Pro Staff- light industrial and administrative staffing and recruiting
Administrative & Light Industrial Staffing

The COVID-19 crisis is disrupting businesses in a number of ways. While some industries are experiencing unprecedented demand, others have needed to temporarily close their doors. We will get through this, and the most resourceful businesses will come out on the other side stronger and better.

In the midst of uncertainty, it’s important to show how much you value your workforce. How you manage this pandemic will have a lasting impact on your employer brand and your ability to attract and retain workers in the future. When this crisis is over, you’re going to need people in place to support the comeback.


How can you meet your business demands and support your valued workforce during this time? Here are a few real-world examples to help you strategize a solution:

Temporary Pay Increases

  • A cardboard partition manufacturer employing machine tenders, machine operators, and hand assembly has offered a $2/hour temporary pay increase. Since initiating this increase, they have had no turnover and staff have expressed deep appreciation. Incentivizing existing staff has also allowed them to stabilize and not introduce new workers into their facility.
  • A transport, logistics, and supply chain management company employing pickers and packers temporarily raised their base pay by $3/hour. As a result, the team was able to quickly complete the order, including filling six of the ten jobs in less than 48 hours. Previously, the time-to-fill was over a week.
  • A lawn care product manufacturer offered a 50% pay increase to full time and temporary employees. The temporary workers’ pay increased from $14/hour to $21/hour. This is a critical time for their industry, and the hazard pay is designed to compensate employees who are making the difficult decision to go to work every day. In addition to increased pay, the company practices social distancing in a safe environment. They have experienced no turnover during this time.


  • A paper-based packaging solutions provider plans to offer a one-time bonus of $120-150 depending on hours worked. The employees know the bonus is coming. As a result, they have had no turnover. By retaining their existing workforce, they have no need to introduce new talent at this time.
  • A plastic lid manufacturer for the food industry plans to offer their employees a two-time bonus of $150. The employees know the bonus is coming. As a result, they have had no turnover. By retaining their existing workforce, they have no need to introduce new talent at this time.
  • A bakery is giving all employees a $100 “stay healthy” attendance bonus each week when they work all of their scheduled shifts. As a result of the bonus, they have had a 100% show up rate with the exception of one being sent home due to a fever.
  • A manufacturer of pumps and dispensers employing machine operators, tenders, and packagers was at the start of a multiple week-long project when the “stay at home” orders began to roll out. To recruit and retain during this time, they created a plan to offer a $500 sign-on bonus and a $500 completion bonus. As a result, all positions were filled within two days.
  • A cosmetics manufacturer and distribution facility is offering a unique return to work program. While they have not yet called people back to work, it has received positive feedback. They have communicated with all employees that they will receive a bonus. The bonus depends on their time spent on assignment before the layoff and ranges from $250 to $1,000. The bonus will be paid as long as they return upon request and stay on the assignment for a minimum of 30 days.


Unfortunately, we’ve also witnessed the results of providing no incentives or pay increases during this time. Here are a few examples:

  • An airport service company that counts on employees to load and offload freight from planes to distribute to customers is paying on the lower end of market rates. Once the stimulus checks were delivered and the CARES Act was initiated, it became very difficult to motivate people to work, and many have made the decision to stay home instead. In one hiring class, 14 of the 15 employees did not show up for training.
  • A distribution center has offered no incentives or pay increases for their pickers, packers, and material handlers. They are seeing a 30% daily show-up rate. They also have not waived their drug screen or background check; as a result, 25% of candidates are finding work elsewhere during the waiting period.
  • A pharmacy and retail distribution center employing pickers, packers, and material handlers provided a $2/hour temporary pay increase for their internal employees, but not their temporary workers. As a result, the temporary workforce has become disengaged and difficult to retain.
  • A home improvement distribution center provided two additional weeks of PTO and a $2/per hour increase in pay for all internal employees, but not temporary employees. As a result, pay rates are no longer market competitive and recruiting has become challenging. The sites have had confirmed COVID-19 cases and talent are not returning to work.
  • An art supply manufacturer and distribution center paid their internal employees during their four-week closure, but offered nothing to their temporary workforce. As a result, talent are not returning to work, and the company is now short-staffed.


There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment and retention, especially during this uncertain time. Staffmark Group is committed to partnering with you to create a strategy that meets your business needs and supports the people who are working to keep your business running – all while risking their health and safety.

Connect with your Pro Staff representative today to create a well thought-out plan for your organization. If there is one thing that we’ve learned from this pandemic, it’s this… We’re stronger when we’re working together.