As more people shop online, job opportunities in the fulfillment and transportation sectors have expanded dramatically to ensure consumers' holiday packages arrive at their doors on time. Kelly Scally, Director of Strategic Staffing at Radial, recently took time to answer our questions about hiring seasonal fulfillment workers, how to plan for the unplannable, and more.
Q: What major pain points are associated with hiring seasonal fulfillment workers and what can be done to overcome them?
Scally: There are several major pain points that cause the most trouble for retailers:
Overcoming these difficulties isn’t easy, but it can be accomplished by:
Q: When do you begin planning for staffing fulfillment centers and what is that process like?
Scally: With 24 distribution centers and six call centers throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe we’re constantly thinking about prepping for peak season. To support our clients in their need to meet the growing demands of peak season, we planned ahead to ensure the company could scale workforce by more than 400 percent. Our teams have been addressing these hiring challenges head on since May — with announcements for all our key hiring areas released in July and August — so local job-seekers are well aware of these new positions early on in the process. Residents are encouraged to apply online here for an anticipated 27,000+ positions in key areas like KY, NV, CA, VA, FL, WI, TN, and more. Interviews are conducted on rolling basis, and we also hold job fairs in certain on-site locations to prompt more applications.
Q: How is mobile being leveraged this year and what new technologies are improving and/or complicating fulfillment centers?
Scally: Anti-fraud technology is critical for retailers and fulfillment centers this peak season. With more consumers shopping online, there is a heightened threat of fraudulent transactions. According to Experian, e-commerce fraud increased 33 percent in 2016 over the previous year. This growth rate is expected to continue in 2017 as the total number of breaches has already increased 56 percent compared to the same period of time in 2016. During the 2016 peak season (November 20 – January 2), Radial’s fraud lab protected its clients from a record number of attacks worth roughly $13.9M. With fraudsters implementing new tactics every day, retailers can’t afford to assume fraud attacks as the status quo any longer, especially during peak.
Q: Unavoidable variables including weather, last-minute shoppers, increased demand, etc. always occur. What contingencies do you have in place to overcome them?
Scally: Radial spends a significant amount of time each year building a robust strategy to prepare for any and all staffing and operations variables, both expected and unexpected. All of these contingency plans are built into our overall strategy at the onset of the season and are executed as needed. In addition, we maintain strong agency partnerships in all of our key markets to bolster our efforts and ensure that we reach our peak goals