Order picking has become one of the most important roles in the e-commerce chain. While operations across the board have seen ever increasing automation, the selection (“picking”) and packing of customers’ individual orders remains a manual task carried out by pickers.
Advances in technology combined with concerns about the spread of COVID-19 have seen a massive increase in e-commerce sales across all consumer sectors. These factors combined have seen a rise in the demand for pickers. Increased demand for a role leads to more competitive offerings for that type of role. One example of the increased competitiveness between employers in their search for pickers is the increase of the average wage paid for the role.
Further, picking has its own benefits which some candidates may find particularly attractive. Pickers are always on the move, which keeps the body stimulated and suits active candidates who would rather avoid jobs which involve sitting and screen-time. Movement throughout the day helps to keep pickers healthy and engaged.
Picking is a skill which candidates are able to improve at and see their efficiency rise as they gain more experience and familiarity with their items/zones. This will suit those candidates who seek progression and recognition for their efforts, by providing easily measured and monitored proof of their improvement over time, as they learn the most efficient routes and means of picking the orders received. Clearly definable measures of improvement and skill are also often healthy indicators of roles where advancement and/or the offer of a permanent job can be available.
The nature of the role provides a degree of independence. Depending on the employer and the health and safety concerns where machinery is in operation, pickers can be able to carry out their role while listening to music or to podcasts. This can help keep the mind fresh through a shift.
Although retail experience is often preferred, picking roles can often be successfully applied for without previous experience or qualifications, which can provide a crucial foot in the door to organisations and help to build up a candidates CV for any other roles which they may be attracted to later down the line.
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