Managers responsible for recruiting hourly workers for the success of their businesses, typically do a good job of bringing candidates to the door and keeping them long enough to recoup their hiring costs. Unfortunately, not much is gained after the initial employment honeymoon is over.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), hourly employee turnover rates historically run from 70 to 120% per year in most industries. With these kinds of frequently published rates announced through media outlets, it's obvious why some employers blindly accept that it will always be this way, so deal with it. But what if there was a better way of finding the good employees and keeping them longer than the average time period? What if we could skew the BLS statistics to our favor?
The good news is that we can make a positive change simply by getting back to the basics of looking at the job in the right way, know who we are looking for, and knowing where to look. Here are those three steps explained that you can begin implementing today to make a positive difference in your hourly employee turnover rate.
Step 1: Look at the Job in the Right Way
When we lose hourly employees, our first instinct is to place an advertisement for the position(s) and hope to get the best employee to apply. That kind of logic is akin to throwing a line with a hook on it in the water without any bait hoping that something bites it. Instead of taking the hoping and wishing route, let's look at the vacant position in a different light.
There are several ways to look at a job, and we all should brainstorm the vacated position from various angles to come up with creative solutions. For now, here are three things to consider:
Change the business process. Some jobs can simply be redesigned by altering the business process. Others could be completed eliminated. For example, in some restaurants, there are self-serve beverage stands because it's cheaper to offer free refills than to hire the extra help needed to provide the drinks. Look at the overall business process and see if the position can be changed so that an employee is not needed.
Consider consolidating. Perhaps there is a way to fold the vacant position into another employee's job description without causing too much of a burden. Maybe the job can be divided among several employees who are willing to be cross-trained and take on more responsibility.
Look into automating the job. Just as how grocery stores have self-checkout lines and data processing companies have automated many positions, perhaps you too can find a way to fill the position with artificial intelligence (AI). Many businesses are experiencing great success using AI to perform some tasks more efficiently and effectively than humans.
Step 2: Know Who You Are Looking For
We all get into the trap of assuming what a job entails and what a job candidate should be able to do to perform well in that position. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. This is why a good job analysis should be performed every year or so to make sure that what is printed in the job description is what is actually required.
The job analysis doesn't take very long and is well worth the effort. The best way to perform the job analysis is to observe the employee working, get feedback from the employee, the manager or supervisor, other employees, and even customers. Don't leave any task or skill required out of the analysis. In the process, you want to look for and document the CAPS or Capacities-the physical and mental requirements to do the job; Attitudes-customer service needs, dependability, etc.; Personality-the traits needed such as temperament and assertiveness; and finally, Skills-what is required to perform well on the job.
Next, put together a job description based on your job analysis. Make sure that you include all of the requirements needed, not just because it helps the candidate understand the position, but because it will protect you down the road in case an employee files a complaint against you and the company.
Step 3: Know Where to Look
After you've look for alternatives to the job itself and you laid the foundation for knowing what kind of candidate you are looking for, the final step is to know where to look for them. To effectively find the right candidates for the job, you must think like a marketing manager and proactively seek candidates as you proactively seek customers—and to find customers, you first look for where you can find potential customers. Do the same for future employees: market where they congregate like on social sites, where they play, live, eat, entertain, and work. You want look for those folks who have what you've established in your job description using CAPS.
If you are a company that depends on hourly employees, your efforts should be focused on a consistent and constant form of marketing for candidates. Studies show that referrals is still the best way to find a good candidate, but after that is advertising. Be very creative with your ads. If you suspect your candidates use social media, place an advertisement on Facebook and use Instagram to generate leads.
Pay to have vehicle wraps or even public buses, with your advertisement on them. Come up with something catchy that appeals to the people you are looking for. A recent Forbes article gave the example of a company that placed an ad on an RV and drove it to camping sites to attract seniors for open positions. Other methods include handing out recruiting cards to everyone you come in contact with, airing silly, short commercials on radio and television, and having an open house at the company, giving away hotdogs and other goodies.
The point is to go to where the qualified candidates are located and saturate their environments with your message of hiring while touting how good it is to work at your business.
Implement this three-step process today to begin a trend to getting the right employees and keeping them longer. Many employers are already doing pieces and parts of these three steps, but that doesn't always prove as effective. To increase your rate of return on your hourly employees and to decrease turnover, you have to take all three steps seriously and make the effort needed to see them through to the end. Like most things that require hard work, the reward of your efforts will be seen in the increase in service and production and everything else that has a positive impact on the company's bottom line.
Workstream (www.workstream.is) is an end to end hiring software built for the hourly workforce, cutting in half the time to hire and on-board workers, via SMS / text communication, automated workflows, online document signing, and more.