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How to hire a warehouse supervisor


A skilled warehouse supervisor is crucial for managing your warehouse team and facility while maintaining efficiency, safety, and productivity of your operation. This role has many responsibilities, including improving processes, organizing inventory, and coordinating shipments. 

That said, finding someone with the right combination of skills is crucial. Hiring the wrong person for the job not only wastes resources – it can also diminish productivity, jeopardize safety, and negatively affect other team members’ morale. 

Planning a great hiring process can help you fill your role faster and prevent costly hiring mistakes.

So, in this article, we cover everything you need to know about hiring a warehouse supervisor.

What you need to know before hiring a warehouse supervisor

When you need a new warehouse supervisor, you may be tempted to rush through the hiring process to fill the position quickly. However, rushing can lead to hiring mistakes. Before beginning your search, slow down and take these steps. 

Think about who you’re looking for 

Be clear about who you’re looking for and what kind of role they’ll fill so you can find the right person. Get specific about the skills, experience, and qualifications you need for your open position. This will vary from warehouse to warehouse. 

For example, do you need someone with experience handling hazardous materials or advanced knowledge in Excel? Envision your ideal candidate for your warehouse operation, and use that to guide your hiring process. 

When you’re replacing a previous supervisor, draw from your experience with them to imagine your ideal replacement. What went well and what didn’t when they were managing the warehouse?

List the qualities that you liked most about them – as well as qualities they lacked – to get a better idea of the kind of replacement you want. 

Determine the scope of responsibilities 

When hiring a warehouse supervisor for the first time, outlining the scope of exact responsibilities is essential so you can find someone who can handle all the demands of the job. Begin by assessing the daily operations of the warehouse and listing out the necessary tasks the supervisor should perform. Consult with other warehouse staff to ensure a comprehensive list.

Even when replacing a previous supervisor, you should still evaluate any previously determined job responsibilities to ensure they still fit. In some cases, the previous supervisor can help you fully understand the scope of the role. 

Decide on compensation

To compete with other companies, you must offer attractive compensation. Consider researching industry reports or checking out resources on Glassdoor and Indeed that can show you average salaries of warehouse supervisors in your area.  

The right benefits can also help you bring in more applicants and get the right person to say “yes” to your job offer. Standard benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off (PTO) are enticing for warehouse workers.

Professionals in this industry also appreciate flexible scheduling options and professional development opportunities. You might consider offering your warehouse supervisor tuition or certification reimbursement to help advance their career, for example. 

Skills and qualifications to look for in a warehouse supervisor 

Below are some general technical skills and soft skills that are important for those in the warehouse industry. Keep in mind that some warehouse supervisors have specialist skills, knowledge, and certifications that might make them a better fit for some types of operations over others. 

Hard skills 

An ideal candidate will have the following technical abilities: 

  • Computer skills/experience with certain software: Ability to use a computer and experience with warehouse management systems (WMS) software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, or any other platforms your business uses 

  • Supply chain management: Knowledge of supply chain principles for optimizing the flow of goods   

  • Data analysis: Ability to analyze data and metrics to improve decision making and streamline operations  

  • Health and safety standards: Knowledge of common safety procedures and regulations and the ability to explain and enforce protocols 

  • Materials handling and storage: Understanding of the techniques for safely and efficiently storing, organizing, and handling goods and materials 

Soft skills

Here are some soft skills warehouse supervisor candidates should have: 

Soft skills to look for in a warehouse supervisor graphic
  • Leadership skills for managing teams, resolving conflicts, motivating staff, and leading by example

  • Problem solving skills for creating solutions to workplace challenges

  • Effective communication skills for relaying instructions clearly and coordinating with team members

  • Adaptability for pivoting when necessary and staying calm under pressure

  • Organization for keeping the warehouse neat and organized while efficiently handling administrative tasks like scheduling and documentation  

Where to find skilled warehouse supervisors

Many warehouse supervisor candidates begin their job searches online. A great first step when looking for a new warehouse supervisor is to write a great job description and post your job on major job boards like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn. 

You can also look into recruitment agencies to find recruiters with backgrounds in the logistics and supply-chain management industry. Their in-depth knowledge of the field can be useful in sourcing qualified candidates. However, they can be expensive. But if you’re having a hard time filling your open role, they can help you make a quality hire sooner. 

3 creative ways to find warehouse supervisor candidates

Traditional job boards and recruitment agencies are typically good ways to find job candidates. However, sometimes, you might need to get more creative to fill your open role with the right person.

