How temporary staffing can help with labor shortages

September 19, 2022

There's a marked labor shortage in every industry, and logistics and warehousing are no different. McKinsey reports that the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic led to companies in warehousing, logistics and distribution noticing extremely low numbers of permanent workers and exceedingly high employee turnover rates. Lay-offs associated with the opening months of the pandemic account for labor shortages in 2020 and 2021, but the current labor shortage has more complex causes.

Firstly, most of the current, most experienced and most loyal workers are reaching retirement age and are no longer able to do intense physical work. Secondly, and more importantly, as a result of the rise of online shopping and e-commerce, the demand for goods exceeds the supply of labor required to house, distribute and deliver them.

Employers and leaders in all industries are uncertain about what the future holds. Many are deliberating hiring more workers in full-time positions but are apprehensive about doing so because they don't know what the economy will look like at any given time. Part of this reluctance stems from past experience with mass lay-offs. However, companies in these industries can't afford to remain understaffed.

Part of the solution lies in temporary staffing. Let's explore why:

Time is money

Hiring new workers takes weeks, even months, of training. In fact, the ARC Advisory Group recently reported that fewer than 30% of warehouses can ramp up a new hire in under a month. Per Supply Chain Dive, by hiring competent and skilled staff on a temporary basis, organizations don't have to allocate hours to fully onboarding employees — the knowledge and experience are already there. When a company gives "gig workers"  far more flexibility with their work schedule, it can save precious time.

Take your pick

As increasing numbers of employees in all industries turn to the "gig economy," businesses that hire on a part-time or temporary basis become increasingly attractive. With fewer people wishing to work traditional 9-5 jobs, organizations that make use of temporary staffing are going to grow exponentially more appealing to these freelance workers.

Two birds with one stone

Many temporary workers are skilled in multiple aspects of the logistics and/or warehousing industries, Talking Logistics explains. By taking advantage of hiring competent temporary workers, you can fill several vacant positions with just one or two people, depending on their skill set. Additionally, as The Hartford outlines, temporary workers who are recruited from temporary staffing agencies have already been evaluated and vetted, meaning you're guaranteed to welcome an employee who knows what they're doing. Meanwhile, they can bring in fresh ideas and new perspectives to your organization which is always beneficial, no matter the industry!