How the pallet industry is handling labor shortages and staffing challenges


Like many businesses, the wood pallet industry is dealing with labor shortages and staffing challenges. But, it is not just the wood pallet market that is having staffing issues.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics many of the industries connected to wood pallets are also having significant labor shortages, including logging, transportation, and warehouse markets. You may be experiencing this very issue with your place of business.

This state of affairs requires all of us to be strategic in our hiring and recruiting. In addition, we need to make sure we are retaining our best talent. 

And sometimes…you have to think outside the box!

Worker Placement Programs

One solution we have found at Hope Timber Pallet is through Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) of Ohio. Several months ago we began working with this agency with great success. We transport 10-12 Afghan refugees to and from work each day. We have been very fortunate in that one of the refugees was a translator, so we can effectively communicate all the job functions to our non-English speaking employees.

Temp Agencies

We read about another interesting approach used by a few pallet companies:  using temp agencies to help with hiring and onboarding employees. The temp agency hires a worker for 90 days and pays salaries, workman’s compensation, file paperwork, immigration papers, and other new-hire logistics. If the worker stays past 90 days, they may be hired directly by the company.

Using that approach can be beneficial to both the agency and the pallet company. While it may seem more expensive, some of these businesses report that it’s actually been a very useful relationship. This is especially true in cases where workers’ compensation issues happen in those first 90 days. The temp agency is able to handle those cases and determine if the company was at fault or if there were other circumstances that affect the situation. 

Online Marketing and Social Media

Given the times we live in, using online marketing and social media is really almost a given when looking to hire new workers for your business. At Hope Timber Pallets, the first place we think of posting new jobs is on our own website.

Some companies use Indeed.com, Monster, or LinkedIn as places to advertise and recruit workers. One avenue we have found extremely successful is using Facebook ads to post job openings. Using this method, we’ve had an overwhelming increase in job applicants, which makes it easier to handle turnover and fill positions quickly

Preparing for the Future

No matter how you approach it, hiring and retaining great workers will continue to be an issue for all of us. In fact, the United States Census Bureau predicts that by 2030 (a mere eight years from now!), there will be more people over age 65 than there will be children under the age of 18. Along with this, the median age of people in the US will rise from 38 years to 43 years old. 

At Hope Timber, we are currently offering outstanding career opportunities with full-time positions in our family-owned business.  Because we understand that it’s important to offer our workers high-quality benefits, we bring competitive wages, medical, dental, and vision insurance, a 401k with a 4% company match, and paid vacation days. In addition, we offer a $3,000 attendance bonus for new employees.

We all have to be ready to find creative ways of attracting and retaining our best workers to keep the wood pallet industry at the peak of productivity. It’s important to ensure that America’s goods are able to be transported for use whenever they are needed.

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