Finding and keeping good employees is a challenge in any field, but finding new employees that can work well with a team is even harder. A good resource is always your current employees. They know other people and would most likely only recommend someone that would be a good fit. A retention bonus offered to current employees who bring in others who stay for a period of time could help with recruitment. Additional sources to tap are community groups, community colleges, high school vocational programs (work/study), religious affiliations and immigrant centers.
Fair compensation is another issue. We tend to look only at volatile wood pallet prices as a factor of estimating and not at the cost of employees themselves. As an industry, we should widen our scope to look at employee compensation and adjust accordingly so it can be a true living wage. However, money is not the only contributing factor when considering job satisfaction. Health care benefits rank at the top of the list; something that is becoming increasingly difficult to provide. Creating a community in the workplace where employees feel valued and integral to the business’s success strengthens the foundation of any business.
I believe that 5 or 10 years down the road, as the pallet making process becomes more automated, the job will become less laborious, less taxing and therefore more desirable, making it easier to recruit new employees.