Is there a pool going on in the break room, betting on how long the new guy will last? Do you increasingly find yourself glancing at an hourly worker’s name tag before addressing her by name? Did the lab you use for drug test screens send you an enormous fruit basket for Christmas?
If these questions hit a bit too close to home, you need a new strategy for recruiting hourly workers. High turnover eats away at your profits faster than an unsupervised kid at the free samples table. Absenteeism, workplace accidents, and customer service can all be improved if you hire the right hourly employees.
Finding good hourly workers that will stick around may seem like a mighty task. But if you adjust your strategy and know where to look, you’ll find them almost as easily as a shrewd customer finds a reason to demand a discount.
Getting Good Employees in Hourly Roles
Before you try to figure out how to find employees of a company that relies heavily on hourly workers, you have to get clear about what you’re looking for. When you’re looking to find employees to hire, emphasize finding a person with the right attitude. Technical skills are easier to teach than a winning personality.
Getting and keeping good hourly workers is doable when you put as much effort into attracting applicants as you do attracting customers. Adopting a marketing mindset to your recruiting efforts is an obvious strategy when you value the people who work for you.
Need help improving your recruitment content? Start by assessing what you already have, using ExactHire’s Recruitment Content Scorecard.
The hourly people you hire play a key role in your customers’ experience and your brand perception. If a product breaks, the customer blames the company, not the guy working quality control. Likewise, if a cashier is unhappy, your company’s image takes a hit in the eyes of the customer.
Using assessments during the screening process can help you target the right person. But be careful to use the assessments at the right time. If you require them upfront with the application, you risk alienating good candidates.
But where to find hourly workers with the right skills, winning attitude and pleasant personality that will translate to a positive customer experience? As with salaried employees, the best hourly workers are already employed and not actively seeking work. You’ll need creative ways to source these candidates.
Beyond the “Help Wanted” Sign
Job search aggregators like Indeed may be one of the best websites to find employees, but don’t stop there. There are countless niche job boards for hourly work, so take the time to review which sites make sense for your organization. Additionally, consider investing in applicant tracking software that can automate your job postings and even optimize your job board spending.
When trying to find employees, websites aren’t your only option. Develop relationships with local institutions where your ideal candidates congregate. These include high schools, colleges, or even senior centers.
If you use recruiting software, such as an applicant tracking system, you can create a talent pool that you can dip into for future openings. You can also use the ATS to flag and block low-quality applicants from future openings.
The Challenge of Hiring Hourly Employees
Hourly gigs get a bad rap. The problem isn’t just low pay. Too many companies treat their hourly workers as expendable. Hourly workers often take abuse from customers and aren’t respected by management. Recruiters tend to make rash hiring decisions because they need employees now. Also, many hourly employees use a phone to apply for jobs and do not have email.
You can do a lot to retain your good hourly employees by providing them with what they value. Treating them with respect and rewarding excellence are key. The golden rule applies: treat hourly workers the way you would want to be treated.
An employer looking for employees within this demographic needs to develop a strategy to find the best hourly workers. When deciding how to find employees, consider Craigslist and other job boards, as well as nontraditional places such as senior centers and veterans sites. You can use an applicant tracking system to easily manage the deluge of applications you receive.
Smart strategies while interviewing hourly employees can also help. If I am an employer looking for employees, I always examine the application process from the candidate’s perspective. Hourly workers are more likely to use their phones exclusively. So make your application process mobile friendly and use texting to communicate.
Using Job Boards Like CareerBuilder, Indeed, Etc.
Choosing the right job board for hourly employees will help improve the amount of quality applicants you receive. Indeed and ZipRecruiter are popular for hourly workers because they effortlessly match jobs to the user’s experience. SnagAJob is also a popular job board for finding work in retail.
Other sites, such as CareerBuilder, require hourly workers to sift through endless links and thousands of search results. Hourly workers may find Glassdoor, while useful, is too cumbersome because it requires users to create an account.
Probably the biggest complaint recruiters have about job boards is the swarm of unqualified applicants that accumulate in their inbox. You can help hourly workers self-select when you provide upfront and detailed information about the job. Information such as whether you require weekends or overtime can help steer undesirable candidates away.
An applicant tracking system can help you sort through hundreds of resumes you’re likely to get. You can use the search function in an ATS to find and sort the best hourly workers. ExactHire ATS has a built-in function that allows you communicate with job applicants via text. There’s no need to reveal your personal cell number.
Hourly Workers in Retail as an Example
If you’re looking for an example of the perils of high turnover, look no further than the hourly retail workers. The recruitment and selection of employees in retail is a never-ending process, even during those rare times all of your positions are filled.
Recruiting strategies for hourly employees almost always focus on young hourly workers. But high schools aren’t always the best places to recruit for retail. When you’re tossing around retail recruiting ideas, don’t underestimate older hourly workers, veterans, the justice-involved, and moms looking for part-time work.
Many companies treat high hourly turnover as an inescapable reality. But you can stop the talent leak that is draining your profits when you rethink your recruitment strategy. There are plenty of quality people to fill your hourly roles.
The best hourly workers aren’t necessarily looking for new jobs. But they’re always looking for an employer that will provide the benefits that matter most. Flexibility, appreciation, and respect are low-cost ways to attract these hourly workers. You can find them by marketing to nontraditional sources such as senior centers and niche job sites like recruitmilitary.com.
For more information on how to leverage software to meet the unique challenges of finding and retaining hourly workers, access our 30-minute webinar…or assess your recruiting content with ExactHire’s Recruitment Content Scorecard.