10 Approaches To Finding and Hiring Staff in the Post-Covid Economy
Editor: This article is excerpted and lightly edited from a blog on FranConnect’s website. Find the full article here.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably experiencing a shortage of workers in your business and are hoping for a silver bullet to help you quickly hire quality employees. Here are 10 approaches that may help increase the effectiveness of your current recruiting efforts.
1) Use an applicant tracking system
According to Mary Thompson, COO of Neighborly Brands, applicant tracking systems (ATS) are one of the most effective tools that Neighborly uses across their 28 residential home services brands. Their franchisees use them to hire employees across levels. Mary says that without a doubt, their ATS has contributed greatly to their success. For a marginal cost per location per month, their ATS is the central platform for all parts of their franchisees’ recruiting efforts. With the press of a button, they can send their job openings to 90% or more of all active job seekers. To begin your exploration of ATS suppliers, look at software review websites such as Capterra and focus on those that specialize in franchises.
2) Social media can be a powerful recruiting tool
Lately, many of the larger fast-food brands are targeting Gen Z through apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. Some are even offering short video applications that allow people to send in applications with just a few clicks. Consider that Instagram, for example, is trending toward being the number-one social media platform with 1 billion monthly users in 2020, and that 90% of Instagram accounts follow businesses. Yet it is currently one of the least used platforms for recruiters and hiring managers, with only 13% saying they consider it a source for recruiting, compared with 87% who regularly use LinkedIn. It is clearly a space with untapped potential. Similarly, 68% of Americans have Facebook accounts, and more than a third of their ad audience is under 25. Facebook allows very granular ad targeting, including based on age ranges.
3) Consider added bonuses and perks
Some in the franchise food service industries are offering perks like sign-on bonuses or even payments in exchange for applications. We have heard from McDonald’s franchisees offering $50 payments for the completion of an application. However, even the franchisees that have implemented these programs report that referral programs, signing bonuses, and allowing candidates to apply by text message works better.
4) Safe hiring events
Many brands have announced hiring events, such as Taco Bell, which is renewing its hiring parties across the country. Many have converted parking lots and patios into job fairs to keep applicants safe during the pandemic.
5) Increasing pay rates
If your labor shortages are coming at the expense of revenues, some are advocating increasing the minimum wages they pay by an extra $2 to $3 per hour.
6) Get employees involved in your recruiting strategy
Studies have shown that workers recruited through referrals produce 25% more profit for their employers than new hires recruited the old-fashioned way. Offer current employees a referral bonus if they bring in a great candidate.
7) Invest in the applicants you do have
Many candidates have what it takes to be great employees, but not the exact background you are looking for. This means it’s time to get creative with the applicants you do have. In industries seeking entry-level employees (such as franchising), many companies are offering employment opportunities to younger people with no previous experience. They look beyond their lack of experience and invest in skills and development training that will help them in the position and beyond. This turns into an investment in them, which helps boost retention and recruitment.
8) Be open to flexible hourly work
More than 80% of hourly workers are willing to work multiple jobs to get the hours they need. Flexibility is key and will entice those looking for a sustainable lifestyle.
9) Look outside your traditional methods of recruitment
For example, don’t be scared to let your reps and suppliers know you could really use another team member. They won’t bring you bad people as it’s a reflection on them. You can also contact the agencies for a temp to hire. Consider local agencies and organizations like the Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, or other businesses around you. Be sure to let them know you are actively looking to fill positions immediately. Another option is researching the local education community (universities, high schools, and trade schools) for opportunities to get in front of potential candidates.
10) Always keep your eyes open for talent
From food servers and retail clerks to auto salespeople – if you find someone who seems a perfect fit, leave your card or get their number. Ask them to meet you for coffee. Keep in mind that franchisors must be careful not to be “overly helpful” and potentially cross the line where you open yourself up to becoming liable as a joint employer. You can suggest many of these best practices – but be careful not to mandate them.
Focusing on internal growth is key
Remember, one of the most important recommendations is to focus on the talent you already have.
Experts know that the companies who win in the long term are the ones that also invest in their current teams. This not only aids in reducing costly turnover, it also supports recruitment. The investment in your team often takes the form of education and training where you can offer growth through new skills, allowing them to advance their careers.
Keith Gerson is President of Franchise Operations at FranConnect, a recognized leader in franchise management software. For the past decade, he has worked closely with executive boards and leadership teams that are part of the company’s portfolio of more than 800 brands and 150,000 locations, with a focus on helping franchisors achieve their desired goals in sales, operations, and marketing. For more information, best practices, and guides, visit the company’s Resources Page.
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