Rebuilding hourly hiring from the ground up

April 16th, 2021
HireVue Team

In many ways, workers who are paid by the hour - such as those who work in the restaurant, retail, and hospitality industries - bore the brunt of last year’s pay losses.

Representing roughly 58% of the US labor force, hourly employees tend to work in customer-facing roles as direct brand representatives; and as a result, were less able to work from home when the global economy shut down. Which is why, according to the Economic Policy Institute, hourly, low-wage earners experienced 80% of the overall US jobs loss in 2020.

But now, with an aggressive vaccination effort underway, and a corresponding surge in economic growth, “help wanted” signs are being seen in more and more store windows. In fact, bars and restaurants added nearly 300,000 US jobs in February alone.

Despite the fact that unemployment is still higher than it was in February 2020, many employers are finding it difficult to expand their workforce. Why? Some workers are uncomfortable going back to work without a vaccine; others made the decision to start a career in a new industry after being laid off or furloughed early in the pandemic.

If you employ an hourly workforce, and you’re finding yourself caught between a rock and a hard place as you rebuild your hiring efforts, here are the top five tips to keep in mind.

1. Keep the application quick & simple

Thirty-seven percent of hourly workers say that nailing a position quickly is most important - even more so than pay - when searching for a new job. So when searching for top candidates, it’s important to speed up the application process through automation, without compromising that personal touch.

Instead of relying on recruiters or hiring managers to send status updates, recruiting chatbots can help pre-screen candidates, answer FAQs, and effortlessly schedule interviews. By letting them know where they stand, and when they can expect to hear from you next, you’ll experience reduced candidate dropoff and a larger pool of qualified candidates.

2. When using assessments, get the timing right

With a “Great COVID Job Churn” expected this year, many workers are predicted to career shift into different industries in search of new opportunities. This movement within the labor market also presents new opportunities for employers.

When hiring employees (especially hourly workers) it’s important to look for individuals who have the skills that will lead to success - even if these candidates don’t have direct experience in your industry. And, relying on skills-based assessments allows you to do that quickly and objectively.

However, using assessments at the time of application can be a turn off for some candidates who are filling out multiple applications at a time. Many candidates have spent hours pouring over skills- and games-based assessments for companies they’ll never hear from again.

When offered as part of the interview process, instead, candidates experience a single, unified process that takes less than 20 minutes. The end result is a seamless system that makes it easy for candidates to show off their skills.

3. Offer on-demand interviews

Traditionally, job candidates vying for restaurant, retail, and call center positions got called into an office to interview in real time, during a limited set of business hours. Yet when given the opportunity, 43% of candidates interviewing for hourly positions through HireVue choose times outside of traditional business hours. And of the 1.85 million hourly position HireVue interviews that took place in 2020, nearly half occurred over the weekend.

With video interviews that can be completed anytime, anywhere, recruiters and candidates aren’t confined to location or time. Like NetApp, who formerly spent weeks on back-and-forth scheduling for interviews, but by standardizing the process, has now pared it down to just 72 hours. By mitigating tedious back-and-forth scheduling communication, and broadening the windows of time available for interviews, organizations and candidates enjoy the flexibility that leads to quality, fast hiring decisions.

4. Think outside the benefits box

With the competition still fierce for top hourly talent, organizations are getting creative with the benefits they offer to attract high performers. In a recent survey, many employers reported competing for talent using flexible hours and scheduling (89%), a robust set of employee discounts (76%), and increased job skills development and training (54%).

“Other trends among hourly employers include signing bonuses, increased pay and vaccination incentives,” according to Mathieu Stevenson of Snagajob.

5. Compete with candidate experience

Over the past year, the job market flipped from company-driven to candidate-driven; but now, candidate experience is more important than ever. Why? Too many candidates are frustrated by process inefficiencies, or by spending time on applications, then never getting a response back - otherwise known as the candidate black hole.

Modern job candidates demand digital-first end-to-end hiring experiences with consumer-like engagement. To compete for the best candidates, companies are leveraging technology to automate the hiring process and minimize implicit bias, then empowering recruiting teams to spend their time engaging with candidates on a personal level.

Available in 30+ languages, HireVue’s proprietary technology allows you to quickly identify the best candidates with the skills and experience you need that translate to success in high volume hourly positions. With HireVue, you can hire the best candidates at scale, in a fraction of the time - before your competitors even call them back.

Want to learn more? Download our eBook.

The Ultimate Guide to Hourly Hiring