3PL ramps up hiring in advance of holiday season

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pennsylvania – Radial plans to bring on more than 25,000 seasonal workers across North America to help support retailers’ heightened fulfillment and customer care needs during the 2020 holiday season.

With 66 percent of shoppers saying they plan planning to increase their online purchases during the 2020 holiday season, Radial is prepared to help retailers deliver during this crucial time of year.

To keep employees safe under continuing pandemic conditions, the company has implemented adjustments at its distribution centres. It has introduced automated temperature thermal screenings for all employees and visitors before they enter a facility. Work layouts have been modified to allow for physical distancing and hygiene and sanitation procedures have been heightened.

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Radial has been proactive in identifying and implementing new technologies and processes to maintain the health and safety of every employee,” said Eric Wohl, chief human resources officer and senior vice-president.

“We are deeply committed to evolving our work environment to keep our strong community values and people-first workplace intact, while ensuring every employee feels comfortable, safe and valued at their job.”

Additionally, to address the specific workplace environments, Radial has developed new ways to reduce risk throughout the training process while on the job in both fulfillment and customer care centers.

Ensuring Safety in the Workplace

In fulfillment centres, Radial has invested in the technology enhancements that enable and enforce social distancing, such as:

  • Instant-Trace Badges that alert the wearer if someone else is within six feet
  • Thermal imaging kiosks, with cameras, present at certain sites that screen for temperatures and provide reminders to wear a mask
  • Visual Camera projection systems at certain sites to onboard new hires with mobile training stations through a projection system that optimizes training layouts and processes to ensure safety
  • Wearable mics and speakers so workers can easily hear their managers across the warehouse while remaining socially distant

Additionally, throughout the pandemic, Radial has ramped up the use of robotics in the fulfillment centre with the use of Autonomous Mobile Robotics (AMR) to assist associates on picking, packing and shipping orders. The company has found that associates are twice as productive with robotics’ assistance, as they are able to work more efficiently and safely from an ergonomics perspective.

Remote work

Radial has implemented changes to the interview and training process for customer service agents and is offering more flexibility than ever before. Examples include:

  • Increased virtual training formats to reduce the need and number of seasonal associates in previously onsite-only training classes
  • The number of remote positions has increased. Associates that have the necessary skill sets and meet technology requirements set by Radial, will benefit from the flexibility of a work-at-home model
  • Virtual only positions have also increased. From interviews to training and onboarding to daily work, Radial is expanding the number of virtual positions more than ever before and accepting applications from qualified individuals

Radial is looking to have 50 to 70 percent of its Customer Care workforce work remotely/virtually this holiday season, which is over 2,500 associates nationwide.