Employee Retention

Happy restaurant employee smiling

How to Improve Your Quality of Hire in the Hourly Workforce

How to Improve Your Quality of Hire in the Hourly Workforce 1016 528 Sprockets

The key to any successful business is a team of all-star employees, though it can be difficult to consistently hire and retain those driven individuals, especially when your business is severely understaffed. Overcome that challenge by rethinking your current hiring process. Is it effective? What kinds of applicants does it bring in? Are you successfully attracting and hiring top talent while filtering out undesirable candidates? In this blog, we’ll discuss why quality of hire is a crucial metric to track as well as what strategies you can implement to improve it. 

What is Quality of Hire and Why is it Important?

Quality of hire (QOH) is a metric used to measure the effectiveness of a company’s hiring process. It provides insight on your recruiting methods and measures how much a new hire contributes to your company’s long-term success. According to LinkedIn, 39% of hiring professionals agree that quality of hire is the “most valuable metric of performance” topping other KPIs like time-to-fill. 

How to Measure Quality of Hire

While there are several ways to evaluate quality of hire, 40-50% of companies measure it through: 

  • New Hire Performance Evaluation: Calculation method varies as it’s up to the discretion of managers 
  • Employee Retention/Employee Turnover: Calculated as a percentage
  • Hiring Manager Satisfaction: Calculated with survey scores, usually on a numerical scale

One manager even stated that they measure quality of hire through promotions. 33% of hiring professionals — surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, France, China, India, and MENA (Middle East and North Africa regions)  — are uncertain if they are accurately measuring their quality of hires. This statistic suggests uncertainty is a nationwide issue and therefore can be greatly improved by rethinking current strategies. 

Strategies to Improve Quality of Hire

1. Collect Better Data: Since there are so many ways to calculate quality of hire, it can be difficult to come to a common consensus on how your company measures it. See, one metric alone isn’t enough to accurately measure your quality of hire. Some experts suggest evaluating metrics pre-hire and post-hire can lead to more accurate results. The logic behind this suggestion is that pre-hire quality measures are recruitment orientated while post-hire quality measures are performance orientated. You want to prove that there is a significant relationship between pre-hire and post-hire quality. For example, you might use measures of candidate assessment scores, interviews, and time-to-fill to determine pre-hire quality, and measures of performance evaluation, number of promotions, and employee engagement scores to find post-hire quality. 

2. Implement an Employee Referral Program: While posting on job boards and social media platforms are great ways to source candidates, they don’t always attract the right candidates. Hiring the right fit from the start is crucial, unless you enjoy paying thousands of dollars in employee turnover costs. Consider an employee referral program or, if you already have one, take a look at how you can make it worth your employees’ time. Research shows that referred employees stay longer and have a better work performance. People naturally care more about their friends and families opinions over a random job posting they see on the internet. Your employees understand what kinds of people are the best fit and can provide their referred candidate(s) accurate insight on company culture, ultimately leading to more individuals in your applicant funnel who fit your ideal hire. And if you aren’t already convinced, only 8% of talent leaders feel their employee program is “best in the class”. There is plenty of time to make your program stand out amongst the competition.

3. Use the Right Technology: Some businesses use pre-employment assessments to help them understand applicants on a deeper level. Artificial intelligence technologies reduce time-to-fill by 70%, on average. For example, Sprockets’ solution uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to determine which incoming applicants share personality traits with a business’s current top performers. The platform assigns each incoming applicant a score one through ten. High-scoring applicants will succeed and stay long-term, empowering owners to build reliable, productive teams and make smarter hiring decisions.

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Hiring Guide Mockup
Why Your Hiring Process Is Broken and How to Fix It

You already have the solution to your hiring challenges — it’s your top performers. Learn how to attract, hire, and retain the right workers for your business by leveraging the mental makeup of your best employees.

Slide
4 Steps to reduce reliance on applicant flow mockup
4 Steps to Reduce Your Reliance on Applicant Flow

Hiring can feel impossible during a labor shortage, but these four simple steps will get you on the path to stable staffing levels. You’ll learn proven strategies for attracting and retaining high-quality employees for your business. It’s easier than you might think!

Slide
Sprockets Tech E-Book
Must-Have Hiring Tech to Boost Employee Retention in 2022

Although the past few years have been challenging, some businesses found success by implementing more advanced technology. Avoid making the wrong hire – and costing your business valuable time – by implementing must-have hiring tools and watch your employee retention soar.

Slide
The Essential Guide to Attracting Hourly Workers

The pandemic has changed the way hourly workers select opportunities, so you must transform your recruiting process to stay competitive and onboard the best workers. Let us do the heavy-lifting; access this free guide to build better teams and stabilize staffing levels.

Slide
Guide to employee turnover
The Ultimate Guide to Employee Turnover

Dealing with employee turnover is expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating. Access this free e-book to discover proven strategies for retaining your best workers and even predicting which applicants are most likely to stay long-term.

