Companies are facing a severe shortage of candidates according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
It is currently halfway through filling 200 jobs for online retailer Buy It Direct, at its new 563,000 sq feet warehouse near Castle Donington – and Buy It Direct is offering a £500 attendance bonus, with half paid after eight weeks and the remainder after a second eight-week period.
Meanwhile, another of Sky’s clients, a Burton-on-Trent-based warehouse and distribution firm which supplies the crafters industry, is looking to fill 50 picking and packing roles with general warehouse duties – and is offering a £250 attendance bonus if workers have less than three absences in the run-up to Christmas.
TEX Plastics, of Derby, another Sky client, has 20 vacancies and a £25 weekly bonus based on attendance.
David Torrington, Sky managing director, said: “In 20 years, I have never seen anything like this in the sector, it is unparalleled.
“Never before have employers been offering such high incentives to encourage staff to join them.
“My concern is how businesses maintain this going forward. With higher rates of pay, there is a danger that these extra costs will be passed onto consumers.”
Beckie Elliott, Sky business manager, said: “Most companies are now paying whatever they can to incentivise workers and motivate them to be able to stay.
“Obviously retention is important for them, but the turnover of staff is ridiculously high at the moment.”
Giving reasons for low retention rates, she said: “Workers have more of a choice now of where they are going to work, rather than how it used to be.
“They could start a job and the next day, they could be offered a different job for £2 more an hour.
“Clients are doing what they can – it’s really competitive, our role is to partner our clients to attract and retain the right staff
“We are trying to advise clients on the best approach to getting people through the door.”