Pre-employment tests for Laborers and Material Handlers

Laborers and Material Handlers

Laborers and material movers pack and move freight and stock. Their primary work locations include warehouses and other storage facilities, though they can be employed nearly anywhere where manual labor is necessary. Depending on their work environment, freight, stock, and material movers may be tasked with loading products on a conveyor belt or on and off of vehicles, which can be physically draining work. Many laborers and material handlers must also be able to master working with different types of machinery. There are usually no minimum education requirements for these positions.

While physical prowess is a key component of the job, employers need to examine other traits when looking to hire laborers and material handlers. Hiring managers for these positions generally look for reliable, productive people who can follow directions, and are honest and dependable. It is common for employers to utilize a behavioral risk assessment to fill these positions, such as the Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP). The WPP assesses an individual's work habits, likeliness to adhere to rules, and attitudes toward counterproductive workplace behavior, such as fraud, absenteeism, and time-wasting. It is an effective means of mitigating risk with regards to harmful work behaviors that can represent an expensive liability for employers and have an adverse affect on productivity. If laborers are going to be working with machinery, employers may also want to consider administering the Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA), a test that measures an individual's comfort level with machines and tools, and aptitude for learning how to use and maintain many different kinds of equipment and machinery. (Read our whitepaper to learn how testing can help close the skills gap by identifying potential.)

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Fast Facts

Rank in HireSelect:
112 out of 1,100

Median wage in U.S.:
$24,880/yr, $11.96/hr

Expected growth rate 2016-2026:

Number employed (2016): 3,932,000

Education level of Laborers and Material Handlers:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Top 5 Skills and Abilities to Look For in Laborers and Material Handlers

  • Work Strength
  • Control Precision
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Static Strength
  • Multilimb Coordination

Top 3 Tasks for Laborers and Material Handlers

  • Move freight, stock, or other materials to and from storage or production areas, loading docks, delivery vehicles, ships, or containers, by hand or using trucks, tractors, or other equipment.
  • Sort cargo before loading and unloading.
  • Attach identifying tags to containers or mark them with identifying information.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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