Benefits and Compensation, Recruiting

Why It’s Time to Remove Barriers from Hourly Hiring

Hourly workers across the nation are fed up, and they’ve made it known. Millions have quit their jobs in a mass movement that’s been dubbed “The Great Resignation,” contributing to the current labor shortage for employers reliant on hourly employees. As a result, many of these businesses are shortening operating hours, closing their doors and losing sales.


Source: Ketstar / shutterstock

To combat this, a business’s focus should shift to bringing workers back, which means an internal reflection of any outdated hiring practices is probably long overdue. While internally you may be thinking, “we’ll hire anyone who walks in the door,” your workflows and policies may be telling a different story.

One of the first steps is identifying and removing existing barriers within the hiring process to make hiring as easy as possible. Doing so will improve a job seeker’s experience, bring more applicants and help businesses find (the right) talent.

Simplify Job Applications

Statistics show that more than half of job seekers have quit in the middle of filling out an online job application because of its length or complexity. Long applications present an inconvenience to those applying for hourly positions, have little benefit for those reviewing applications and hinder a hiring manager’s ability to find candidates quickly — which is counterproductive in this current worker drought. Simplify applications by only asking relevant questions, such as the applicant’s availability and willingness to work in customer-facing positions. This allows you to avoid the fluff and get through applications faster, which speeds up choosing candidates, scheduling interviews and hiring.

 Remove Resumes to Improve the Mobile Application Experience

Those seeking hourly positions are more likely to use their phones to apply than a desktop. But when a mobile application asks for a resume, applicants must pause to find and upload their resume (and that’s assuming they already have one). Applicants without a PDF of their resume saved to their phone encounter another inconvenience, further discouraging them from applying. Applications for an hourly job should be mobile-friendly — a resume is the opposite of that. Requiring a resume slows down the process and increases your likelihood of losing out on a great candidate. Instead, forgo resumes completely on mobile applications and focus on the needed information from a candidate — name, phone number, physical address and email address — and their desire to work and learn. Since most hourly positions tend to be entry-level roles with skills teachable on the job, they can quickly ingratiate themselves into being a valued member of the team.

Automate the Hiring Process as Needed

 The hiring process can be extremely demanding, and no one knows that better than hiring managers. As businesses struggle to keep their doors open due to a lack of workers, hiring managers are under even more pressure to deliver. To assist their hiring efforts and alleviate some of their stress, more businesses are turning to technology. According to a report from Aptitude, a research firm for HR technology, 44% of companies adopted new talent acquisition solutions in 2020, and 1 out of 4 companies are looking to replace their ATS this year. As technology in hiring becomes the norm, the kind you opt for should make the application process straightforward and intuitive. Automating the process by screening applicants and communicating updates to candidates shifts a hiring manager’s focus toward choosing the right ones and determining who’s truly suitable for the role.

Be Open to Widening Talent Pools

Even after removing the barriers mentioned above from your hiring process, hourly workers won’t magically come back. In fact, you may still struggle to get applicants. To avoid coming up short in the search to fill positions, consider widening your talent pools to include workers you laid off and former felons. Out of the two, laid-off workers may be the most feasible since they’re already familiar with your business and its operations. That said, be aware that they may be holding onto resentment from being terminated, especially amidst the pandemic. Reengaging with this group means reestablishing the trust that was lost. To do this, listen to any concerns they have while also setting rehiring expectations.

Reaching out to people who are reentering society after incarceration can be considered as well. It’s historically been difficult for previously incarcerated individuals to find jobs after release, with nearly half experiencing unemployment during their first year out. This group is eager to reenter the workforce, so now’s the time to recruit them for hourly roles. Consider partnering with organizations dedicated to finding work for this group, such as Hospitality Opportunities for People (Re)Entering Society (HOPES).

Don’t slow down the hiring process with unnecessary barriers as they can dissuade potential, best-fit employees. Instead, consider alternative practices to better your hiring process, such as simplifying job applications, removing resumes to improve the mobile application experience, integrating technology that automates parts of the hiring process and widening the talent pool. Doing so will put you on track to enhance the hourly hiring experience and get more applicants.

Quincy Valencia is Vice President of Product Innovation at AMS, the team responsible for imagining & launching the exciting new conversational hiring experience that is Hourly.