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How to better attract and retain hourly workers

How to better attract and retain hourly workers

The talent shortage for hourly workers is unlike anything that’s ever been seen before in America. This was exacerbated by COVID-19 and the “Great Resignation” or “Great Reshuffle,” which saw millions quit their jobs in hopes of pursuing something else.

What ensued was a significant skills gap and talent crisis among hourly employees that left companies scrambling to fill vacancies.

And there’s a lot of them. Each day, nearly 58% of America’s workforce wakes up and goes to work at an hourly job, and these jobs had high turnover rates even pre-pandemic. 

Now, employers are left having to adapt to new strategies to attract new hourly workers. Here are a few things the market is asking for to help fill these vacant positions.

Improving your customer experience is twofold 


According to 20-year HR veteran Jeff Baumohl, VP of partnerships for Juvo Jobs, a company that developed an app that connects hourly workers to job opportunities in their community, your small business needs to be able to offer hourly employees the same level of consumer experience that large corporations offer. He compares it to the level of customer experience you get from corporations like “Amazon or Netflix.” 

He says many of your prospective workers are also a part of your community—these are people who use your services. They drive a car, take a bus, and walk past your business, and these are the ones who you serve each day. 

So ask yourself if your business is “providing a similar experience to job seekers that you offer to your customers,” Baumohl says. In this way, putting a focus on improving that “customer” experience works twofold to improve your business and attract potential applicants. 


Offer perks


Offering benefits and rewards are nice additions to a paycheck that the average hourly worker might not be getting from other employers. According to an SHRM survey, in 2022 employers said that health-related benefits, retirement and leave were the most important offerings for employees. 

What they found was that this reflected “an increased appreciation for the role benefits play in… attracting and keeping talent in a tight labor market.”

Some non-monetary perks could include things like:

  • Flexible schedules

  • Health and wellness programs

  • PTO


Offer competitive pay

One of the best ways to attract new hourly workers is to offer pay that is competitive with the rest of the market.

According to a report from Mercer, in a digital focus group of 600 people analyzing the hourly talent crisis, the majority cited “pay and incentives,” as the biggest thing that would attract them to take a job with an employer. Inflation has impacted the purchasing power of the dollar, and it might seem counterintuitive, but inflation drives wages up, and the increase in those wages is effectively wiped out by the increase in inflation.

Employers need to be able to offer wages that accommodate these increases, offer a competitive rate, and make the job worthwhile for potential applicants.

Be responsive

You don’t want to miss out on any potential job candidates, especially in a tight labor market like the one we have. Business owners can’t hesitate and delay the response to job applicants. 

According to Baumohl, when someone applies for one job, they are only a “few clicks away” from applying for four more. 

Your job is likely not the only one this applicant is applying for, and you don’t want to hesitate and miss out on a potential hire.

Even with a talent shortage, and a difficult hiring market, there are steps you can take to make your company more attractive to recruit and retain talent looking for work.  If you need help doing this, we would love to assist you.

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