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Win the Labor War: Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Hourly Employees

Every day can seem like a battle to hire and retain quality employees for your business, with applicants who never show up to interviews and workers who leave to earn one more dollar per hour with a competitor. You might think the only solution is to simply hire anyone who applies so you can keep your company afloat. However, you’d just remain in an endless cycle of costly turnover. 

The key is to look at your situation differently. It’s a process problem — not a people problem. As long as you know the right strategies to recruit and retain hourly employees, you wouldn’t have to wake up each morning wondering how you’ll make it through another understaffed day. Take a lesson in labor management with the suggestions below and view our free guide, The Essential Guide to Attracting Hourly Workers, for even more tips.

Why Is Employee Retention Important?

It can cost $5,864 to replace a single employee when you account for productivity loss and the resources necessary for recruitment, selection, and training. In high turnover industries that typically rely on hourly workers, the financial impact of employee turnover can really add up quickly. 

Employee retention isn’t just a financial concern, though. There are several “hidden” costs of turnover, including its effect on workplace culture, team morale, and the customer experience. It can even have a substantial impact on the mental health of your employees — especially those who have to pick up the slack and cover shifts while you find a replacement. 

Simply put, improving employee retention creates a healthier, more productive environment for you and your workers.

Current Challenges Recruiting and Retaining Employees

We won’t pretend there aren’t challenges with improving employee retention. You’ve likely seen articles like this before or tried “solutions” with empty promises that never actually deliver results. Let’s face some of the inconvenient truths about what prevents many business owners and operators from maintaining stable staffing levels:

  • Wage Competition: Businesses all across the country are raising hourly wages in an effort to attract new applicants. If you can’t keep up, you lose out on potential employees.
  • The Great Resignation/Reshuffle: What was once deemed a mass exodus of the hourly workforce has turned into more of a “reorganization” of workers with different priorities, interests, and aspirations.
  • The Number of Job Openings: The US has reached record-breaking levels of job openings recently, meaning people have more options than ever, and it’s even harder to make your opportunities stand out in the sea of listings.
  • People’s Fear of a Recession: Simply hearing the word “recession” can make people question their job security and even switch industries for a more “recession-proof” occupation.
  • Businesses Using the Wrong “Solutions”: Unfortunately, we see so many businesses using strategies or software that doesn’t meet their needs, as opposed to Sprockets’ hiring solution that’s proven to work and improve employee retention by 43%.

Why Are Recruitment and Retention Often Discussed Together?

Although it might seem like these are two completely separate topics, they are actually interdependent on one another. When one process is ineffective, the other one will suffer (and so will your business). 

How Does Recruitment Affect Retention?

When a business has poor employee retention, people often point to a variety of different causes that don’t actually get to the root of the problem. At Sprockets, we believe that achieving a high employee retention rate begins by hiring the right people. If your recruitment process doesn’t help you find the ideal applicants for your business, then you’ll end up with a retention problem. And, if you struggle to retain employees, then you’re going to spend a lot of time recruiting new ones in a neverending cycle of stress. 

So, how do you reach the perfect balance and eliminate all those hiring headaches? We have three words for you: Recruit to retain.

Recruit to Retain

Consider this: Your employees might be leaving because they were never the right employees to begin with. Rather than hiring anyone willing to apply, take the time to find applicants who are actually a good fit for your business. It will save you much more time and money in the long run.

This may sound like a tough task at first, but it’s easier than you think. Here are some tips:

  • Optimize Your Job Descriptions: Make sure the language you use and the details you include in your descriptions would appeal to your ideal candidate.
  • Pick the Right Job Boards: Think about where you’re currently receiving the highest-quality applicants and reallocate resources as necessary. Snagajob, for instance, is a great place to find hourly employees.
  • Contact Candidates Immediately: We know work days get hectic, but try to reach out to applicants as soon as possible (before a competitor beats you to them).

Most importantly, add an automatic screening tool to your hiring process so you can spend less time reviewing resumes and more time on daily operations — all while knowing you’re hiring the best applicants every single time. It’s not too good to be true. It’s the power of Sprockets’ unique Applicant Matching System that instantly evaluates candidates based on your current top performers and sends you text message alerts when an ideal hire has been found.


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