A recent survey sheds some light – pardon the pun – on night workers.
According to a survey conducted by Express Employment Professionals, one of the leading staffing firms in North America, 20 percent of businesses have a second shift (3pm to11pm) and 13 percent have a third shift (11pm to 7am). Two-thirds only have a first shift (8am to 5pm).
The survey of 462 businesses, which are current and former clients of the firm, was conducted in December 2017.
Express survey findings are in line with a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, which shows that approximately 12 percent of all workers are “on the job” at 9pm, while only 3 percent are working at 2am.
Attracted to Night Work
Express points out that while the world is sleeping, some businesses continue to run. But why do workers choose night shifts?
According to the firm, many workers say it gives them the flexibility to take care of their children or further their education.
“The third shift is popular with the workforce, because it allows people to go to school during the day or evening and still work full time,” says Janis Petrini, an Express Employment Professionals franchise owner in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “It allows moms or dads to work all night and then still be a full-time parent during the day. They can take their kids to school and pick them up, as well as be involved in their children’s sports and other extra-curricular activities.”
Bernie Inbody indicates that one in seven applicants interviewed at his Express franchise location in Omaha, Nebraska, request overnight work for the same reasons. “This shift typically works for their family dynamic, allowing them to take care of personal obligations during the day and work at a time more convenient for them,” he says.
And, Express CEO Bob Funk points out, workers “can earn more at night than when the sun is out.”
Where the Jobs Are
The Express survey finds the most common jobs offering a second shift or third shift include general labor, production, and cleaning crews. Other jobs include office personnel, front desk staff, truck drivers, nurses, and call center staff.
“The third shift is popular for manufacturing companies and any organization that is open 24/7,” says Petrini. “Many manufacturers run three shifts, and the third shift allows the company to keep the machines and production running 24 hours a day.”
With ever increasing consumer demands, Express franchise owner Terri Greeno in Crystal Lake, Illinois, is seeing more companies requiring round-the-clock coverage at their facilities, making the pool of applicants willing to accept non-traditional shifts more valuable.
There is no shortage of opportunity, only a shortage of workers.
“If there were more people looking for work during these hours, we would have no trouble placing them in our community,” says Greeno.
And the jobs pay well. “More workers are expecting – and receiving – significant shift premiums as compensation for working off-shifts,” she says.
However, while there is ample opportunity for job seekers in the night workforce, the hours require some getting used to.
“The ‘common characteristic’ among these overnight workers is that they have no problem working all night without sleep, and they are also able to accomplish their other commitments during the day,” says Petrini. “Third shifters are a special breed. They are able to set their body clocks in a way that they require very little rest, and they can stay up all night.”