Slide
How to Craft Job Postings That Boost Applicant Flow

Sourcing is a constant battle in the hospitality industry. Looking to build the best team and recruit the top restaurant talent? Sprockets has you covered.

Slide
How Personality Assessments Empower You to Hire Ideal Caregivers

Taking a scientific approach to caregiver hiring
is necessary to combat the issue of poor
performance and retention. Personality tests,
like Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System,
combine natural language and artificial
intelligence to predict an applicant’s likelihood
of success at a particular location.

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A person on their cell phone with text reading, "7 Tips for Providing a Mobile-Friendly Experience to Job Applicants"

7 Tips for Providing a Mobile-Friendly Experience to Job Applicants

7 Tips for Providing a Mobile-Friendly Experience to Job Applicants 1016 528 Sprockets

We use phones for so many things now that it’s hard to imagine life without them. If you can reach into your pocket and tap a few buttons to order food, pay bills, and even apply for a house, then shouldn’t the job application process be that simple as well? We believe it should be, which is why we created this guide on providing a mobile-friendly experience to job applicants. They’ll enjoy a streamlined process, and you’ll likely see better applicant flow since fewer people will drop off during the hiring process. Check out the tips below and learn how to solve more of your staffing challenges in our free guide, “Why Your Hiring Process Is Broken and How to Fix It.”

What Is Mobile Recruitment?

Simply put, the definition of mobile recruitment is to enable the hiring process through the use of mobile devices. This includes everything from attracting passive candidates to converting them into employees by means of mobile-friendly apps, job boards, and even texts.

Why You Need a Mobile Recruitment Strategy

Nobody wants to go through a long, tedious hiring process, especially people who are looking for entry-level positions in industries like food service and hospitality. It’s crucial to create a convenient candidate experience that includes mobile recruitment strategies if you want to achieve a steady applicant pool for your business.

Mobile Recruitment Statistics

Here are some quick numbers on the importance of mobile recruitment, just in case you aren’t convinced:

Mobile Recruitment Trends

You also don’t want to fall behind the mobile recruitment trends in your industry. This could result in job seekers choosing a competitor over you simply because the recruitment and application process was better.

One trend that should already be on your radar is that Gen Z is quickly becoming one of the biggest populations in today’s hourly workforce. Gen Zers grew up in a world of technology, and it’s safe to say that many of them expect a mobile-friendly application process. Tapping into this talent source could be the solution to some of your staffing frustrations. Chipotle realized this and started testing new ways to recruit Gen-Z employees, including a campaign with TikTok Resumes.

Learn more about how to attract and engage Gen Z workers:

Benefits of a Mobile-Friendly Hiring Experience

Some of you might be wondering, “Is building a mobile-friendly hiring process really worth the effort?” Absolutely — and you don’t always need to invest a large amount of time to create it. The list of benefits goes on and on, including:

  • Promote Diversity at Your Company: Michael Marlatt, the head of Cognizant Technology Solutions’ Talent Innovation Lab and founder of MREC, states, “Hispanics, African-Americans, and women are the heaviest users of mobile technology. So, when you think about diversity recruiting, mobile is key.”
  • Engage a Wider Pool of Candidates: Sure, you can put a “Now Hiring” sign in your window and cross your fingers, but why limit yourself with such outdated recruitment practices? Maximize your reach with mobile ads on job sites and apps.
  • Provide a Better Candidate Experience: You’ll improve the experience for applicants, and potentially increase the number of them you receive since a more mobile-friendly process could reduce the drop-off rate.

Mobile Recruitment Strategies to Implement in the Hourly Workforce

1. Optimize Your Careers Page

First of all, you need to optimize your careers page. We know that there may be limitations to what you’re able to do because of franchise restrictions or lack of experience editing websites, but do what you can. Ensure the job page design adapts to mobile from desktop properly and everything looks good on mobile devices, including phones and tablets. You can also include certain keywords on your careers page and meta tags for SEO.

Tip: Be sure to write “Careers” instead of “Jobs” on the page. More and more people are looking for meaningful careers with growth opportunities, even in the hourly workforce, and you don’t want anyone to think your opportunity would just be a dead-end job.

2. Use Mobile-Friendly Job Applications

Take a look at your application and ask yourself, “Would I want to fill this out?” If the answer is no, it’s time for a revamp. Simplify the questions you ask, and even consider asking fewer of them. Of course, make the application easy to complete on a cell phone as well. If you feel like you don’t have the time to complete the application or run into frustrating issues during the process, applicants will have the same bad experience and move on to the next job opportunity.

Tip: Remember to advertise this on job boards. Employers who advertise that their application process is mobile-friendly increase submissions by 11.6%, according to Glassdoor. 

3. Don’t Require Resumes or Cover Letters

Technology trumps tradition in the hiring process. In other words, you need to rethink the relevance of resumes, cover letters, and even reference checks. How much can these sources really tell you about candidates? One in three Americans admit to lying on their resume, and you wouldn’t gain many useful insights from the other two-thirds of the population. Resumes only give a surface-level view of an applicant, often without any mention of soft skills that might be more important for the position. 

