Attracting and retaining shift workers demands a shift in traditional hiring approaches.  Currently making up 14% of the UK working population (HSE), adapting your hiring strategy to recognise the unique requirements and challenges faced by shift workers is vital to ensure your staffing efforts yield success.

In this blog, we’ll present you with 6 top tips for hiring shift workers. From defining job roles and shift schedules clearly to providing comprehensive training and offering competitive benefits, adopting a flexible and adaptable approach can be the key to fostering a dedicated and motivated shift workforce.

Clearly Define Job Roles and Shift Schedules

Like any new employee, clear expectations need to be laid out in order for them to do their job successfully. Not only will it benefit them, but it can also filter out those who may be unable to fulfil these expectations, saving you significant time and money in the long run. It’s also essential to clarify shift schedules sufficiently in advance. From a UK survey carried out on 4,000 shift workers, up to two-thirds of shift workers are given less than a week’s notice of hours.

This can make it challenging for shift workers to plan their personal and family lives, particularly for parents organising childcare while they’re at work. As well as this, with unexpected deductions in work hours, shift workers may experience fluctuations in their income. The lack of stable and predictable income can make budgeting and financial planning difficult. These challenges elicit strong feelings of anxiety and stress among these workers. As a result, reliable shift schedules and change notices enhance trust in an employer, ultimately maximising job satisfaction. 

Prioritise Flexibility and Adaptability

More than 75% of recruitment agencies introduced flexible working hours in 2022, and this has only been met with success. Agencies tend to find that shift workers are significantly more attracted to a job offer with mentions of flexibility or adaptability. It’s important to consider that these people tend to take on such roles given priorities outside of work. Whether it be to take care of family, or simply a choice of lifestyle which doesn’t revolve around a 9-5, a versatile position is exactly what they’re looking for. 

Provide Full Payroll Transparency

Salary transparency is no doubt a crucial aspect of successful job listings, yet not many businesses consider payroll transparency. Payroll can get complicated, particularly when dealing with large volumes of shift workers on different schedules and varying pay rates. It’s a given that reliable payroll is fundamental to maintaining a motivated workforce, though many employers fail to acknowledge the need for payroll transparency.

Payroll reliability and transparency not only enhances trust, but the financial security of prompt and accurate paychecks, alongside future payroll forecasts, promotes a sense of stability and security amongst shift workers. A well-functioning payroll system promotes a secure and harmonious work environment, improving the reputation and morale of your business as a whole. Being assured by an employer that new hires are provided with full payroll visibility, forecasts, and insights is a rarity. Because of this, such an offer will never go overlooked.

Emphasise Work-Life Balance

Your shift workers need to feel confident that you understand that they are, in fact, a shift worker. Have you ever heard your friend complain that the part-time job they applied for has suddenly given them 40 hour weeks? Emphasise your understanding of work-life balance for your employees, as this can reassure them that their shift-worker status will not be “betrayed” under your employment. Otherwise, this can significantly hinder all trust and satisfaction in an employer.

Ensure Training is Comprehensive & Effective

As a whole, 47% of 1,001 British adults surveyed say that they didn’t receive any training and development from their employer in 2021. While this study doesn’t specifically look into shift workers, it’s safe to assume that many out there don’t feel entirely confident in their training. Providing comprehensive training will equip your shift workers with the necessary skills and knowledge to handle their roles effectively.

This includes training on safety protocols, emergency procedures, and customer service, if applicable. Offer ongoing support and opportunities for professional development to help them grow in their positions and feel valued as essential members of your team.

Offer Competitive Benefits

To attract and retain top-quality shift workers, it’s crucial to offer competitive benefits that acknowledge the unique challenges they face. Some of the top benefits the workforce could find attractive may include: providing shift differentials, bonuses for working overnight or weekends, or other incentives that recognise their commitment to working non-traditional hours. Comprehensive healthcare coverage and access to employee assistance programs can also help support their physical and mental well-being, fostering a loyal and dedicated workforce. 

Though there is currently no legal requirement for businesses to increase wages for working nights, it’s certainly worth doing so to nurture your workforce (we definitely think you should).

The Importance of Shift Workers

Hiring shift workers is a critical aspect of ensuring seamless business operations and maintaining a productive workforce. By prioritising flexibility and adaptability for work-life balance, providing pay transparency, establishing job roles and shift schedules, providing comprehensive training and support, offering attractive benefits, and ensuring comprehensive training, you can build a strong and dedicated shift workforce. A content and motivated team of shift workers will not only contribute to the success of your business, but also enhance your organisation’s reputation as an employer of choice.