Hiring professionals in the retail and hospitality industries face a unique challenge when it comes to talent acquisition: too many job applicants. In fact, a recent survey from my company, StartMonday, found that 22 percent of job seekers in these industries will apply for any relevant opening they can find.
This leaves you with a mountain of resumes, most of which are from applicants who aren’t truly interested in your company.
To attract higher quality candidates in an over-saturated talent pool, you need to rethink your hiring process and what matters most to today’s talent.
Focus on More Than a Paycheck
When a job seeker only cares about money, they fail to get invested in the company and the work they do. This makes them less-than-ideal employees. If your job ads rely on pay to attract candidates, they’ll only bring in fair-weather employees.
In fact, our research found that, of the respondents who say they apply for any job they can find, 95 percent listed pay as a major factor in their decision to take a job.
To attract genuine candidates, you need to provide more detailed information. For starters, hold off on telling job seekers how much the position pays until after they’ve committed to the hiring process.
Instead, grab their attention with facts about the company, like its culture and mission, in the job ad. The clearer the picture, the better job seekers will understand what it means to work for your organization. Then, only candidates who are really interested will apply for the job.
Amp Up Employee Referrals
Great candidates want to know they’ll be treated well and appreciated by their employer. Any signs to the contrary will scare these prospective employees away. Our research found that 45 percent of job seekers in the hospitality and retail industries will drop out of the hiring process if they find out current employees are unhappy.
Reassure job seekers by using employee referrals. Having a friend or family member recommend your company also allows job seekers to ask questions and get an insider’s opinion of the organization, thus helping them better determine if it’s the right fit.
But, for an employee referral system to work, current employees need to be knowledgeable. They have to truly understand the company’s culture, mission, and values. This will help them identify people they know would fit well within the organization.
During team meetings, inform employees of any open positions. Explain to them what skills and experiences you’re looking for, and the role a new hire would play on the team. Describe the ideal candidate using current employees as examples. For instance, saying “We’re looking for someone who has Jack’s level of customer service skills,” creates a clear picture of who they should refer.
Talk About the Future
Part of finding great employees is finding talent that wants to stick around. These candidates want to find a job that aligns with their future plans. In fact, 42 percent of candidates who only apply for jobs they’re really interested in said professional development is a big factor in how they choose a job, according to our study.
The sooner you start the conversation about a candidate’s future, the better. For example, when you send candidates an email explaining the next steps of the hiring process, include information about various company career paths.
Encourage them to look at what their future could hold within the organization. Then, during the interview, ask them about their career goals. Discuss how they can train for those next steps as well as what they’d learn on the job. This will get them more invested in getting the position and the company as a whole.
Introduce Candidates to Managers
Managers have a huge impact on how employees feel about their jobs. This is why so many job seekers want to get to know their future boss before taking a position. According to our survey, 83 percent of candidates want to talk with their potential manager during the hiring process.
Schedule an introduction between candidates and members of management. A casual meeting for coffee allows candidates to relax and be themselves. Make it clear to your manager that the situation isn’t a job interview. They’re simply having a conversation with the candidate to get to know them and feel out their true interest in the company.
About the Author: Ray Gibson is the co-founder and CEO of StartMonday, an innovative recruiting platform for hospitality and retail designed for mobile generation candidates and time-strapped recruiters.