How Warehouse Workers Could Fill Skills Gap Needed for Medical Device Assembly Teams

More than ever, this past year has proved there is an even greater need for medical device assembly employees, with no signs of slowing down as the production of medical equipment continues to increase. The teams responsible for assembly — or “kitting” —need to have the right skills to not only safely and accurately pack products but also maintain a meticulously hygienic clean room environment.

However, many warehouse employees already possess the necessary skills to meet the needs of the assembly process and the ability to efficiently meet quotas. But how exactly can employers draw on warehouse workers to help fill these much-needed positions?

How the Skills Compare

Medical device kitting employers are looking for three key skills: attention to detail, order fulfillment and meeting production quotas. You can find all three skills in most workers with warehouse experience.

The same skills that make successful warehouse workers tend to transfer over very well to the medical device assembly line .Candidates with strong warehouse experience can meticulously review orders and prepare the correct items for delivery. This provides a solid foundation for following kitting instructions which require constant attention to detail.

Warehouse workers come from an industry where meeting production quotas is the name of the game. They’re used to working in teams and developing chemistry with their coworkers to achieve a common goal. These skills transfer with little retraining.

Depending on your region, your assembly position may offer new benefits and options not currently available to local warehouse workers. The subtle differences between the roles is often enough to attract veteran warehouse talent looking for new challenges.

“Medical supply assembly can be as attractive as a career opportunity as leadership or supervisor positions within the warehouse,” says Gillen.

Consider Hiring Internally First

As a manufacturer of medical devices, chances are you’re also warehousing medical devices. Even though outside warehouse experience also transfers well, drawing on your own warehouse staff for assembly talent presents several advantages:

  • They have knowledge of your industry and fulfillment process
  • They understand the nuances between products
  • They’re already onboarded at a basic level

These factors ease the transition between roles and greatly speed up the hiring process.

It’s also much easier to backfill your warehouse vacancies than it is to hire brand new assembly workers. You can always treat it as an opportunity to get new people in the pipeline.

Adjust Training to Address Production Differences

Warehouse workers aren’t always perfect for assembly jobs. The two roles have their differences, and addressing those during the onboarding process will contribute to greater success down the line.

Warehouse employees may move a little faster than their peers on the assembly line. Reminding them they need to move at the same speed as the rest of the team may be necessary. Further, it’s important to stress extra care in the process. Proper medical device assembly is a life or death issue, while order fulfillment isn’t.

To set up a warehousing-to-medical-device-assembly talent pipeline, including streamlined onboarding, it’ll benefit employers to reach out to a staffing partner who is equally adept at sourcing talent in both areas.

Justin Gillen

Justin Gillen
Justin Gillen is an account manager at Aerotek.

Justin Gillen Justin Gillen

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