Also, a cover letter might include some messaging about why they think they’d be a good fit, but that’s their opinion, and how many people stretch the truth on that as well? You’re much better off using an unbiased hiring solution, like the Sprockets platform that reveals which applicants share key personality traits for success with your current top performers. 

If you do decide to require resumes and cover letters, give applicants the ability to upload them via Dropbox and Google Drive. Also, ensure your ATS parses resumes quickly and accurately; it’s frustrating to have to input all the same information twice.

4. Attract Candidates via Social Media

What better way to conduct mobile recruitment than on the biggest platforms built for online communication? If you don’t currently have a presence on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s time to build a foundation so you can attract potential applicants. Create profiles with bios that promote your company culture and values, then begin posting regularly with engaging content. You could share team pictures, quick clips of what it’s like to work there, and quotes from current employees in addition to announcements about new job opportunities. 

Tip: Focus on the social media platforms that your ideal candidates use, keep their interests in mind when choosing content, and include relevant hashtags to expand your reach.

5. Use Mobile-Friendly Pre-Screening Software

Screening is an important part of the hiring process for employers to conduct some “quality assurance” and make sure a potential hire would really be the best fit for their business. However, don’t let that come at the expense of the candidate’s experience. Choose mobile recruiting tools and mobile screening technology that will be simple and painless for applicants to go through. For instance, Sprockets determines if someone is the ideal fit based on a brief, three-question survey that can be completed on their phone.

6. Allow Job Seekers to Apply via Text Message

We’ve seen a lot of businesses, especially in the fast food service industry, start posting flyers and signs that promote text-message applications. Certain Chick-fil-A locations have even added some branded flair to it by saying “Now Hiring: Text “My Pleasure” to [Number] for Info.” Consider doing something similar! You can also follow the example of Domino’s biggest franchisee who implemented text-message software with a chatbot that further streamlines the process.

7. Conduct Virtual Interviews

What’s more mobile-friendly than allowing people to interview for a job on their phone? The technology is here (abundantly), so you should take advantage of it. Not only is it convenient for all candidates in the hiring process, but it also widens your applicant pool to include people with hectic schedules who typically wouldn’t have been able to drive to your location for an in-person interview. 

Additional Resources for Hiring Hourly Employees

Check out these FREE guides to learn more about building the best hourly workforce for your business!

Slide
Hiring Guide Mockup
Why Your Hiring Process Is Broken and How to Fix It

You already have the solution to your hiring challenges — it’s your top performers. Learn how to attract, hire, and retain the right workers for your business by leveraging the mental makeup of your best employees.

Slide
4 Steps to reduce reliance on applicant flow mockup
4 Steps to Reduce Your Reliance on Applicant Flow

Hiring can feel impossible during a labor shortage, but these four simple steps will get you on the path to stable staffing levels. You’ll learn proven strategies for attracting and retaining high-quality employees for your business. It’s easier than you might think!

Slide
Sprockets Tech E-Book
Must-Have Hiring Tech to Boost Employee Retention in 2022

Although the past few years have been challenging, some businesses found success by implementing more advanced technology. Avoid making the wrong hire – and costing your business valuable time – by implementing must-have hiring tools and watch your employee retention soar.

Slide
The Essential Guide to Attracting Hourly Workers

The pandemic has changed the way hourly workers select opportunities, so you must transform your recruiting process to stay competitive and onboard the best workers. Let us do the heavy-lifting; access this free guide to build better teams and stabilize staffing levels.

Slide
Guide to employee turnover
The Ultimate Guide to Employee Turnover

Dealing with employee turnover is expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating. Access this free e-book to discover proven strategies for retaining your best workers and even predicting which applicants are most likely to stay long-term.

Slide
How to Craft Job Postings That Boost Applicant Flow

Sourcing is a constant battle in the hospitality industry. Looking to build the best team and recruit the top restaurant talent? Sprockets has you covered.

Slide
How Personality Assessments Empower You to Hire Ideal Caregivers

Taking a scientific approach to caregiver hiring
is necessary to combat the issue of poor
performance and retention. Personality tests,
like Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System,
combine natural language and artificial
intelligence to predict an applicant’s likelihood
of success at a particular location.

previous arrow
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Interviewer and applicant talk during an interview

6 Easy Ways to Streamline the Hiring Process in the Hourly Workforce

6 Easy Ways to Streamline the Hiring Process in the Hourly Workforce 1016 528 Sprockets

The candidate experience plays a crucial role in the people who ultimately choose to work for you. Unfortunately, the traditional hiring process can be tedious and time-consuming for both employers and applicants. It also can mean the difference between a bad and excellent hire. Streamline your hiring process and ensure your candidate experience is a positive one by following these helpful tips. You’ll even learn how a tech solution reveals which applicants are the best fit, reducing time spent on the hiring process by 37%, on average. 

