most employers review once, at most twice, a year.  


A study from Harvard, also showed that increased pay in the warehouse industry helped make warehouse workers more productive whilst also reducing employee turnover.  


Speed Up the Hiring Process 

By in large, warehouse workers expect quick turnaround times and fast hiring. A lengthy hiring process will tend to put off potential candidates. In the US, the warehouse industry gets lumped in to Transport & Logistics, of which all three have a combined time-to-hire time of twenty-five days.  


That is too long for a fast-moving industry like warehousing. By using automation throughout your hiring process, you can cut that hiring time by almost 2/3rds.     

blurry image of warehouse shelves and boxes

Use Employee Referrals 

Using employee referrals to attract warehouse workers is a great incentive. Not only does it use the social proof theory but it also (typically) offers financial rewards for current employees who successfully refer someone.  


The added benefit here, is that people tend to trust reviews and recommendations from people they know and trust, a lot more than from strangers or corporations.  Employees often recommend candidates who they think might fit well within the team culture, and the workers they recommend tend to stay longer and work harder out of obligation to repay their personal contact’s referral.  


How Can Recruitment Technology Help? 

A centralised recruitment system can make the hiring process a whole lot easier. Using a recruitment platform like occy, you can gain access to tools perfect for hiring all the warehouse workers you need.  


Whether it’s professional job advert copywriting, job board advertising, or smart automations that speed up your recruitment process you need – you can build strong team for your warehouse operations.  


Not ready to learn more about how occy could help you yet? Why not download our free eBook: 5 Steps to Attracting Candidates for more actionable ways you can get your ideal candidate into your business.  

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