Hiring for the Warehouse: Forklift Operator Job Description Template

Download the Forklift Operator Job Description Template With Salary Insights for 2022

Your forklift operators are among the most important warehouse workers you’ll employ. Forklift operators determine how smoothly your warehouse operates, how quickly goods can be transported into and out of the warehouse, and how safe your warehouse is. Needless to say, attracting high-quality forklift operators is essential.

This is everything you need to know about how to write a warehouse forklift operator job description to attract the talent you need, along with a template to follow: 

Forklift Operator Skills List

These are some of the most essential skills that you’ll be looking for in a forklift operator:

  • Careful. Since forklift-related injuries are some of the most common on the warehouse floor, choosing forklift operators who handle the forklift safely is imperative.
  • Works well with others. Forklift operators work closely with other warehouse workers, so good communication and interpersonal skills are important to ensure that forklift operators communicate well with the team for the efficiency and safety of your warehouse.
  • Attention to detail. When it comes to operating a forklift, even the smallest oversight or mistake can result in serious problems.
  • Understanding of or willingness to learn about machinery. A forklift operator should understand the forklift they drive very well. They should notice even the slightest irregularity so that they can recognize a malfunction before it causes a problem.
  • Works efficiently. Forklift operators are highly motivated to go quickly, but haste is often the cause of mistakes. A forklift operator who can get the job done sooner without sacrificing safety results in smoother operations within your warehouse.
  • Physical fitness. Forklift operators need to be able to lift and move items. They will often load the pallets that the forklift then moves from place to place. Typically, they should be able to lift at least up to 50 lbs, be on their feet for long periods, and twist and bend often.
  • Flexibility. It’s very helpful to have forklift operators who are willing to stay later, come in at unexpected times, etc. You may have a limited number of forklift operators on the floor, so if someone fails to show up for work, is injured, or if there is more inventory to move than you expected, having forklift operators who are flexible is a big plus.
  • Dependable and punctual. Having a forklift operator on the floor is essential to the functioning of the warehouse, so you can’t tolerate a forklift operator who doesn’t show up for shifts or doesn’t arrive on time. 

Is Previous Experience an Important Forklift Operator Requirement?

Ideally, you would probably want to hire forklift operators with previous experience operating this kind of machinery. However, you will doubtless get many applicants that don’t have previous experience with forklifts. After all, everybody has to start somewhere. 

If you’re only willing to hire people who have previously worked with forklifts, you’ll significantly reduce the talent you can choose from. Furthermore, you’ll likely need to pay more for workers that have previous experience with forklifts.

Good training is essential because poor training is one of the most common causes of forklift-related injuries. With a superb training program like that offered by how.fm, you can hire a balance of workers, some with previous experience with forklifts and some without. 

With training that can be accessed as needed, workers can refresh themselves on every detail of operating a forklift whenever they need to. Since training is offered in over 30 languages, workers won’t have to learn in their second language. 

With the right training program, previous experience in forklift operation isn’t always necessary. Opening the position to those without previous experience dramatically increases your range of applicants and reduces the salary you’ll need to pay. 

Furthermore, training forklift operators yourself means that you won’t have to worry about workers bringing the wrong information into the warehouse with them. You’ll be able to train forklift operators in exactly the way you would like them to operate your forklifts.

How To Write a Warehouse Forklift Operator Job Description

  1. Make safety a priority. Forklifts can be dangerous, so safety should be one of the key components you’re looking for in an operator. Make sure that your description will attract people who are careful, detail-oriented, and put safety ahead of speed. Requesting references is a good way to find out if a potential hire has a history of behaving recklessly or overlooking safety protocols. 
  2. Emphasize that prior experience isn’t necessary. Many people searching for jobs in a warehouse might assume that they need prior experience operating a forklift in order to be considered as a forklift operator. Therefore, if you’d rather train your own forklift operator, it’s a good idea to emphasize that fact in the job description. You may even want to put it directly into the job description title. For instance, the job description title could be, “Forklift operator needed, prior experience not required.”
  3. Mention any other important responsibilities. Do you want a forklift operator who can also operate other machinery like hand trucks, pallet jacks, etc.? Maybe your forklift operator will also have to double as a general warehouse worker. If you want a forklift operator who can do more than operate a forklift, make sure that you make that clear in your job description. 

Should a Lead Forklift Operator’s Job Description Be Different?

A lead forklift operator has more responsibility than other forklift operators. They often act as managers of a team, typically a team composed of forklift operators and general warehouse workers. 

You may prefer a lead forklift operator with previous experience operating a forklift. They’re more likely to be aware of what can go wrong from prior experience and be able to prevent mistakes or problems before they happen. 

You may also want to emphasize good communication and management skills for a lead forklift operator since they will need to communicate often and be in a position of authority over other team members. 

Should You List the Forklift Operator Salary?

Post a good salary and you’re more likely to attract the best applicants. Post a low one, and you may lose out on quality applicants who you would have been willing to pay more. Not posting one at all can be risky, since prospective hires may not apply without knowing what they may be paid. 

If you’re on the fence about whether to list a forklift operator’s salary, it’s a good idea to consider posting a salary range. By posting a range, you can attract the most qualified and experienced applicants who may be a good option for lead forklift operators but also be able to pay a lower salary to forklift operators who may not have prior experience. 

Here are some averages to help you pick a good range for your forklift operator salary:

Average Forklift Operator Pay in Germany

Average Forklift Operator Pay in the US

Forklift Operator Job Description Template With Salary Range 2022

You now know some of the most critical information required to help you pick the best warehouse forklift operators for your warehouse. You also surely realize just how important it is to make good decisions when hiring forklift operators, since they have so much responsibility for the safety of your warehouse.

To help you find the best possible forklift operators, download this forklift operator job description template. You can edit the template as you like and post it on hiring platforms, including Xing, LinkedIn, etc.

Are you tired of going through the same training repeatedly for your forklift operators and other warehouse workers? Doing the same training over and over again can be discouraging, and overwhelming, and leave you without enough time for your job. 

how.fm can help. We enable standardized training to help you onboard new hires and repeat training with existing employees easily and with minimal effort on your part. Book a 15-minute product demo call now. 

Download Forklift Operator Job Description Template With Salary Range 2022