Benefits of Hiring Faster and Making the Process Simpler

From the time an applicant sees your job posting to the minute you offer them a position at your company, the candidate experience refers to an applicant’s impression of your hiring process. You’ll be rewarded with a plethora of benefits when you take the time to streamline your current procedures:

  • High-Quality Hires and Higher Acceptance Rates: Top performers only spend an average of 10 days “on the market.” They also typically receive multiple job offers. Timely communication and a simpler process empowers you to hire the best applicant before your competitors. If you want to remain competitive, you’ll need to speed up your time to hire. Otherwise, your ideal candidate will decline your opportunity for a better, faster job offer. 
  • Save Money: Hiring the right person from the start can save you thousands of dollars. Each bad hire can cost your business $5,864. In high turnover industries like hospitality, the cost can really add up. Avoid these expenses and an endless cycle of employee turnover when you take the time to streamline your hiring process. 
  • Reduce Time to Fill: A faster, simpler process means it will take less time to fill a position, empowering you to hire more people to support the rest of your team. 
  • Better Candidate Experience: You want to hire individuals who will speak highly of your business and continue to be engaged, productive team members. A satisfied employee is more likely to praise your accomplishments and even refer other candidates (who could turn out to be top performers). 

Steps in the Hiring Process to Optimize

  • Recruiting: The first step in the hiring process establishes your talent options. However, relying too heavily on recruitment can pose risks, especially during a labor shortage. Other common pitfalls include a lack of qualified candidates and failure to maintain equity, diversity, and inclusion. 
  • Screening: This stage of the hiring process narrows down your applicant pool as you decide which candidates you want to spend time interviewing. Problems may arise when employers feel pressured to hire candidates quickly, especially if they are understaffed. Not all candidates who excel in the screening process are the right hires.
  • Interviewing: The objective of the interview is to get to know the candidate and determine whether or not they are the right fit. First impression bias, lack of communication, and failure to prepare specific questions and utilize technology are common pitfalls in this stage.
  • Hiring: Taking too long to make a hiring decision can have detrimental effects. Research shows that it takes an average of 33 days — over a month! — to make a job offer after an interview, causing a 16% reduction in acceptance rates. If you want to remain competitive, you’ll need to speed up your time to hire. Otherwise, your ideal candidate will decline your opportunity for a better job offer.
  • Onboarding: Effective onboarding increases employee engagement and overall job satisfaction. It’s their first real taste of what their day-to-day will look like at your business. You want your new employee to be happy and certain they made the right decision. Common pitfalls include lack of training, unclear goals and expectations, and overwhelming new hires with too much information at once.

Streamline the Hiring Process: Tips to Simplify and Accelerate

1. Assess Your Recruiting Strategies

If you have a shallow talent pool, you may not be effectively utilizing various recruiting strategies. Luckily, there are many ways you can find qualified candidates. Use popular job boards like Indeed, Snagajob, and Adzuna. Try to think like your ideal hire. Where would they be searching for employment opportunities? You’ll want to post job openings there as well. Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to seek out ideal hires yourself. You can also use social media to build your candidate pipeline. About 35% of the workforce are millennials while 30% are Gen Z — two groups who are active on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok

You aren’t alone in the recruiting process. Ask your current employees for referrals for candidates. Consider offering a stipend or referral bonus if the candidate is hired and stays at least 90 days. Another great way to find great candidates is to promote from within. One study found that external hires underperform in their first two years compared to internal hires. Plus, current employees are familiar with your company. You have a deeper understanding of their work ethic than you would an external candidate. Finally, reconnect with past applicants to see if they are interested in applying to your open positions, even if they declined your offer the last time. Circumstances may have changed and you never know unless you ask. 

2. Optimize Your Job Listings

People spend an average of 14 seconds reading a job posting before deciding to apply. With limited time, you want to make sure your posting is informative, clear, and concise. We recommend keeping it around 100 to 300 words as postings within this range receive 8.4% more applicants per views. One of the key components your applicants will be looking for is salary details. Transparency from the beginning instills a sense of trust between employer and applicant. One study found that candidates are 67% more likely to apply when a salary is mentioned in the job description.

Suggested Reading: How to Craft Job Postings That Boost Applicant Flow

3. Make the Process Mobile-Friendly 

As the number of smartphone users continues to grow, 66% of businesses are leveraging mobile-friendly processes to find the best possible hires. Be sure your job application is easy to fill out on mobile by going through the steps yourself. You may also consider using mobile recruiting tools like auto-scheduling calendars or artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots. Some tools even allow applicants to apply via text. Communication is key and texting dramatically reduces time to hire. 

