May 17, 2020

UPS and 9 ways of hiring temporary workers this holiday season

peak season
Supply Chain
Dale Benton
4 min
UPS and 9 ways of hiring temporary workers this holiday season
UPS is expected to hire up 1,300 seasonal employees this year in a bid to tackle an anticipated surge in package volume over the holiday season.

In 201...

UPS is expected to hire up 1,300 seasonal employees this year in a bid to tackle an anticipated surge in package volume over the holiday season.

In 2015 on 21 December, UPS’s peak delivery day, it delivered over 36 million packages, double the normal daily average.

Looking between Black Friday and New Year’s Eve, the company delivers more than 630 million packages

Here are nine ways in which UPS advises logistics companies to hire temporary workers as we head towards the holiday season

1: Start early and allocate resources

Hiring the right people well in advance is a surefire way to handle any boom in activity. There can be nothing worse than not having the necessary people to match the huge increase in demand. 

Recruitment doesn’t happen overnight - have jobs listed as early as September, so you have plenty of time to receive applications, conduct interviews and check employee reference well before the holiday shopping begins.

#2: Recruit with help from your employees

63 percent of emplyers have a documented referral process. That’s according to a survey from iCIMS INC. and yet employee referrals are more commonly known to be a better cultural fit (due to familiarity with a current employee who knows the organisation). I you’re a smaller business, there’s even the possibility of offering rewards for employees.

#3 Ask the right questions

Time is quite literally money during seasonal periods. Are you really going to have time to offer a probationary period or training? Not really. Find the best people for the current demands by asking the right questions and finding the right answers. UPS suggests:

What was your previous retail experience?

Why do you want to work for my company?

Have you ever worked during the holidays?

How did you handle difficult customers in your previous job?

What makes you a great candidate for this job?

Are there any scheduling conflicts that may prevent you from working a full shift?

Everything you will need to know is right there.

#4 know what you’re looking for in candidates

Every company has specific unique company values and if an employee is fully committed to those values, efficiency will no doubt follow. Look for people who are passionate about your business as well as skilled – otherwise you may be left with errors and poor judgement calls from disinterested people.

#5 Sweeten the pot

Money talks.

“If the competition is paying $10 per hour, then offer $11 per hour. "No one wants to hear it, but eagles soar, and the extra dollar may be worth it in productivity, sales and even customer service satisfaction," says Richard Feinberg, Ph.D., a professor of retail management in the Department of Consumer Science at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

#6 Engage a temporary staffing agency

Much like point 4 – time is an issue that you sometimes just cannot afford to let get in the way. Through a temp staffing agency, there are hungry to work people ready and waiting. The agency can filter through those who are more suited based on your requirements.

As its temporary, they could simply move on after peak season. Or if you’re impressed enough, hire them full time.

#7 Always check references

When pressured for time mistakes can happen. Details can slip by in a bid to simply doing as much as you can as quick as you can to get people in place. Like not following up on references and potentially hiring someone who looks great on paper but has never worked in warehousing or retail in their life.

#8 Invest in employee development

While it is obvious you’re on a recruitment drive to meet the demand of the seasonal surge, where the moment the season is over you wash your hands of the temporary workers. Invest in employee development and training which can be offered in the long run and you may very well end up retaining those employees.

Which is perfect preparation for next year’s seasonal surge.

#9 Use online hiring resources

Much like the temporary staffing agency, use as much help as is available to you. The goal is to be ready for that demand as it will come in thick and fast. Use online hiring websites where you are but a click away from people looking for people looking to work in specific environments. Such as a temporary job over the seasonal period perhaps.

They key to dealing with seasonal peak demand is to be ready.

The first step to being ready, is knowing when peak season is.

You can see UPS’ 2016 peak season holiday calendar right here.


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Jun 21, 2021

Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain

2 min
Jewellery retailer Pandora teamed with IBM to streamline supply chains as sales of hand-finished jewellery doubled across ecommerce platforms

Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery. 

The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales. 

A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.

Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs. 

Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption. 

"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added. 


Pandora’s pivot to digital 

The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand. 

“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”

Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”. 

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