How to Hire Warehouse Operatives: Best Practice Process

5 minute read

Posted by Emily Hill on 21 December 2023

The demand for warehouse operatives has never been higher, presenting a unique set of challenges for hiring managers to differentiate the role and company in the hiring process.

In this article, we delve into the best practices essential for the recruitment of warehouse operatives.

1. Agree your hiring criteria

Embark on your warehouse hiring journey by aligning managers and stakeholders to define precise hiring criteria. The stakes are high, and misalignment could lead to hiring delays or the selection of the wrong candidates.

2. Conduct a job analysis

Warehouse roles evolve, demanding up-to-date hiring criteria. Conduct a comprehensive job analysis, leveraging tools like Signal, to ensure the criteria remain realistic and job-relevant, guarding against discriminatory hiring practices.

Please note that if your hiring process is deemed to be assessing attributes (behaviours, skills, knowledge) that aren’t job-relevant then you can be sued for discriminatory hiring practices. Use Signal to create a job analysis for free here.

Job analysis tool: Signal by ThriveMap

3. Create honest job adverts

Job adverts should only be created after the hiring criteria has been agreed and should be honest and transparent about the realities of the work. For warehouse roles, keep your job advert basic. If you wouldn’t actually screen someone out who doesn’t have a qualification then don’t include it in the job advert.

4. Distribute the job advert widely

Amplify your reach by disseminating job postings from your ATS to diverse job sites and talent pools, aiming for a broad applicant pool in the competitive landscape of warehouse hiring.

5. Direct all applicants to your ATS

All applications should ideally go to your ATS provider and not be kept on external job boards. If you’re not using an ATS, use a spreadsheet. If you’re using Indeed, it’s important you redirect candidates to apply on your careers page rather than using Indeed’s candidate management system.

ATS integrations for your pre-hire assessments

6. Simplify your application form

Warehouse ATS application pages should be quick and straightforward, avoiding unnecessary complexities. Lengthy questions or cover letters should only be included with a clear purpose.

7. Use knock-out questions

Use one or two simple, fact-based knock-out questions to eliminate ineligible candidates. Eligibility criteria will vary but may include things such as right-to-work status or holding a valid driver’s licence. Only use these criteria if you can prove that having a licence is intrinsic to the nature of performing the job well.

8. Set up an assessment invitation trigger immediately after job application

Set up a trigger with your ATS that automatically invites candidates to take their assessment as soon as they apply. This will boost assessment uptake rates and deliver a positive candidate experience.

9. If using Indeed One-Click Apply, set up an automated email trigger

Indeed One-Click apply usually means candidates apply on Indeed’s platform rather than being redirected to apply in your ATS. This leaves you in a position of having 2 applicant tracking systems to work from. It is not recommended, however if you insist on using one-click apply then ask your assessment provider to set up an automated email trigger so that all applicants from Indeed are instantly invited to the assessment as soon as they apply. This will boost assessment completion rates.

10. Validate your assessment

You’ll want to check that your assessment scores are correlated with who gets selected for interview. There are many ways to do this, but the easiest is to run a double-blind study where scores are not used in hiring decisions for the first few weeks. You then take the average scores for the candidates hired and compare them with the average scores of candidates who were not hired. Assuming candidates that score well are more likely to be selected, it’s time to start using the assessment scores in selection decisions.

11. Fast-track top-scoring candidates to interview

After your assessment has been validated, you can invite all candidates above a predetermined assessment score or score banding to an on-site interview.

The best way to do this is to have an assessment provider that can calculate candidate scores in real-time (we do this at ThriveMap). Once you’re confident in your assessment you can automatically reject candidates that don’t achieve the required score.

12. Position the interview invitation as an orientation day

Position the interview as an opportunity for the candidate to see and experience the warehouse ahead of joining. This will lead to higher interview attendance rates. It’s possible to do this in bulk “orientation days” if you have volume hiring. Request the candidate bring in the correct right-to-work documentation so you can make hiring decisions on the day.

13. Offer candidates at the interview

It’s best to offer candidates on the day of the interview or “orientation”. If candidates were unsuccessful for any reason, then provide them with personalised feedback and give them something to take away with them from the day.

14. Retain your data

If you’re interviewing candidates then retain your interview data. Keep track of post-hire data such as probationary pass data and send it to your assessment provider to run analysis on which attributes are most indicative of performance at interview.

15. Run a validation study

It’s recommended that you continue to validate your assessment to ensure that it is correlated with both who you are likely to select at the interview and on-the-job performance. Work with your assessment vendor to demonstrate this through statistical analysis.

Found this useful? Access the warehouse operative hiring strategy playbook here.


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About ThriveMap

ThriveMap creates customised assessments for high volume roles, which take candidates through an online “day in the life” experience of work in your company. Our assessments have been proven to reduce staff turnover, reduce time to hire, and improve quality of hire.

Not sure what type of assessment is right for your business? Read our guide.

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