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7 Key Things To Keep In Mind When Hiring Shift Workers

Most companies in prevalent sectors like retail, healthcare, and security require 24-hour coverage. Hence, such companies turn to shift work to optimize productivity in the long run. Well, shift work also went through some changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s why you should keep some key things in mind when hiring shift workers.

7 Key Things To Keep In Mind When Hiring Shift Workers
7 Key Things To Keep In Mind When Hiring Shift Workers

For a start, flexibility is one of the most desirable attributes for 66% of shift workers after the initial COVID-19 wave. However, as job uncertainty rises, it is essential to bring a practical approach to shift work to attract more shift workers to your company.

In the sections below, we will share seven tips to keep in mind when hiring shift workers!

1)  Have an option of flexible schedules

80% of workers from this survey state they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible schedules. Remember that your shift workers also have their obligations outside work — family, friends, hobbies, and more.

Providing a flexible schedule to your shift workers will allow them to allocate more time to these “out-of-work” activities. Just consider the fact that 43% of people think fully flexible working hours are a must-have.

Overall, a flexible schedule can relieve stress in your workforce, which improves the overall work dynamic. Also, if your shift workers can exchange shifts, this further contributes to a healthier shift work environment.

2)  Make sure to provide a fulfilling work environment

It’s not a secret that a fulfilling work environment increases the overall productivity of your workforce. After all, fulfilled employees are five times more likely to stick around with a specific employer.

Here are the key things you can do to create a fulfilling work environment for your shift workers:

  • Promote transparency and respect. Always let your requirements be known clearly. Along with that, make respect between employees from all levels in your organization a part of your culture.
  • Allow rest periods for your employees. Tired employees are less productive than well-rested employees. So, make sure to provide your employees with rest opportunities when they need them. That can also increase job satisfaction in the long run.

3)  Be transparent with shift scheduling

From a UK survey made on 4,000 shift workers, only 10% of employees said they received a schedule notice a month in advance. On the other hand, 12% of employees got their schedule notice less than 24 hours in advance, which brings us to a fundamental shift work problem.

Without reliable shift change notices, millions of people are more anxious about respecting their plans, such as family time, social gatherings, and hobbies. That’s why it’s important for you as an employer to be transparent about scheduling. After all, schedule transparency and flexibility are some of the top benefits shift workers’ desire.

A great way to provide transparent scheduling at any time of the day is to utilize smart scheduling tools. But, most importantly, effective and transparent scheduling is essential to keep high motivation in your workspace.

4)  Set clear expectations for shift work candidates

Let your future shift workers know about your expectations for a specific work position. Explain to them what you want from a specific role in a particular shift.

For instance, you are looking for a conscious night shift worker. The goal here is to find out if the shift work candidate will be capable of working in a specific shift with consistent performance.

Ultimately, you want to filter out employees who are just not capable of working in a specific shift arrangement. That way, you will save extra money and time in the long run.

5)  Don’t forget to check past experiences of shift work candidates

Look up the past experiences of a shift work candidate to keep your expectations in check. You can even contact prior employers to learn more about their work ethic.

Ideally, you want to look for candidates that have a positive experience with shift work. As a bonus, make sure to check how adaptable a certain candidate is for a flexible schedule arrangement.

6)  Consistency is key

One of the essential things to keep in mind when hiring shift workers is to consider their day-to-day life schedules. For example, some employees will prefer working a single shift the whole month due to family matters at home.

You want to keep the schedules for your shift workers consistent to optimize their output and avoid various negative shift work health effects. That’s right, irregular shifts have negative health implications, with insomnia leading the pack.

Hence, that’s why it’s the easiest to attract potential shift workers if your business functions in established, eight-hour shifts. It’s consistent, and that is the key to consistent output.

7)  Offer fair wages to your shift workers

Around 12% of the UK workforce works night shifts (also considered as unsociable hours). Hence, it’s important for employers to understand how much they should compensate these types of workers that sacrifice their family time, hobbies, and sleep schedule for their work.

Just look at the table below that outlines the minimum wage in the UK, sorted by different age groups.

Source: Business Advice

For now, there is no legal requirement for employers to increase wages for their night shift workers. That doesn’t mean that you as an employer should get away with it. Many UK businesses offer higher wages for their night shift workers to increase employee motivation and satisfaction.

After all, fair wages are a major attracting factor for new shift workers, so make sure to differentiate from all the businesses that want to save costs and decrease employee motivation in the process!

Shift Work As We Know It Is Changing!

COVID-19 has forced many businesses to adapt to a flexible work arrangement. Actually, 87% of businesses around the world have changed how they write schedules to promote transparency and flexibility.

As COVID-19 has increased job uncertainty and decreased job security, it is important to keep the things above in mind when hiring shift workers to prepare for the future of shift work!

Rob Press

Rob is a content marketing manager at Deputy, a robust scheduling software that can be used to manage your workforce in a wide variety of different industries. Aside from helping businesses reach operational efficiency, he keeps up to date with the latest trends in SaaS, B2B, and technology in general. 

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