Frontline Wars Heating Up: How One Company is Taking on The Supply Chain

Supply chain frontline worker in a warehouse

What do you do when you’re a critical link in the supply chain and you’re struggling to find employees? 

One employer’s answer is to make employees find you.   

That’s the goal behind food distributor UNFI’s recent benefits strategy, responding to its survey about employee’s top concerns by upping its game to include flexibility, sign-on bonuses, and help for families. 

“For working parents,” reports WHP-TV in Pennsylvania, “UNFI has partnered with childcare provider Bright Horizons to provide emergency backup childcare, to give working parents peace of mind if their regular childcare falls through.”

The move comes as the clock counts down to the holidays, and UNFI – a supply-chain company self-described as “moving food forward” – vies against other employers for valuable seasonal hires. It’s an unusually competitive hiring season to begin with. But at a time when the term, “supply-chain woes” has entered even consumers’ vocabulary, hiring for these jobs is especially urgent. True to form, “Transportation and logistics,” wrote LinkedIn recently about the industry outpacing even retail for hires, “recorded the biggest jump in share of seasonal job postings.” 

Yet for companies like UNFI, it’s not just the holidays on the radar. Frontlines have been a top concern for employers throughout the pandemic, and there’s no sign the situation is easing. Even after the decorations are stowed and confetti is swept up, there will be plenty of shelves to stock, and positions to fill.  

“Everyone wants that work life balance and sometimes that’s hard,” a UNFI training supervisor told CBS in Pennsylvania. 

“We have to focus on someone’s family, some of their personal time and that work life balance.”  

With frontlines in the spotlight, added a UNFI general manager, the goal is “to give them what they need,” he told the TV station, “so they enjoy working for us more than the next guy.”

Supply chain frontline worker in a warehouse

Subscribe to the On the Horizon Newsletter