5 Ideas How to Hire Hourly Employees

Hourly workers are a hot commodity. Companies in any given region compete for the same pool of wage workers to support their clients and customers. If you’re going to compete for this talent successfully, your company has to stand out from the crowd. That means you have to develop and refine processes targeted at hourly workers to hire the employees you need to power your business.
There are significant differences between attracting salaried employees and attracting hourly workers. The roles and expectations tend to be completely different, changing the types of candidates you need to recruit. Here are five ideas to hire hourly employees for your company.

Develop a Targeted Recruiting Strategy

You can’t meet your hiring objectives without a strategy. Make a plan to identify and reach out to hourly job candidates.

Create Candidate Personas

Your first step is to pinpoint who you should target. Conduct market research to identify who you need to focus on to fill open hourly roles. For example, many companies target high schools or colleges to find hourly workers, but older workers nearing retirement can also be good candidates for hourly work.
Consider basic biographical information (such as age, experience, and social background), as well as job search behaviors, motivations, and factors that may influence job candidate decisions.
Consider factors specific to the job opening. Many hourly roles may not have full-time availability, or the shift schedule may be inconsistent. Factors like these can influence the candidate persona you are targeting. For example, a candidate with children may prefer more consistent hours during school time to reduce childcare needs.

Meet Candidates Where They Are

With your candidate personas in hand, think about where you need to go to meet potential candidates. Given the persona you’ve built, where are you most likely to find these candidates? Are they on social media, local job boards, or attending in-person networking events?
Develop a plan for populating target areas with job postings and other branded content, and make sure that your recruiters are accessible in each target area.
Advertise factors of the job and your company most likely to catch the attention of your top candidates. If your ideal candidates are primarily students, for example, they might be more attracted to flexible shift work than a set schedule.

Use Recruitment Software

There are countless tech tools on the market to help you hire hourly workers. Consider implementing hiring software to make your recruitment process more efficient.

Support Sourcing With Tech

Finding the right candidates is the most challenging part of hiring hourly employees, but technology can make this process easier. If your hourly roles require in-person work, for example, use software with geolocation to find candidates in your vicinity.
AI recruitment tools can help optimize your online job ads. By inputting your candidate personas, you can gain insights into where your ideal candidates are most likely to search and apply for jobs.
Consider implementing a candidate relationship management (CRM) tool to help your team stay in touch with candidates in your talent community. Building relationships is a vital element of an hourly employee recruiting strategy. There’s endless competition for hourly employees, but positive relationships paint your company in a more favorable light—giving you the edge over your competitors.

Invest in Recruitment Analytics

Many recruitment software tools—such as applicant tracking systems—have built-in data aggregation capabilities. Data aggregation allows you to review recruitment data, recognize patterns and trends, and make changes to improve your processes.
Analytics are essential for recruiting hourly employees. For example, the data can reveal where you’re finding the best candidates and encourage your company to double down on those channels to create a more significant return on your investment.
Other tools can help you conduct market research regarding pay and benefits. Staying on top of the trends enables you to keep your offers competitive and up-to-date.

Highlight What Makes the Role Special

Different types of hourly roles will appeal to different kinds of people. Show candidates a day in an employee's life in each position, and let them decide if the job is right for them.

Share Realistic Job Previews

A realistic job preview shows candidates what they can expect to experience in the role. Many hourly roles entail detail-oriented work, while others require intense social interaction. These elements will appeal to different types of people in your candidate pool. For example, a more introverted candidate may prefer not to apply for a customer-facing job.
Post detailed job descriptions for each role, but don’t stop there—share videos showcasing a day in the life of employees in those roles. Candidates need enough information to decide if they want to continue their application or self-select out of the process.

Implement Situational Judgment Tests

Situational judgment tests put candidates in scenarios they may encounter in the role. These tests allow them to see what the role entails, what skills they would need on the job, and the types of challenges they may face daily.
Situational judgment tests also predict how the candidate will perform in the role, helping you make a better decision.

Identify Top Candidates Using Assessments

Hourly roles require a variety of skill sets and personality traits. Use assessments to identify the candidates most likely to succeed in the role.

Determine the Skills and Traits You Need

Each hourly role requires a different set of job-related skills and traits. You need to identify these skills and qualities to assess candidates during the application and hiring process.
Analyze the responsibilities and tasks assigned to each role. What skills do candidates need to perform the functions and duties of the position well? What personality traits drive success? Look at your highest performers in the role. Assessing them can give you additional insights into what predicts high potential in each position.
Consider your company values, too. What traits and behaviors does the company value? Think about your values in terms of actions and behaviors. For example, what does integrity look like in practice at your organization? Screen candidates based on your identified traits to find those most aligned with the company’s culture and workplace priorities.

Assess Candidates During the Hiring Process

Implement assessments to determine which candidates are the best fit for each job opening.
Early-stage assessments embedded in the application can help recruiters shortlist top candidates. To identify top candidates in the application stage, include a brief assessment to screen for your high-priority job-fit criteria. Move the top percentage of candidates who score highest on these traits into the next stage of the process, where you can screen them further.

In-depth assessments at the selection stage provide more significant insights into how candidates fit within the company and how they’ll perform on the job.

Hourly roles are especially vulnerable to high turnover, so be sure to screen for organizational compatibility. You’ll want to hire candidates with values that align with the company. Misalignment of values can cause friction between a new hire and their team members, reducing productivity and potentially leading to turnover.

Standardized behavioral interview questions can help hiring managers compare candidates fairly. Asking candidates questions about how they’ve reacted to specific scenarios can help hiring managers understand their values and priorities.

Invest in Candidate Experience

How you treat candidates during the recruitment process can significantly impact your ability to attract hourly workers. Candidate experience often forecasts the employee experience, and a positive experience as an applicant can keep candidates who didn’t make the cut this time interested in your company.

Make Applications Accessible

To meet candidates where they are, create job applications that can be viewed and accessed via mobile phone. Accessibility can give you an edge in the competition for hourly talent. For example, candidates for hourly roles may be younger and more likely to rely on mobile devices than desktop computers.
With so many companies competing for the attention of hourly-rated candidates, your company must do everything it can to make your application process easy and accessible. Mobile-first delivery is a huge factor in supporting candidate engagement.

Keep Candidates in the Loop

Consistent communication is also a crucial factor when hiring hourly workers. There are tons of competitors for hourly talent in your area, but frequently communicating with candidates demonstrates your respect for their time—and keeps you top of mind.
Your company probably isn’t the only company candidates have applied to work at. They’ll appreciate your transparency because it helps them manage their expectations and sets your candidate experience apart.
When candidates have a good experience—even if you don’t hire them for that particular opening— they’re more likely to increase their relationship with the company. That includes their willingness to remain a part of your talent community and even apply again in the future.

Put Candidates First

Hiring hourly workers in a tight labor market is no easy feat. But when hourly employees power your business strategy, finding the right candidates, meeting them where they are, and providing them with a positive experience are strategic moves.
Put the candidate’s needs first during the hiring process to give your company an edge in the competition for hourly workers.


Aon | Assessment Solutions

Aon's assessment solutions provides clients with powerful tools and insights to help them make better talent decisions at every stage of the employee lifecycle. This includes pre-hire assessments, identifying future leaders, screening for digital skills and agility, and AI-enabled solutions.

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