Hiring changed in 2021.

If you’re involved with hiring hourly staff – in restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, anywhere – you’ve noticed the difference. Not getting enough applicants. No-shows for interviews. And employees quitting at the drop of a dime.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

I’ve talked with 300+ restaurant operators in the past 6 months. They collectively own more than 4,000 restaurants. In these conversations, I saw how much pain everyone is experiencing. But I also learned a few secrets that are helping some operators succeed in hiring and retaining their staff. Even in today’s world where there are more open jobs than jobseekers.

That is what I’m sharing with you today: The three steps savvy hiring managers are taking to staff their stores, eliminate no-shows, and retain their employees while everybody else in the industry seems to struggle.

Here’s the reality: Candidates can quickly get a job anywhere. We see the “now hiring” signs everywhere. There are so many open jobs that if somebody wants a job they will get one in 24 hours or less.

So what do candidates do? They’re behaving a bit differently than they have before. They’re applying to a bunch of different places to “shop around.” They may not always be  serious when they put in a job application. They may apply to 10 or 20 different places… just to see what everyone’s offering. That means you, as the hiring manager, have to sell them on choosing you.

Candidates are behaving a bit differently than they ever have before… that means you have to sell them on choosing you.

They’re getting contacted by hiring managers from every place they applied. So, why are they going to choose you over all other options?

What’s not working

If you do what you’ve always done (and to be fair, it’s what everyone did up until a year ago), you’re getting lots of no-shows because you are treating the interview process like a one-way street.

For example, in your initial conversation are you asking screening questions like:

  • What’s your availability?
  • Age?
  • Do you have transportation?

Those are questions we’ve always asked. But in a world where there are so many open jobs and candidates have so many options, you need to focus on what the candidate cares about.

That’s right, treat it like a two-way street. A conversation where you’re most interested in learning about what’s going to cause the candidate to choose you.

Okay, now that we’ve laid out what’s different about hiring in 2021 and why our old approach isn’t working, let’s talk about what is working. Here is the three-step hiring process that actually works in 2022:

First step to hire in 2022:

The first touch with an applicant should be a text conversation with the hiring manager – the hiring manager has a quick text conversation to say hello, share why they’re excited to talk to the applicant – within an hour of application.

Also, the top hiring managers are persistent.

They follow up with candidates every day for five days after they apply, even if the candidate doesn’t reply. Remember, this is a way to keep in touch with the applicant, break through the clutter, and get to the top of their list.

The goal: Make a personal connection that gets candidates really interested in taking the next step with you, which is taking a phone call to learn more about the opportunity. At the end of your text chat, ask if you can jump on a quick call today or tomorrow to learn more about what they’re looking for and share a bit more about your store and the team. (Again, make it about them!)

Second step to hire in 2022:

The second applicant touchpoint is a phone call, scheduled ASAP (today or tomorrow).

On the call, figure out what’s important to the candidate!

Maybe it’s a schedule that fits their school or parenting needs. Maybe it’s getting paid daily. Maybe it’s a paid day-off each month. It will be different for every candidate.

Then share how the position fits that need. Once you do that, share about your workplace – so they know what it’s like to work on your team.

The goal: Tailor how you describe your job opportunity to address what is really important to them so that even though they talked to five hiring managers today, they want to go to your in-person interview. At the end, schedule your in-person interview, ideally within the next 24 hours.

Third step to hire in 2022:

The third and final application touchpoint is bringing them in for the in-store interview.

The goal: Get them excited enough to come to orientation. Yes, you’re going to ask them some questions about their availability and questions to screen them as a good hire, but the goal is to help them picture themselves joining your team.

Level up: Another key is finalizing any necessary administrative work in that in-person interview. Don’t let them leave with homework because that makes it harder for them to take that next step and come to orientation.

That is the “secret” three-step process to hiring training in 2022 and beyond. Do you have other tips? Did you try this and if so how did it work out for you? We want to hear from you.

Our monthly mini-trainings are designed to help you better recruit and retain your hourly workers in an understaffed world. We’ve built world-class technology that uncovers what matters most to your employees and automatically checks in at key milestones. Have a topic suggestion for our mini-trainings? Email [email protected].