4. Communicate Often, Communicate Quickly

The last thing you want is to lose top talent simply because you took too long to respond. Whether you text, email, or call, reply to good candidates quickly. Consider asking your applicant their preferred method of communication — everyone is different! Also, be transparent with your timeline. Let candidates know when they can expect to hear back, where they are in the hiring process, and how long it will take to come to a decision. Finally, avoid ghosting. No one enjoys waiting around for a business to communicate whether or not they were hired or have moved to the next stage in the hiring process. 

5. Pre-Screen Candidates

Why waste time interviewing the wrong people? Pre-screen applicants to determine whether or not they meet the basic requirements you desire in your ideal hire. This includes background checks, drug tests, and pre-interview questions. For example, you might ask a few easy-to-answer questions on your initial job posting like “Can you lift 50 pounds?” or “Are you at least 18 years old?” to eliminate hires who likely wouldn’t succeed in the first place. You might even conduct a 20-minute phone interview to gauge an applicant’s interest in your organization. 

Many businesses in the hourly workforce have started using Sprockets — a hiring solution that predicts applicant success based on shared personality traits between a company’s current top-performing employees and potential hires. Incoming applicants simply answer a three-question pre-screening assessment and receive a score of one through ten. Those who score closer to a ten will fit in with your company culture, be engaged employees, and stay long-term. The Sprockets platform is proven to increase employee retention by 43% and will save you time, money, and one heck of a hiring headache. 

6. Be Intentional With Interview Questions

Once you’ve conducted a pre-screening and decide you want to move forward with a candidate, it’s time for the interview. Use this time to share more about your company, rather than learning more about the applicant. Remember, candidates are evaluating your organization, too. In a sea of over 10 million job openings, they want to know why they should invest their time and experience in your business. Don’t be afraid to get creative and instill excitement to increase candidate engagement. 

A streamlined interview process should also include specific questions that you feel will help you make an informed hiring decision. Try not to ask questions that can easily be answered in a resume or quick LinkedIn search — do your research! You’ll also want to ask questions that help you understand an applicant’s soft skills. For example, if you want someone on your team with strong problem-solving skills, you might ask: Can you tell us about a time you were faced with a challenge that you had never experienced before? 

Streamline Your Hiring Process with Sprockets

The bottom line is that a streamlined hiring process makes for a better candidate experience. Sprockets’ simple solution is proven to reduce time spent on the hiring process by 37%. And, there’s no need for resumes or even interviews! Why? Our platform instantly reveals which applicants will succeed and stay long-term like a business’s current top performers, empowering owners and operators to make the right hiring decision every time. It’s even trusted by top brands like Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, and Papa John’s. 

Happy c-store owner in front of her business

4 Reasons Why You Don’t Need Convenience Store Recruiters

4 Reasons Why You Don’t Need Convenience Store Recruiters 1016 528 Sprockets

It may be tempting to utilize convenience store recruiters and hire anyone that applies, especially when you have a shallow applicant pool. While that may seem like the best solution, that tactic will only propel you further into an endless cycle of costly employee turnover. See, you don’t need more applicants — you just need the right ones. 

Save your money and reduce your reliance on applicant flow. We’ll discuss how you can grab job seekers’ attention before your competitors, identify whether or not they are a good fit, and retain your high-quality hires long-term. 

The True Cost of Hiring the Wrong Employee

At a whopping 150%, c-store employee turnover is the highest it’s been since 2012! If you want to build reliable teams who will foster a happy, productive environment, then it’s crucial to hire the right people from the start. Quality over quantity is key since one poor hire can cost your c-store more than $5,000, according to Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research. Luckily, this expense is easily avoidable if you know how to leverage the resources already at your disposal. 

Say Goodbye to Convenience Store Recruiters and Start…

1. Optimizing Job Postings

How can you make your job opening stand out amongst millions? Put yourself in your applicants’ shoes. Be specific, clear, and concise. Postings with 300 words or less get more applicants, according to LinkedIn. An effective job posting includes an accurate title, required skills, qualifications, company’s culture, mission, core values, and salary details. In fact, 67% of job seekers are more likely to apply for a position when a salary is included. Remember, the quality of your job posting will attract similar quality applicants.

Tip: Get hours back in your day by posting to multiple job boards at once with Sprockets!

2. Hiring for Coachability 

Sometimes, the best hires are the ones who don’t have direct industry experience. You can easily train someone to operate a cash register or prepare food, but you cannot teach them soft skills like coachability. Ask specific questions during the interview process to gauge an applicant’s soft skills. For example, you might ask “Explain a time when you failed to meet expectations. How did you persevere?” to understand how they receive feedback. It’s better to hire for attitude and train for skills. 

3. Maintaining Employee Engagement

C-stores with engaged employees are 22% more profitable than those with unengaged associates. Despite this not-so-shocking fact, 66% of workers aren’t fully engaged at their workplace, leading to a reduction in productivity and employee retention. Ensure your c-store associates feel appreciated (and engaged!) by conducting team-building exercises. Simple games like two truths and a lie instills trust and camaraderie amongst your associates. Plus, having a friend at work is proven to increase employee engagement. 

