Glass is half full hiring: it’s all about perspective

July 16, 2012 | by Jason Hamilton
Glass is half full hiring: it’s all about perspective

Some employers take months, even years, fine tuning their hiring approach to ensure they can build an hourly workforce that will drive growth. And then new trends come along and impact the efficacy of that hiring approach, leaving employers' hiring glasses half empty. Or are they half full?

There are external trends at play that impact your ability to recruit, hire and retain top hourly talent. Some are so far out of your control that your business must adapt to continue growth. Others, while still out of your control, can be tempered through a shift in hiring perspective. Understanding these trends and embracing a new viewpoint can help keep your hiring glass topped off.

Voluntary turnover: when employees think the grass is greener

Even in today's tough job market, workplace consultancy Mercer found that nearly a third of workers were seriously considering quitting their jobs. Regardless of if this trend is driven by reduced shifts, frozen pay or general dissatisfaction in current roles, turnover costs upwards of $2,000 per employee, so you can't afford for your employees to think they could have it better elsewhere. Because pay or benefit raises may not be on the table, you should look to empowerment, recognition and training to increase employee engagement to drive retention without breaking the bank. Empowerment gives employees more than a stake in their jobs: recognition lets them know their hard work is noticed and training gives employees who feel stuck new opportunities for growth.

Increased focus on branding: what Millennials want

We knew Millennials would play a big role in the future workforce, and their time has come. As Baby Boomers start to retire, employers are wondering how they can attract the best of the next generation. But Millennials aren't as focused on the traditional benefits – pay, hours, etc. – as much as they are honing in on employer brands. And if brand is something previously relevant only in your marketing department, you could be missing out. The key to employer branding is to not try to be all things to all people. First, know your audience and who you want working for you. Then, determine what makes your business different and why someone would want to work for you. Finally, identify what emotional benefits your jobs offer. Follow these steps and you'll uncover your employer brand.

Expected integration: on-demand hiring is in demand

Technology has sped up our lives and created modernized approaches to everything from shopping to staying in touch. Today's job seeker expects processes to be easier, to the point where the old-school paper application and hiring approach can lead to frustration and drop off. As job seekers continue to demand a streamlined application and hiring process, employers will need to look to integrated online hiring solutions that allow job seekers to apply online, hear back quickly and avoid a wall of paperwork. The good news is that there are solutions available that can meet job seekers' expectations. The even better news is that these solutions also deliver efficiencies and cost savings to employers, making the investment a win-win.

Experience? That's nice: when experience may not be preferred

Even though unemployment is hovering above 8 percent, some employers are still reporting difficulty finding qualified applicants. With no signs that this paradox will end any time soon, it's time to look at the cause to find a solution. Giving an applicant's previous experience a lot of weight in hiring decisions may seem like the prudent approach, but when it comes to finding a right-fit employee, aptitude is more important. Employers can train for skills, but it's hard to teach someone how to be energetic, to remain calm during conflict or to enjoy collaboration. Looking at the applicant's behavioral preferences by including assessments in the application process can give you insight into how well an applicant will succeed within your business. Training for specific skills will be easier if the employee is a natural fit for the job.

Internal promotions: from the front line to the corner office

Training budgets are usually the first to go when profits are down. Combine reduced training with layoffs and voluntary turnover, and businesses are finding that filling management positions is harder than in the past. Employers may not think about management potential when filling front-line openings, but adopting that mindset can build a base of talented managers-to-be that can grow with your business. Building that base starts by assessing for managerial qualities up front, adopting a culture of promoting from within to attract applicants with the drive to succeed and offering training to support growth.

It's frustrating to build a hiring approach that delivers the best employees only to see it impacted by external trends that are out of your control. The factors at play today can influence your ability to find and keep star talent, but only if they let them. Shifting your perspective and looking at recruitment, hiring and retention in a new light can take what may seem like a set back and turn it into an opportunity to strengthen your workforce. Lemons, meet lemonade.

For more insight on these trends and actionable steps to shift your hiring perspective, read our white paper: 5 hourly hiring trends: changing your perspective.

Topics: Hiring and Retention, Human Resources, Operations Management, Staffing & Training, Trends / Statistics

Jason Hamilton
Jason Hamilton serves as Snagajob’s vice president of product and marketing. In this role, he is responsible for creating products that instantly connect workers and employers. He also leads Snagajob's marketing strategies – from customer acquisition and retention to marketplace development and growth. Oh, and he had a cameo in a Bollywood film. www

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