The Industrial Recruitment Challenges Hiring Managers Face

Industrial recruitment has always fluctuated according to order books and the economy. However, with the events of 2020, we have seen the industry adapt to the changing workforce environments. But, there are some industrial recruitment challenges that hiring managers should watch for.

Recruitment Challenges That Employers Face In the Industrial Sector

Employers in the industrial, warehousing and supply chain sector know the importance of having employees that keep the business running smoothly. With increased pressure to meet the fast-paced demand of customer orders, it is imperative that warehouses have reliable workers. Implementing an effective recruitment process can become a headache for many employers. Especially when looking to implement volume recruitment campaigns to cover seasonal peaks.

In this blog, we will discuss the main recruitment challenges that the Industrial Sector faces, with steps you can take to overcome them.

Internal Industrial Recruitment Challenges

Internal Industrial Recruitment Challenges That Hiring Managers Face Regional Recruitment Services Recruitment Agency

Attracting Reliable Staff   

With the growth of e-commerce creating a surge in demand for labour, and warehouses being located in concentrated areas, many organisations are now vying for the same talent networks. However, it has become apparent that there is a shortage of labour within the industry. Further increasing the competition for reliable staff.

Even with the governments’ Kickstart Scheme, the challenge of recruiting to meet the demands of consumers is a challenge employers continue to face.

There is also a struggle to recruit skilled workers for short-term cover.

The industrial sector, like many, has a demand for experienced, skilled workers. However, this continues to be a challenge for employers with there being a low up-take of people completing warehousing certifications and FLT courses. As a result, businesses are having to invest in specialist candidates attraction strategies, as well as spending additional funds to re-train those that are already in work. Which is a challenge in itself due to the speed at which the technology and processes are evolving within the industrial sector.

Unappealing Working Shifts

With many organisations now operating 24/7 in order to cope with consumer demands and deliveries. Many industrial employers find it difficult to find staff for shifts, in particular night shifts. This recruitment challenge has a number of factors that employers need to overcome, the main ones are;

  1. Transport options are limited during the night. Making it difficult for some candidates to get to the warehouse.
  2. Late night or weekend shifts can be unappealing and inconvenient to many candidates.

Long Term Retention Of Staff

With strong competition within the industry, unfavourable shift patterns and a pressured environment during peak periods. Retaining talent, or even re-attracting is an issue that many employers face. Additionally, with the market being as competitive as it is, candidates can find a variety of opportunities available. Some of which might have benefit packages or shift patterns that are more favourable to what candidates are looking for.

External Industrial Recruitment Challenges


Ever since the referendum, retailers were stockpiling in preparation for potential trade barriers and fees that we saw happen. However, now that the UK has left the EU, businesses must continue to align themselves to the new patterns of global trade, forge new partnerships and strengthen supply chain avenues to tackle the new challenges that the industry faces.

The Industrial Sector has always relied on migrant workers during peak periods. But, with the point-based systems now in place for those wanting to work in the UK, some employers are worried that many applicants may not meet the requirements – even if they are willing to sponsor them. With an estimated 1 in 5 workers in a typical warehouse being EU Migrants, Brexit could cause a potential labour shortfall.


The industrial sector has seen change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. But, many businesses welcomed the quick classification of logistics workers as ‘essential’ during the U.K. latest lockdown.

Many businesses within the industry have said that the pandemic has put a spotlight on a number of major developments that need to occur. With the phenomenal growth of e-commerce sales warehouses, distribution and fulfilment centres saw significant strain put on them. So businesses had to react proactively to cope with demand whilst ensuring the workforce remained safe. As a result, there is a growing emphasis on the need for increased automation and the use of technology as part of the supply chain process.

Also, consumer expectation has evolved within the industry. Many organisations already opened 24/7 in order to cope with the demand for quick fulfilment orders. However this consumer expectation has accelerated in demand during covid. As a result, an additional strain has been put on employers to ramp up hiring efforts to meet this demand, whilst also increasing the volume of stock they hold. Subsequently, there now needs to be a strong recruitment process across the entire supply chain.

Furthermore, the strict disinfection programmes that have been implemented- and are expected to continue throughout 2021, are placing additional strain on business operating costs. Reducing the budget that can be assigned to recruiting quality staff.

What Can Hiring Managers Implement To Tackle These Recruitment Challenges

Offer Additional Benefits to Attract and Retain Staff

Businesses need to stand out as an innovative employer in order to attract and retain workforces. To do this, employers need to think outside of the box with the benefits and remuneration. However, whatever the business decides to implement any agency workforce should not be left out of company benefits. Even before AWR (Agency Worker Rights) kicks in during their assignment.

Attract A Younger Demographic of Candidate

Attracting the up and coming generation into the business will be an integral part of recruitment strategies. For many the Industrial sector is not an attractive career option, despite of the training and progression opportunities that are available. Which is why businesses need to be active in these demographics to highlight what the industry has to offer. To do this, hiring managers can:

  1. Create mobile optimised career pages and job adverts.
  2. Promote a positive digital presence, that highlights the benefits of the industry.
  3. Tailor the recruitment process to how candidates like to be contacted (the younger generation prefers text messaged rather than calls).

How Does Regional Recruitment Services Tackle The Industrial Recruitment Challenges

As an industrial recruitment agency we work proactively to attract, assess and induct candidates. Ensuring a quicker time-to-hire and reducing the likelihood of drop-outs. As a result, we are able to effectively recruit to short timescales

Managing The Recruitment Process

Recruitment is a lengthy process. We support employers with their industrial recruitment by managing the entire process. Leaving warehouse managers to focus on managing the shop-floor and hiring team to nurture employee retention strategies. We are even able to support the induction of candidates on your site, managing onsite or from one of our offices.

Supplement Your Employer Brand

By working in collaboration with the business, we are able to supplement your employer brand. With the use of our recruitment technology and procedures, we’re able to automate many aspects of the communication with candidates. From application acknowledgement through to regret emails. Each interaction is personalised to the candidate and improves their experience during the recruitment process.

Vetting Candidates

As a GLAA and REC audited business our compliance procedures are of the highest calibre. With our specialist compliance division that monitors the right to work, references and other compliance measures of all agency workers- even the ones that aren’t yet in work.

leave a Comment