Cultural improvements will make a jan/san distributor a more enticing employer, but those changes alone won’t fill positions. Companies need to work their tails off to give employees a job that’s attractive — both in the short and long-term.

Yes, psychic pay is a plus, but the actual starting salary is going to matter a great deal, regardless of whether a company is looking to fill a position in sales, warehouse or delivery. In fact, one of the first things a distributor should do after ensuring it has a good culture is to study the competition to see how the pay they’re offering lines up.

Salary is also going to help keep workers around, especially in times like these where unemployment is low throughout the country.

“A good job market means people will jump around for a few bucks more if they view (their current position) as just a job,” says Gordon. “If you’re paying people minimum wage and Amazon opens up a (nearby) warehouse — they’re starting people at $15 (an hour.) You have to go to $15.”

What use is hiring a job candidate if the person accepting the job isn’t a good fit? It’s this question that highlights the importance of a company imagining its ideal candidate and aggressively pursuing this hire.

“(Companies) have to be cognizant of what they want to hire for and sell their company (as) the right place to work,” says Gordon.

To accomplish this, human resources can’t be on autopilot throughout the hiring process, he says. The department will also have to strategically reinforce the culture for which the company is hiring.

What a good fit looks like depends on what department is hiring. When it comes to attracting workers to the warehouse, distributors would be wise to expect a worker that is very task oriented and likes to follow a particular process, says DeVilling.

Since warehouse tasks can become mundane after a while, a company might want to probe the candidate on whether or not the job will keep him or her happy. One way to remedy this is to plan a career path for a new hire, says DeVilling. Giving him or her a track to stay on helps the work to feel more like a career than a job.

Gordon agrees that Millennial warehouse workers need to feel fulfilled and important.

“If the company invests energy into (this) person, it makes them feel they’re wanted. They might stay because they like what they do and like where they’re doing it,” he says.

As it pertains to sales, companies need to evaluate the need on a case-by-case basis, as there is a difference between inside and outside sales, as well as more of an account management-type of role. 

After the role is recognized, it’s on the distributor to help put the hire in the best position to succeed. For Millennials, this means a company needs to provide the sales reps with the correct form of training, proper sales tools and technology necessary to do the job right, says Gordon.

There’s a lot of movement amongst sales reps right now who are looking for new jobs because they’re either upset with the management they’ve been working with or are not happy with new management that has been recently hired by their employer, says DeVilling. While movement creates opportunity, more could be done to help fill sales positions.  

Distributors can do a better job of hiring sales reps from outside the exact industry to which they belong, says DeVilling. As a result, jan/san distributors could find it beneficial to take a look at sales reps coming from the industrial market.

When it comes to drivers, finding a trained hire is just as important as finding one whose personality fits the company. The best way to attract drivers who have a commercial drivers license (CDL) is to pay what the job market in the local area is offering. 

Gordon says he’s talked to employers who have lost drivers because they left for another local CDL job that pays 40 percent more.

As a whole, attracting employees to the jan/san industry is about a lot more than just waving money around. There has to be a vision in place and those in charge of hiring need to be aggressive and stick to this plan. Distributors need to sell themselves to the job market and not the other way around. A culture that attracts Millennials, as well as the younger workers that will follow them, must be put in place and maintained.  

previous page of this article:
Marketing Jan/San To Young Job Applicants
next page of this article:
Understanding Generation Z