By: Mel Kleiman, CSP
Hourly employees comprise more than 60 % of the US workforce, yet many employers are unsuccessful in their efforts to find qualified candidates in sufficient numbers and fall short of retaining top employees long enough to realize a return on their investment.
That’s because the total cost of losing an hourly, frontline employee ranges from 30 % to 150 % of that person’s annual earnings. Add to this the fact that non-exempt turnover is approximately three-and-one-half times greater than exempt and it is clear that hourly employee turnover is by far the greater drain on profitability.
One cause of this problem is that many employers don’t fully grasp the demographics of today’s hourly, frontline workforce. While many employers aim recruiting messages only to younger people, about one-third of these workers are actually 25-44; slightly less than one-third are 45 or older. Many employers also recruit for full time positions when many hourly workers would prefer 30 or fewer hours per week.
Another large part of the hourly employee recruitment and retention problem can be attributed to the following:
- Many employers tend to focus on recruiting unemployed candidates, which is fine, but be sure to attract top candidates who are already working and who may be open to a better job and/or working conditions.
- Today’s overwhelming number of applicants for every job, making it that much harder to find the outstanding performers. Learn how to find job candidates via a targeted marketing strategy.
- The fact is that most managers and supervisors hire only occasionally.They are not trained in best-practice techniques nor are they experienced “hiring managers” -- they are managers who hire from time-to-time. Be sure to take time with your job interview preparation.
Take a Marketing Approach to Recruiting
To recruit the best, employers have to make recruiting a 24/7 activity. If you only recruit when you have openings, you can’t get the best, because the pressure to hire someone immediately causes you to be less selective and often results in a bad hiring decision. Learn how your business can attract top talent.
Become a “Magnetic Company”
To paraphrase Yogi Berra, “If they don’t wanna work for you, nobody’s gonna stop ‘em.” There are companies that never have recruiting problems. When they need good employees, plenty of candidates are readily available (companies such as Disney, Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines.) Many smaller companies nationwide have similar reputations. In fact, you can maximize your small business hiring advantage. These companies can use the flexibility inherent to their smaller size to become “Magnetic Companies” that attract quality applicants.
Make It Easy to Find Employees
To hire the best, you’ve got to make it easy for the best people to apply. If you accept phone calls, résumés, and applications only during regular business hours, you discourage the very people you should be trying to recruit -- all the good people who are busy working. This means you have to modify or extend your hours for accepting applications and conducting interviews to synch with applicant availability.
Install a 24-hour job hotline and include it in your job postings. It can be as simple as an answering machine or as sophisticated as a fully automated interviewing system. With a 24/7 system, you’ll see an increase the high-quality applicants by 30-50% or more.
Today’s applicants don’t read newspapers or go from store to store filling out applications. They sit down at the computer and “let their fingers do the walking.” If you’re not using Internet job boards and your company website, you’re definitely missing the boat.
If there is a “Careers” or “Join Our Team” tab on your website, take a few minutes to take it for a test drive. Many of these website pages lose jobseekers by making the process too complicated and/or time-consuming while some don’t work at all.
Man the Fort
Whether you're looking for a customer service representative or retail salesperson, most apply for three jobs at once. This means employer responsiveness is a deciding factor in recruiting success. So, when you need new recruits, monitor the system and get back to promising applicants right away.
Mel Kleiman is a Certified Speaking Professional and leading consultant, author, and speaker on strategies for hiring and retaining the best frontline, hourly employees. He is the president of Humetrics, a leading developer of systems, training processes, and tools for recruiting, selecting, and retentaining the best hourly workforce. Mel is also the author of seven books, including 100 + 1 Top Tips, Tools & Techniques to Attract & Recruit Top Talent. For more information, call (713) 771-4401 or visit www.KleimanHR.com.