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Workforce recruitment and retention is critical to the success of any business. The November-December 2017 edition of PalletCentral provided insights from our industry thought leaders on the topic.


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Labor Challenges, More Automation

Posted By Debra Berry, Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

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. 

Tags:  automation  compensation  labor  workforce 

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Finding Skilled Labor

Posted By Sukhi Brar, Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The ongoing challenge in our area is finding skilled employees. The real estate market has been soaring in the past few years, which has placed Vancouver as one of the most expensive cities to live in. The high costs are forcing people to find affordable housing far from the city, or locating to new urban areas where the cost of living is lower.

To combat these challenges, we looked at ways to enhance our recruiting process. The first thing we examined was our pay structure. It’s essential to ensure that our wages reflect the increases in the cost of living to maintain our current employees, and to attract new ones. We also have started working with local organizations that help find employment for new immigrants. Often language barriers exist when hiring an employee that is new to the country, so we bring in translators throughout the training process to ensure the employee is familiar with the job, and with safety. The most successful recruiting tool we have is our employees. They can be the best people to promote the company to their friends and family.

The next step to combat the shortage of labor is to invest further in automation. Automation reduces our reliance on manual labor while increasing production.   

Tags:  compensation  labor  recruitment 

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