4. Predicting Applicant Success 

Top brands trust Sprockets’ solution to help them hire and retain the best applicants every time. The platform is proven to boost employee retention by an average of 43%. There’s no need for c-store recruiters because our simple one through ten scoring system (ten being the perfect fit) makes it easy to see who will succeed and stay long-term. Sprockets’ users even spend 37% less time on the hiring process, empowering them to focus on daily operations.

“I’m able to be selective instead of just taking anybody that applies.”

– Sprockets Customer

5 Convenience Store Management Tips

5 Convenience Store Management Tips 1016 528 Sprockets

Between the rising cost of gas prices, continuous supply chain issues, and the never-ending labor shortage, convenience store management is not an easy task. You’re probably burnt out trying to find a solution for everything that is out of your control. Take a deep breath because we are here to help you with what you can control. Whether you just opened your c-store or have years of experience under your belt, here are five convenience store management tips to help your business thrive. 

How to Manage a Convenience Store

1. Stay Up-to-Date on Industry Trends

If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, keeping up with c-store trends is a must. Regularly read credible publications like CStore Decisions and NACS Magazine. You can also listen to c-store podcasts, talk to your customers, visit other stores, and network with industry professionals at trade shows to stay in the loop! To save you some time, here are a few current c-store management trends:

  • Frictionless Technology: Top c-store retailers take advantage of the latest and greatest technology to ensure a seamless experience for their customers. Solutions like Mashgin enable c-store associates to focus on daily operations and provide guests with an instant, 22-second checkout. Say goodbye to lines and wait times! Plus, this technology provides insight on what customers are buying, so owners can make smarter decisions. 

 

  • More Food Options: Some c-stores have found success focusing on healthier, more elaborate meal options like fresh sub sandwiches for their customers. One Thronton location in Kentucky, for example, found that over 30% in annual profit came from fresh food. Similarly, a Neon Marketplace location began thinking of their c-store as a “quick-service restaurant hybrid” in order to satisfy the needs of multiple types of customers: coffee, food, fuel. 

 

“We really wanted to grasp that consumer who’s going to fill up their gas in the morning, but then they’ll pick up their order from Starbucks for breakfast, and then maybe at lunch they’ll take a trip to Panera.”

Elise Babey, Neon Senior Manager of Product Development & Supply Chain

2. Take Care of Your Employees

Like you, your employees are stressed, exhausted, and burnt out. Their mental health and well-being is crucial to your c-store’s success. Praise your employees for their accomplishments and even consider recognizing them in front of their peers. 40% of employees say that they’d put more effort into their job if they were recognized more often. Recognition makes your workers feel appreciated, leading to higher productivity and an increase in morale. A recent survey even found that 91% of HR professionals believe recognition leads to an increase in employee retention. 

In the same vein, another convenience store management tip is to offer competitive employee benefits and pay, if possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted what people want in a job. In fact, a 2022 report found that the top four reasons workers consider another position is to have better pay, benefits (in general), health-care benefit (specifically), and work-life balance. The last thing you want is your best associate to leave your c-store for better employee benefits. Gym membership discounts, child care resources, and tuition reimbursement are just a few creative ideas to ensure your employees feel appreciated. 

3. C That Your C-Store is Clean 

This may seem obvious, but the cleanliness of your c-store can easily get overlooked when you’re overwhelmed. Your customers’ first impressions of your business should be inviting! In fact, studies show that a messy, disorganized store reduces the time customers spend shopping. Cluttered stores cause confusion, so the chances of customers leaving without purchasing anything are greater. Don’t miss out on easy sales and do your best to ensure cleanliness at your c-store is a priority. Your customers will thank you. 

4. Implement Convenience Store Management Companies

If you’re a multi-unit c-store owner or operator, consider looking into retail management companies to clear your plate. Companies like StrasGlobal and LPT provide a number of solutions that can be customized to fit the needs of your locations. Need assistance with preparing food? Training new employees? Or maybe even marketing? There’s nothing wrong with asking for some help, especially when you’re feeling burnt out.

5. Add Sprockets’ Solution to Your Hiring Process

Your c-store won’t succeed without a strong team of reliable, driven individuals. They are the foundation of your business and influence your customers’ experiences. Luckily, Sprockets’ solution is the easy, effortless way to hire and retain top-tier talent. Our convenience store management software reveals which applicants will succeed and stay long-term like your current best associates. Say goodbye to wasted time — Sprockets gives you three hours of your day back. Plus, the platform is proven to boost employee retention by 43%, on average.

A person stressed-out on a laptop and text reading "Why Is Hiring So Hard Right Now?"

Why Is Hiring So Hard Right Now?

Why Is Hiring So Hard Right Now? 1016 528 Sprockets

The hiring process can be one of the most stressful aspects of owning and operating a business. And that was true even before the COVID-19 pandemic and national labor shortage in the US. Today, companies are struggling so much to hire and retain employees that it might feel impossible to maintain stable staffing levels. Let’s discuss some of the pains you may be facing and offer proven solutions so that you never again have to ask, “Why is hiring so hard right now?”

