Upcoming Sales Season to Create a lot of New Jobs!
The job market as a whole is continuing on an upward trend it seems. According to the federal governments recently released July 2019 jobs report, the spike originally happened nearly three years ago. Since then, it has just continued to grow.
In regards to the logistics industry, both freight and parcel positions have seen the most upticks in new hires. With the summer season quickly coming to a close, we figured what better time to discuss the upcoming sales season hiring practices.
After all, it is right around this time every year companies begin to focus on the upcoming holiday sales season. When that season hits, daily freight movement tends to increase by up to 20%. This means there is a massive need for all hands on deck… so, they start hiring.
According to statistics released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, carriers added nearly 7,000 new jobs from June until July, while warehouses and distribution centers increased payroll allocation by 3,200 new employees. The transportation industry as a whole increased its workforce by 9,000, with 2,000 of those jobs being added to trucking companies. The majority being at freight depots.
Overall, the month of July 2019 saw 164,000 new logistics jobs added, with significant growth in health care and education. However, one interesting soft point of hiring was the retail industry, which added just 15,000 new jobs, slightly 3,500 less than industry averages. We say this is interesting because as new jobs have been slow to fill, sales are consistently rising even in the age of online shopping.
On average, the warehousing and transportation sector added nearly 8,000 new jobs every month. A major contributing factor to these numbers is the settling of cross-border shipping trade tension, with the agreement in principle for the United States, Mexico, and Canada trade partnership. While it has still yet to be fully ratified, the USMCTA announcement has stimulated growth in shipping between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
The potential of $300 billion worth of Chinese Import tariffs threatened by the U.S. president coming in September 2019 may see new employment numbers softening slightly to wrap up the third fiscal quarter.
The Impact of the Sales Season on Hiring Practices
It’s well understood that the e-commerce segment is rapidly expanding. However, a growing trend with consumers is returning to the brick and mortar retail business.
One of the contributing factors to the increase in retail sales is the inclusion of consumer-friendly marketing trends. Brick and mortar businesses are finally coming around. They are starting to slowly realize that their marketing efforts need to cater to a completely new generation. Through new marketing techniques, they are realigning and reconnecting with their customers. Simply put, they have improved the shopping experience for the customer.
Having said that, the ability to shop online and pick-up orders in-store is a driving factor of this growth.
In fact, nearly 20 percent of annual sales for retailers in the US are generated between November and December. Brick and mortar locations typically generate 30 percent of its annual sales during these two months as well. This growth in business during a short period of time elevates stress among decision-makers and managers and stimulates the economy.
In turn, companies begin to hire in preparation for the onslaught the sales season brings.
Increased Volume During Sales Season Leads to Increased Potential of Mistakes
There is a general philosophy in business that volume cures everything. While the increase in sales tends to elevate bottom line profits, the increased volume, busy movement, and introduction of newer employees is a haven for potential accidents. With that being said, there are a few important items that distribution and fulfillment centers should consider as they prep for the holiday peak season.
Increase safety training for new employees
Injuries in the workplace can cost a shipping facility upwards to $50,000 in workers compensation. OSHA fees might be incurred in some more extreme cases. This reality of on the job accidents can significantly cut into those elevated profits generated during this time. To ensure your new people are kept safe, spend more time training new employees on safe operating procedures.
Become proactive with TMS or 3PL Software Systems
Most fulfillment centers depend on robust 3PL software solutions to expedite order processing. With the increased volume approaching in a few months, upgrading existing or outdated software during the late summer months will give companies an opportunity to get everyone trained, ensuring a smooth transition.
Fine-tune carrier selection process
Consumers today demand instant gratification and increased communication. A smart idea for all distribution centers and fulfillment facilities is to select carriers that have proven records for expedited shipping, solid communication notifications, and elevated customer service.
Sure, the philosophy holds up and distribution centers can easily pad those numbers with peak-volume sales. However, simply being proactive about hiring and safety training is a great way to start improving bottom-line profitability.
More importantly, it takes the right people to decrease the potential of mistakes and losses. And those people can only do that when they go through that initial hiring process.
Reach out to Redwood today to discuss how to set up your distribution center for success.