Seasonal Manufacturing Hiring In A Rural Market

Background

SHORT SEASONAL WINDOW FOR RURAL WAREHOUSE

Our client – a global food and beverage company – has over 2,000 brands ranging from household favourites to global icons.  They are present in 190 countries worldwide.

Pontoon RXO supports our client with North America front line hires, such as drivers, warehouse associates, retail sales representatives and merchandisers.  In 2018, we hired over 1,500 new hires for these roles.  While the bulk of new hires was retail sales, more than 20% were supply chain and transportation positions in rural markets.

One hiring challenge in 2018 was a rural manufacturing facility with seasonal needs.  The 14,000+ square foot 24/7 warehouse needed a talent pool for bi-lingual workers across all shifts.  The warehouse needed workers to can pumpkin and the canning had to be done within a short window of time.  It was imperative that the seasonal support not miss a single shift to avoid wasted product and to meet the harvest season deadlines.  There was a very small market for these prerequisites and the Pontoon team had to come up with creative ideas to fill all open positions.

Our Approach

GRASSROOTS + AUTOMATION TO SOURCE SUITABLE CANDIDATES

Standard sourcing methods used for national and urban markets were not effective for this rural location.  Spanish speaking was a strict requirement, so the team created an impressive grassroots campaign to target this scarce population.  All signage and advertisements were published in Spanish and English.

The team started with the Migrant Council to connect Pontoon with the Latino community.  We addressed local advertising with building banners, yard signs, and referral cards.  We broadcasted the role on local radio stations including NPR and published ads in local newspapers.  We worked with the Chamber of Commerce and promoted the position in community social media groups.

Knowing that many of our most qualified candidates could be leaving work in the early hours of the morning, we implemented a candidate driven application that matched the pace of the factory itself.  Our recruitment stack directed candidates to an on-demand screen when it was convenient and allowed them to self-schedule interviews in real time. Outside of normal business hours, candidates were guided through the process via an automated network of SMS text alerts and personal voicemails in their preferred language.

Client Results

LOW COST, HIGH IMPACT

Our team filled every available position with Spanish speakers in one month’s time with 100% retainment for the duration of the canning season.  The grassroots campaign was a low cost compared to our typical advertising solutions and proved to be very effective for the rural market.  It required quick research and execution from the Pontoon team to meet the seasonal deadlines.  The team was able to leverage the impressive tech stack and automation already in place for our national RXO program to speed up the process and maximise every hour leading up to the deadline.

Though only a small part of our overall RXO delivery, the dedication from our team to this project highlights Pontoon’s commitment to each and every manufacturing site and position in scope.