Executive Vice President
As the leaves start to fall and the Holiday Season approaches, so does the perceived dreaded task of hiring temporary labor for the fulfillment and distribution centers around Central Indiana. I recently attended an industry event to better understand what these businesses had to say about the current labor environment.
There was a consensus that during the Holiday season the labor market gets very competitive in the southwest submarket, however the same challenges were not felt in other parts of the city. One panelist even indicated for every job opening that was posted there were at least 10 applicants looking to fill the position.
The most interesting take away from the conversation wasn’t about the availability of the workforce; but rather the quality of the available workforce. There is a real desire among business leaders and secondary educators to work with high school administrators to offer courses in warehouse operator skills. Employees tend to stay at jobs longer if they have the skills required to perform their tasks. Most applicants are not skilled in warehouse jobs and thus companies are forced to spend additional time and money training new employees to work in a warehouse only to have the employee quit because they don’t like what they are doing. The entire panel concurred that education at an earlier age will provide a better, more skilled work force for our community.
For now; the best bet to retain employees is to implement a thorough hiring and training program and create an environment where employees can thrive.