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Staffing Skilled Labor vs Unskilled Labor in Warehousing

April 11, 2018 | Staffing Blog

When you consider the various positions in the warehousing industry, your first assumption may be that the majority would fit into the category of ‘unskilled labor.’ After all, many manufacturing jobs primarily consist of “storing the goods and keeping them secure,” according to the BLS.

Once upon a time, a hiring manager would consider finding people who could accomplish such tasks a simple one. However, the market for skilled and unskilled laborers is no longer what it used to be. As technology is advancing, the demand for skilled labor has increased substantially — something you may be experiencing within your own company as of late.

Because of this, unskilled laborers are having to make adjustments to their skill level to adapt. And now that warehouse employees are riding a blurred line between skilled and unskilled labor, filling these positions has become a bit more challenging.

The Basics of Skilled Labor

Workers who have been trained in a specialized skill-set are referred to as ‘skilled labor.’ The actual level of training or education may vary — the important factor is that they have some measurable amount.

Examples of common-known skilled labor occupations are:

  • Computer operators
  • Engineers
  • Welders
  • Accountants
  • Doctors
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Administrative assistants

Because of technological and societal advances in the United States, many skilled labor jobs have become so specialized that it is extremely difficult to find people qualified enough to fill them.

Unskilled Labor in Manufacturing

One is not required to possess special training or skills to attain and succeed in ‘unskilled’ labor jobs. In the warehouse, the tasks that usually would not require prior training include:

  • Labeling packages
  • Breaking bulk
  • Entering orders
  • Packaging
  • Price marking
  • Arranging transportation
  • Inventory control

Historically, companies that have employed unskilled laborers have been able to pay them a considerable amount less than skilled worker compensation. Now, even entry-level jobs are beginning to require people with more advanced abilities.

Warehouse workers don’t only need to be able to package items, they have to understand how to operate technical devices, computer systems, and complex machinery. This demands more skill and, as a result, increased hourly rates and salaries. This is what brings us to that blurred line we referred to earlier.

Examples of unskilled labor jobs these days look more like:

  • Grocery store clerks
  • Hotel maids
  • House and school cleaners
  • Farm laborers, etc.

Finding personnel skilled enough to fill the requirements demanded by the warehouse environment means completely understanding this shift in the market. Before these positions would have been considered temporary and easily replaceable. This is no longer the case, and that is why it can be very helpful to turn to the expertise of a staffing agency.

Staffing Solutions That Will Ensure Quality Employees

In order to maintain a consistent optimal level of efficiency, you need to have dependable personnel working in your facilities. The quality of your employees is not only imperative for the operation of the business, but also for the well being of the rest of the staff, the equipment, and the customers you serve. With the use of a staffing agency, you can be sure that all of the necessary qualifications for personnel and the status of the current market will be considered.

At the end of the day, hiring a team to find you your ideal candidates will save you the money you lose on unfit personnel. You will only be hiring those that the staffing service can promise will be effective. A staffing agency’s goal is to serve the company hiring and also the person job hunting equally, so you will only be paired with those who desire to work for a company like yours.

Eliminate the stress of evaluating who out there is appropriately ‘skilled’ or ‘unskilled’ enough for the position. You need to know that you are bringing on someone that can accomplish the job you give them. Work with an agency and they will find the type of individual that is specifically ideal for you.