Common Hiring Challenges and How to Overcome Them

“I Have No Applicants”

One of the most common complaints we hear from business owners about the hiring process is that they simply can’t get anyone to apply. And, with 11.5 million job openings in the US, it’s easy to see why some people feel that way. Job seekers have so many options right now, and the competition is fierce to grab their attention. While we believe this problem can be solved by increasing employee retention and hiring the right applicants from the start (even if you only have a few to choose from), we’re happy to provide some tips on how to increase applicant flow quickly.

Offering a competitive compensation package is one of the fastest ways to get more applicants, as long as you are able to do so. Just make sure you promote this clearly in your job postings. Too many people make the mistake of waiting until the interview to discuss pay. 

Patrick O’Rahilly, the founder of FactoryFix, shares his opinion on the matter: “I suggest complete transparency from the start. In fact, pay and salary rates should ideally be on the initial job posting. We’ve seen jobs that do not post a salary or pay rate receive only about half the applicants compared to jobs that do.” 

You can also widen your potential talent pool by considering more teenagers and entry-level workers as well as retired citizens who are looking to get back into the workforce. These groups of people can be some of the most eager to learn, adapt, and help your business grow.

“I Don’t Have Time for the Hiring Process”

Time is money, which makes the lengthy hiring process costly for individuals who normally need to focus on other tasks. For instance, the general manager of a fast-food restaurant that’s already understaffed might have to cover shifts for a cashier who called out or quit. So, they’re forced to operate a register and take customers’ orders rather than look through resumes and find someone for that role they so desperately need to fill.

However, let’s pause for a moment and rethink the idea of resumes. The tradition actually dates back over 500 years to when Leonardo DaVinci wrote a letter outlining his experience to earn patronage in 1482. Businesses can’t afford to rely on such outdated practices, especially during a labor crisis. It’s time-consuming, stressful, and ineffective.

Instead, streamline your hiring process with solutions like the Sprockets platform that shows you the best applicants without the need for resumes or interviews. Users spend 37% less time on the hiring process, on average. Think about how many hours that equates to in your work life and what a difference it could make to get those hours back!

“My Employees Keep Quitting”

Employee turnover is another major reason why hiring is so hard right now. According to ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View, 7 in 10 workers have considered a major career change this year. Another study found that 55% of hiring managers said retention and turnover are the top issues hurting their ability to hire staff and grow their companies. (That means turnover ranked above hiring, in general, as their No. 1 struggle!)

We spoke with our very own talent acquisition manager, Katie Tumbleston, to get her thoughts on the employee retention challenges that businesses are facing right now: 

Katie Tumbleston“We are in the midst of real change when it comes to the dynamic between employers and employees. This change is and will continue to be uncomfortable for employers as they navigate how to best retain quality employees. They need to find answers and solutions for questions such as, ‘How much flexibility do we allow for start and finish times? Should we offer a four-day workweek? How much PTO do we encourage staff to take? How do we support both entry-level and more senior workers/staff in their growth? What perks and incentives can we provide to ensure our staff stay and continue to thrive with us?’” 

It can take some time to ponder these questions and discover what’s right for your particular business, but there are a few key points to remember. First, start focusing on improving employee retention, especially when it comes to keeping your best workers. Also, make sure you keep current employees engaged with team-building activities as well as growth opportunities. More and more people are searching for meaningful careers — not dead-end hourly jobs. You can provide this to your employees, even in the fast-food industry.

Make Hiring Less Stressful With Sprockets

The fastest, easiest way to solve all of these problems is with Sprockets’ hiring platform. It reveals which applicants will succeed like your current top performers, removing the guesswork and drastically reducing the time you need to spend on the hiring process. You can even get instant alerts when Sprockets finds your ideal applicant, then reach out to set up an interview or extend an offer in seconds. It’s trusted by top brands like Chick-fil-A and is proven to improve employee retention by 43%, on average.

Schedule your free demo of Sprockets today! It only takes 15 minutes to get started, and it will save you numerous hours in the long run.

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Hotel workers and guests with text reading "Quickly Learn How to Improve Hotel Revenue"

Quickly Learn How to Improve Hotel Revenue

Quickly Learn How to Improve Hotel Revenue 1016 528 Sprockets

It’s no secret that hospitality is one of the industries that was hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of people lost their jobs, and many businesses were forced to close their doors. Travel is also not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to a report by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. However, it’s still possible to stay afloat — even thrive — despite the pandemic and labor crisis. This simple guide on how to improve hotel revenue will help you fill those empty rooms and find success during challenging times.

First, ask yourself is whether or not your current challenges stem from staffing struggles. If the answer is yes, you can skip this whole guide and quickly solve the issue with Sprockets. Our hiring platform reveals which applicants are the right fit for your hotel, making it easy to improve the guest experience, loyalty, reputation, and bookings.

