Imagine going into your local coffee shop and placing an order - and then, never receiving your latte. Imagine grocery shopping and filling up an entire cart with food and then, not finding a register to check-out.
As a consumer, you don’t tolerate this experience. You complain, you tell your friends; you share it online. But one thing is clear…you take your business somewhere else.
A negative experience dictates how we operate as consumers. And, it also dictates how we operate in the workforce. Unfortunately, for many hourly job seekers a negative experience has become the norm. I recently surveyed over 1,000 hourly candidates to understand how they felt about the entire hiring process – from apply to interview and hire (and, everything in between). In recently released research conducted by Aptitude Research and Alexander Mann Solutions, we’re beginning to uncover just how poor the candidate experience for hourly job seekers really is. One shocking takeaway, 62% of candidates never even hear back from an employer after they have taken the time to apply for a job. This reality means that most hourly job seekers that invest the time to research an organization and apply do not even get the courtesy of a response.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 82 million workers in the United States are paid hourly - this means hourly workers comprise the largest segment of today’s paid workforce. And…~50% of hourly workers are also your customer!
In a world where the struggle to find and hire people remains intense, something needs to change.
In order to stay competitive, companies need to rethink the way they recruit and engage hourly workers. Engaging hourly workers is not just about increasing minimum wage and pay. Engaging hourly workers requires a mindset change. It requires companies to think of candidates as customers and then, to provide a simple and personal experience. Based on the responses from hourly workers that have recently engaged in the job-seeking process, below are some of the key findings and strategies from the research, “The Forgotten Workforce: Are We Neglecting the Hourly Candidate?”:
- Candidates Crave Feedback During the Process: Hourly workers receive very little feedback through the recruitment process. Less than 30% of companies provide feedback to hourly workers on the recruitment experience, yet candidates that are given feedback through the process have a better experience and are more likely to return to the company.
- The Experience Needs to Be Simple: When asked what hourly workers look for from an employer, ping pong tables and free lunch were not on the list. Hourly workers want employers to get the basics right. They want an easy way to apply for a job, connect with a manager, and understand the role. Consider this from the perspective of the hourly worker – they are likely applying for multiple jobs, they don’t have a resume or it’s not applicable for the role, and 70% of younger hourly workers are seeking work at multiple jobs to get the hours that they need. Hourly workers do not need a complicated talent acquisition process that would delay their start date.
- Consider Taking the Lead with Mobile: While the adoption of mobile technology is on the rise as a whole, it is especially critical for organizations recruiting hourly workers to adopt a mobile-first strategy. Two-thirds of retail shoppers check their phones in stores (according to eMarketer), yet only 41% of hourly job seekers in this study had the option to apply for a job through a mobile device (Aptitude Research). A mobile-first strategy can help hourly candidates feel more connected to employers throughout the entire journey.
Now, imagine the barista takes the time to remember your favorite coffee order and has it ready as you walk in the door. That grocery store is so well-staffed with knowledgeable people that you buy more of that ‘delicious cheese’ the associate raved about as you checked out last time. The customer experience is amplified by the ability to hire great people, and that becomes hard to do with a poor candidate experience.
It’s clear that companies that continue to ignore the needs of the hourly worker will be at risk. In fact, the majority of companies that filed for bankruptcy in 2019 include many organizations in industries that hire hourly workers. When you compare these companies’ business performance with Glassdoor employee ratings, you begin to see how closely the consumer experience is tied to the employee experience – which starts with the candidate experience. If you’re looking for opportunities to improve the candidate experience and recruit hourly workers more effectively, take a closer look at “The Forgotten Workforce” to dive into both candidate sentiment, and reveal strategies from over 600 talent acquisition leaders that participated in the research.