Here are some more ideas for sourcing talent for your warehouse: 

1. Look on industry-specific job boards 

Industry-specific or niche job boards can also be great places to post your open job. Some options for you to consider include:  

  • JobsInLogistics.com is one of the largest logistics/supply-chain industry job boards. You can expect to pay around $300 for one job posting, which they’ll distribute to additional job boards. You can also pay to comb through their database of resumes. 

  • iHire Logistics is another industry-specific site where you can pay to post jobs, source talent, and market your employer brand to potential candidates with email outreach. 

  • Logistics Crossing is a private job site for industry professionals that has free options for sharing your open job.  

2. Attend professional networking events

Logistics and supply chain management conferences can be great places to connect with industry professionals and meet potential candidates. The American Supply Chain Summit is one example of a large annual industry event, but you can check other industry websites like Union Pacific to find conferences year round. 

3. Recruit outside your local area 

Sometimes, trying to find candidates in your local area can be a challenge. You can do a couple things to overcome this. 

First, if your warehouse is located in a smaller town or suburb, consider changing the location in job postings to the closest big city. This can increase the visibility of your job posting. You might also offer candidates with longer commutes gas or mileage compensation. 

Additionally, you might consider offering relocation assistance to candidates who are willing to move to take your job.

How to select the best warehouse supervisor candidates

Skills-based hiring is the most effective way to evaluate candidates since it tells you far more about your candidates than their resumes do. Here are some tips for using a skills-based hiring approach. 

Conduct assessments 

Pre-employment assessments are a great step to add into the early stages of your hiring process since they can help you determine whether a candidate has the technical skills you need for your open role. They can also help you measure soft skills, like problem solving, and give you more insight into candidates’ personalities. 

For example, TestGorilla’s pre-employment test library includes a role-specific Warehouse Supervisor test, which allows you to assess how well a candidate can perform daily warehouse responsibilities. It evaluates candidates’ abilities to carry out administrative tasks, oversee operating procedures and maintenance, and manage inventory. 

You can also use other assessments like the Leadership & People Management test and the Problem Solving test to measure other important warehouse supervisor skills and get a better idea of how someone would perform in the role overall. 

Combining various assessments can help you gain a full understanding of each candidate, including their technical skills, cognitive abilities, and personality. 

Ask the right interview questions 

The right warehouse supervisor interview questions can help you learn even more about a candidate’s previous work experience, technical skills, and professional trajectory. 

You can get the answers to some of these questions before inviting a candidate to a formal interview by including them in your pre-employment assessments. With TestGorilla, for instance, you can customize test questions and learn more about how a candidate responds to typical warehouse situations and challenges. You can even ask candidates to record their responses on video. 

Adding your own interview questions to assessments can be a great way to narrow down your candidate pool and determine which candidates you’d like to invite for formal interviews. 

Common mistakes when hiring a warehouse supervisor 

Warehouse supervisors play such a crucial role for your business, and choosing one is a big decision. To avoid missing out on some of the best talent, be sure to avoid these common mistakes. 

Discounting soft skills 

There are some key technical abilities that warehouse supervisors must have – like understanding safety procedures and proficiency with the computer software your warehouse uses. 

However, one common mistake many employers make is paying too much attention to technical skills and not putting enough focus on soft skills like communication, leadership, and adaptability. Soft skills are often harder to teach, so when you find a candidate who lacks certain technical abilities but has great soft skills and shows potential, you could always consider training them on the job. And when you find a candidate with a perfect combination of hard and soft skills, they might just be your ideal candidate.

Not being flexible with requirements 

Another mistake employers make is being too rigid around degree requirements. Though supply chain management, logistics, or business degrees can be really useful, these don’t always reflect someone’s ability to do a job well. Don’t discount real-world work experience and on-the-job training. 

Hire your next warehouse supervisor with TestGorilla 

Warehouse supervisors play an important role in the overall efficiency, productivity, and safety of warehouse operations. Finding someone with the right combination of warehouse experience, technical ability, and soft skills can be a challenge, but a good hiring process can help. 

You should include pre-employment tests in your hiring process to measure technical skills like inventory management and computer efficiency. These tests can also help you get to know a candidate's personality and measure soft skills like communication and problem solving. 

Adding TestGorilla’s assessments to your hiring process can make it easier to find the right person for your team. Take our product tour to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect hire. 


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