Traditionally, hiring in high-turnover industries has been the butt of all HR jokes. Industries like restaurants, retail, hospitality, call centres, security guards, cleaners, and seasonal work all suffer from productivity loss due to the seemingly endless hiring tasks that one can never quite get ahead of.
If you’re reading this, we probably don’t need to convince you this is true.
WorkSolute’s hiring platform was built to address the most common headaches we hear from our customers:
- Hiring Takes Too Long – “The time between when I know I need to hire a new employee (sometimes because one of my current employees quit without notice), and having a new qualified employee ready to start takes way too long”.
- Sorting Résumés Is A Nightmare – “I have over 300 work seekers in my inbox, and not enough time to categorize them”.
- Scheduling Interviews Is A No-Win Game Of Back-And-Forth – “If I had a nickel for every instance of phone tag, miscommunication, and back-and-forth in email chains…”.
- Almost No One Shows Up For Their Interview – Surprising to some. Not to us. We specifically built a solution that increases interview attendance by 83%.
- Employees Quit After I’ve Invested Weeks Of Training In Them – “I can’t tell who are the most reliable employees, and who will leave my business after I invest 3 weeks of training in them”.
We work exclusively with employers, work seekers, and employees in these fields. We’ve learned first hand what’s important to each party, and we’ve boiled it down to just two things to keep in mind when hiring:
1) Know Your Audience
Put yourself if the shoes of your future employee. This may be their first job. Do you remember your first job and what was important to you? This might be a side gig while they pursue their passion through education or side projects (that they hope will become full-time projects). Or they may have built their career in industries like yours. Whatever their motivations are, it helps to understand what’s important to them first, before crafting your position.
WorkSolute’s research has shown the following are, in order, the most important to work seekers in high-turnover industries:
- Work Hours
- Commute Time
- Community Among Co-Workers
WorkSolute encourages employers to list the wage associated with the work for which they are hiring. In this day and age we don’t need to beat around the bush. If you’re hiring for a minimum wage paying position, tell work seekers. No one likes their time wasted with a covert game of hoping they will be so engaged by your company culture that they won’t notice the wage. Remember, money is the #1 reason employees in these industries show up for work. Don’t mess with that.
Concealing wage is a terrible strategy for multiple reasons.
First, even if your company culture is so charming, and the potential for advancement so alluring that you convince a work seeker who is not otherwise willing to work for minimum wage to come and work for you, you are self sabotaging your company. Eventually, bills will come due for this employee and they will start looking elsewhere. Eventually the piper must be paid, in either increased wages, or turnover costs.
Second, everyone hates getting to the end of a fantastic interview, only to have the inevitable question of remuneration come up. And then the awkward end to the conversation when this incredible person tells you they had something else in mind for starting wage. Something that would never be in your budget.
Third, if you pay even slightly above minimum wage, this could be seen as a competitive advantage by some work seekers. Giving your company the edge in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Work hours matter. Whether it’s a parent juggling child care pick-up and drop-off around their work, a college student scheduling work around their class schedule, or someone who wants to work all the hours they can get.
The key, again, is to find the right fit. WorkSolute allows you to select work seekers based on their availability and desired hours.
Employees leave great employers due to a mismatch in desired work schedules. The former employee is better off, they’ve managed to secure work that meets their needs. But ultimately your business is affected disproportionately, and the hiring cycle begins again.
Even the keenest, most engaged employees will eventually burn out if they are commuting an hour and a half with two transit transfers each way just to get to work.
Do them (and yourself) a favour. Select work seekers who have a reasonable commute that you know will be sustainable for them as long as they enjoy working for your company.
Community Among Co-Workers
No, it can’t all be boiled down to numbers and statistics. There is that difficult to describe quality that just makes employees “click” on a team.
We look to our clients for inspiration on this one. We have one particularly funky-vibed restaurant that asks all work seekers what is their favourite type of music. We also see “DC or Marvel?”, “Freddy or Jason?”, “book version or film version?”, “Miley Cyrus: The best, or just the worst?”.
Initial phone interviews are another great tool to get a feel for the personality of the potential employee. They act as a quick check to see if there is sufficient interest on both sides to invest the time to meet in person.
Moreover, the benefit to this approach is that you may interview fewer work seekers, but with a higher likelihood for a match. This allows you to invest the time for one of your senior team members who will work along side this position to sit in on the interview. You can then collect their feedback on fit for your team.
2) Hire For Skills Specific To The Actual Work Performed
Hiring employees who have a realistic understanding of what will be required from the position reduces turnover by 73%.
Are you hiring for a cashier who will be expected to stand on their feet for 8 hours a day? Tell them that ahead of time. Even better, make it a “specific question” when you post your position on WorkSolute so that you can focus only on the work seekers who meet the basic requirements of the position.
High-turnover industries operate as such because the skills required are not particularly difficult. Therefore, an individual can easily move between work places as it requires little to no specific training.
So the biggest challenge our employers face is not one of finding the absolute best and most qualified individual. Instead, the biggest pitfall our employers fall into is a mismatch of expectations.
The biggest pitfall our employers fall into is a mismatch of expectations.
The most successful long-term hires are those who have done something similar in the past.
Why? Not because they bring specific skills (although those help of course!). But because they know what to expect. Their expectation of the work they will be performing is aligned with that which is being offered.
If the position requires employees to be comfortable cleaning the industrial kitchen, tell them. If they must be willing to work 12 hour shifts with breaks held on-site, tell them. If you need them to be able to lift up to 75 pounds comfortably, for crying out loud, tell them!
It’s in no one’s best interest to hire someone and allow them to show up for their first day of work with rose coloured glasses. This leads to… you guessed it: Turnover.
To Sum It Up
The conclusion is to be sensitive to the objectives of who you are hiring. And to be fully transparent about your expectations for the role. It’s when these two components come together that you get that fabled “been-with-the-company-6-years-and-don’t-know-what-we’d-do-without-her” type of magical employee.
Happy hiring everyone!
What do you think? Do you agree or no? What are your tips for hiring in high-turnover industries? Share in the comments!