Episode 412 Unlocking the secrets of labor market in the warehousing industry: Insights from Kim Vidrine of Employbridge
What is going on with the labor market in the warehousing industry? We delve into these pressing questions with our special guest, Kim Vidrine, Director of Operations at Employbridge, the supply chain’s largest staffing provider. Kim Vidrine is a seasoned professional with over two decades of experience at Employbridge. As the Director of Operations, she plays a vital role in overseeing the operations of this prominent staffing company. Employbridge boasts a national footprint with 400 branches across the United States, placing nearly 500,000 associates in jobs each year. Under the Employbridge umbrella, eight specialized brands cater to various supply chain roles.
So if you’re curious about the current state of the labor market in the warehousing industry and how companies are navigating the challenges of attracting and retaining workers, this episode is for you! Now, let’s dive into the key topics covered in this podcast episode:
The State of the Labor Market in the Warehousing Industry
When discussing the current state of the labor market, Kim points out that while there’s a noticeable softening in the market, the demand for logistics positions continues to rise. She highlighted that, based on data from Indeed, job postings for logistics roles have increased by 55%. This growth brings the industry back to levels similar to January 2021.
Kim adds, “The workforce participation rate is the space where we want to motivate people to get back into the workforce.” This segment took a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic but has been slowly recovering. This metric reveals the need to motivate people to rejoin the workforce, which segues into a discussion about Employbridge’s survey, “The Voice of the American Workforce.”
Insights from “The Voice of the American Workforce” Survey
Employbridge conducts an annual survey to understand what matters most to workers in the supply chain industry. In their 17th edition of the survey, they found valuable insights into the priorities and preferences of workers. Notable findings about the labor market in the warehousing industry from the survey include:
- Pay Rates: Pay remains the primary factor influencing job decisions for the labor market in the warehousing industry.
- Quote from Kim Vidrine: “Pay rates have consistently been the primary driver for people looking for a new job.”
- Flexible Schedules and Gig Work: Many respondents expressed interest in more flexible work schedules, with a particular preference for shorter shifts, allowing them to balance work with other obligations.
- Job Security: In a shift from previous years, job security has gained importance among workers, reflecting economic uncertainty.
- Respect and Appreciation: Treating employees with respect was identified as a crucial factor in building loyalty and retaining workers.
- Advancement Opportunities: Many logistics workers expressed willingness to invest their time in upskilling, highlighting the importance of training and advancement opportunities.
Kim believes, “People are looking for commitment from their employers. They’re looking for a way forward, training opportunities, and appreciation.”
Workforce as a Service: The Introduction of Blue Crew
Employbridge’s recent acquisition of Blue Crew brings an innovative approach to the labor market in the warehouse industry. Blue Crew operates as a “workforce as a service” provider, offering a blend of a W-2 labor force, a cutting-edge platform, and data analytics. Kim shares, “We’re eliminating some of the obstacles to get people to work. This is going to revolutionize our industry” by offering flexibility for employers and employees. With a strong focus on the transparency and control provided by the platform, employers can select and manage their workforce while employees can choose opportunities that suit their preferences.
Key Takeaways About the Labor Market in the Warehousing Industry
- Prioritize Competitive Pay Rates: The labor market in the warehouse industry continues to see compensation as a high priority. Attracting and retaining talented individuals requires competitive compensation rates. Competitive compensation improves engagement and dedication and fosters a sense of value and recognition within the organization.
- Offer Flexibility and Training: Embrace flexibility in work schedules and provide opportunities for upskilling. Workers are eager to learn and adapt to new technologies.
- Focus on Respect and Job Security: Show respect and appreciation to your employees. Make job security a priority, especially during times of economic uncertainty.
The New Warehouse Podcast
EP 412: Unlocking the Secrets of the Labor Market in the Warehousing Industry with Kim Vidrine of Employbridge