Recycling Workforce IssuesWorking in a MRF can be rewarding

It’s Not Easy to Become a Leadpoint Associate. 

The data keep coming in about historically low unemployment rates and the unprecedented lack of workers to fill our nation’s job openings. From physicians and engineers to truck drivers and retail store clerks, low unemployment is affecting employers across the board.

In the world of recycling, we face a double threat: our jobs are not glamorous or sought-after and there is stiff competition for the workforce that’s available and willing to take these typically lower-wage jobs.

Faced with open positions and materials to process, MRF operators often turn to temporary staffing companies for help. These organizations fill a vital role for business and the American economy, but for our industry, they sell the impression that they can fill any opening and the promise that when you can’t fill your open jobs, a staffing company is your best option.

Staffing companies create the perception that they have a roomful of people who are waiting for jobs in places like MRFs. While that scenario may be true for a handful of day-labor companies, it’s generally not the case for the quality workforce our customers demand.

The 30 Percent Reality

To fill every job order that comes in from a MRF, staffing companies may have to hire everyone who walks in their door.

For the MRF operator, this approach can create high turnover, an increase in safety incidents, and poor productivity.

Leadpoint takes a different approach.

We screen and hire 30% of the people who apply to work for us. We’re choosy. Here are some of the things we look for in candidates for sorter or MRF jobs.

  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Motion sensitivity to moving belts
  • Peripheral vision
  • A healthy respect for safety

Our hiring process includes a practice session on an actual sort line. We’re upfront and honest about the nature of the work and the environment the candidate will be working in. Let’s face it; a job in a MRF isn’t for everyone.

We also interview for soft skills, like willingness to take direction, listening skills, desire to move up, and leadership potential. That’s because we offer our associates something rather unique in the world of sorters.

We offer a career path and opportunity to advance.

Full-time Careers, Big-time Productivity

Today, 62% of our onsite managers started as sorters.

All of our jobs are full-time and permanent. Our associates work at the same location, with the same team, every day. That stability is attractive to most people we hire, and it sets us apart from the employment proposition offered by temp staffing companies.

Our full-time work team model is attractive to MRF operators as well. They appreciate working with a team that gets to know their business and processes. They appreciate that low-turnover means sorters can improve their skills, which in turn means the MRF can become more efficient and productive week over week.

We’re not against temp staffing companies. We’re for offering MRFs a workforce solution that makes their business better and helps them get the most out of every labor dollar.

That’s the Leadpoint solution.

Want to learn more? Let’s chat. Contact Leadpoint at 888-215-1511 today.


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