Pro Tip: 5 Ways to Play the Long Game When It Comes to Hourly Hiring

How to hire hourly workers

High turnover, post-pandemic stress, supply chain disruption, and inflation all contribute to a tenuous hiring climate. However, many of today’s talent acquisition strategies and tactics were designed to fill salaried roles, with hourly workers left in the shadows.  

To win at hiring these days, organizations must commit to treating hourly workforces with the same strategic attention and forethought as salaried workforces—this means embracing hourly hiring processes, hourly hiring recruiters, and hourly hiring metrics. It also means designing clear career paths to promote greater retention of hourly workers.

To Increase Hourly Workforce Retention, Consider These 5 Strategies

Today’s hourly candidates and employees hold more power, and have higher expectations, than ever before. They have seemingly unlimited job options and are more willing to leave one company to pursue what they perceive is a more favorable opportunity with another. 

The key to hiring success lies in redesigning your hiring process to respect the current needs and motivations of hourly talent. The following tips can help you in your drive to retain and build a strong hourly workforce.

1. Ensure your pay rate is on point. 

Pay rate is currently one of the biggest factors dictating whether an individual accepts, or remains in, a role. With inflation high, all workers are concerned with earning enough to provide for themselves and their families. If your pay rate is not competitive, nothing else will matter in the long run.

It’s important to think of “pay” in terms of everything you offer, in addition to the actual hourly rate. Recruiters should include any other benefits above and beyond the usual, such as referral bonuses and profit sharing. After understanding your comprehensive pay package, compare it to the competition. That should include your geographic competitors 

within and outside of your industry. If you don’t measure up, consider ways you can increase your pay rate or package in order to up your chances of attracting employees.

2. Provide career flexibility. 

Hourly workers desire career options, too. Some prefer to remain entry-level, like a general laborer, and enjoy those roles. Others may want more options in terms of career mobility, like moving toward becoming a machine operator or manager. 

It’s their choice, and you can support them by offering training and other programs that define a career path and help them navigate it. This includes reskilling existing employees for another role within your organization.

3. Hold managers accountable. 

When it comes to building an environment that is conducive to retaining employees, one of the biggest factors is your managers. How they treat workers and approach their own duties has a direct impact on employee satisfaction. 

Provide managers with the tools they need to be successful–diversity training, management workshops, mentorship programs—and be quick to act if there’s an uptick in attrition. By monitoring whether employees from a particular team or department have high turnover rates, you can determine whether management is the issue.

4. Be transparent from the start. 

Be honest about what a role entails from the beginning of the hiring process. Painting a clear picture—acknowledging both positives and negatives—of what is required and what can be expected before a candidate accepts a role goes a long way toward retaining them as an employee down the line.

If a worker uncovers undisclosed issues or half-truths about a job weeks or months in, they’ll feel a lack of respect from the employer and any loyalty to, or trust in, the company will disappear. Conducting exit interviews will help determine if there’s a disconnect between what’s advertised and what’s reality when it comes to working at your company. 

5. Stay market savvy. 

Pay attention to the market you’re in, especially when it comes to understanding local competition. Otherwise, you run the risk of constantly having to come from behind and play catch up. 

If you aren’t watching closely, you could lose workers to a company up the road who upped their hourly pay rate to $1 more than yours, or a new competitor with a stronger benefits or compensation package. You want to position yourself in the best light from a financial and career perspective to ensure employees can get what they need from you.

At the end of the day, whichever steps you take to help improve hiring and retention, remember how much hourly workers appreciate being treated like humans, not numbers. Like exempt employees, the non-exempt workforce has families to care for, career goals they’d like to attain, and a desire for a fulfilling work experience. Putting processes into place to support hourly workers over the long-term can have real and lasting benefits for your organization and your bottom line. 

If you haven’t developed recruiting processes and goals specific to your hourly workforce, we’re happy to help you get started. Reach out to our team today.