How to Improve Hotel Revenue — Simplified

Track Key Metrics

You won’t be able to identify areas for improvement if you don’t keep track of hotel revenue metrics. Here are a few of the numbers you should keep a close eye on:

  • Occupancy Rate
  • Average Daily Rate
  • Average Length of Stay
  • Revenue per Available Room

The last one, commonly referred to as RevPAR, is arguable the most important indicator of success. There are two ways to measure this: divide room revenue by the total number of available rooms or multiply your average room rate by the occupancy rate.

Also, calculating hotel profit margin can be easily accomplished by dividing net profit (total revenue after subtracting expenses) by total revenue. This should give you a decimal value that you can multiply by 100 to find your profit margin as a percentage.

Promote Direct Bookings

It’s a common practice to promote your hotel via online travel agencies (OTAs), like Expedia and TripAdvisor, but fees from advertisements and commissions can cut into your revenue. While we’re not suggesting you abandon all OTAs, it’s a good idea to try driving more direct bookings. 

You can do this by getting the word out to potential guests about the value they get from booking directly on your website. Often, hoteliers advertise how visitors get the most up-to-date information on availability, access to exclusive specials and add-ons, and even the benefit of establishing direct communication for enhanced service. 

Of course, make sure your direct booking process is user-friendly and convenient since that’s one of the main reasons why so many people use OTAs to book trips.

Hire the Best Applicants

It can cost upwards of $5,000 to replace a single staff member, according to a study by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research. That’s why you must keep an eye on your hotel labor costs. Specifically, make sure you hire the right applicants every time to avoid costly employee turnover. It’s not only possible — it’s easy with Sprockets’ hiring platform that’s proven to improve 90-day employee retention by 43%, on average.

Staff Smarter With Sprockets

One sure-fire way to reduce hotel operating costs and improve your profit margin is by hiring applicants who will succeed and stay long-term. Sprockets helps you do this by revealing which potential hires share personality traits with your current top performers. The user-friendly dashboard even assigns all incoming applicants with “fit scores” from one to ten, making it simple to select the ideal candidate. You’ll build a strong, cohesive staff that will stay long-term and provide the top-notch guest experience that drives loyalty and additional revenue.

Get a free, 15-minute demo now to start building a high-performance hotel staff.

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A woman holding towels and text reading "Hotel Staffing: How to Hire and Retain the Best Employees"

Hotel Staffing: How to Hire and Retain the Best Employees

Hotel Staffing: How to Hire and Retain the Best Employees 1016 528 Sprockets

Trying to keep a hotel fully staffed can be a nightmare, keeping owners and managers up at night when they could be resting as soundly as their guests. While hotel staffing is challenging — and has gotten even more difficult with the labor crisis — hoteliers just need to know how to do it the right way. 

Hiring during a hotel staff shortage is easier than you might think when you follow the strategies outlined below. You can also check out our Free Guide to Attracting Hourly Workers: Hotel Edition. It shows you how to hire hotel staff and even predict applicant success so you know who will succeed before spending time on interviews.

What You Need to Know About Hotel Staffing

1. How to Tackle Employee Turnover in the Hotel Industry

One common mistake that has become even more prevalent during the labor shortage is simply hiring anyone who applies. It’s understandable to feel like this is the only solution in a state of desperation to keep your business afloat, but you might end up hiring hotel workers who have a shorter stay than some of your guests.

It’s crucial to improve your retention rate, especially when there’s a 73.8% annual employee turnover rate in the hotel industry. The first step is to understand why employees are leaving. Are they seeking better benefits? Do you need to offer more competitive compensation? There might just be a lack of employee engagement at your hotel, leading to low morale and a sense of unfulfillment with their current career path. Whatever the reason, it’s up to you to fix the problem and boost retention, especially when it comes to keeping your top performers.

2. How to Create a Hotel Staffing Plan

There are 11.3 million job openings in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, how do you grab the attention of job seekers? And more specifically, how do you get high-quality candidates to apply to your hotel as opposed to a competitor’s?

First, make the most of your recruitment efforts. Think about your ideal applicant and the job boards they might frequent. Some of the best hospitality job boards include HCareers, HospitalityOnline, and HotelCareer. Of course, you can always stick to the classics, like Indeed and ZipRecruiter, but you must optimize your advertisement before listing it anywhere. Many job seekers simply scan the descriptions and decide within a matter of seconds whether or not they want to apply. Include important elements such as a specific job title, salary, benefits, and company culture.

Free Hiring Guide

Would you like to simply reduce your reliance on applicant flow altogether? Well, you can. Check out our free guide on how to hire all-stars even with a shallow applicant pool.

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3. How to Hire More Applicants Like Your Best Employees

Do you have a few top-performing staff members that consistently stand out from the rest? Well, it’s possible to hire more workers who will succeed and stay long-term just like them! Our hiring platform can actually predict applicant success by identifying shared personality traits with your current top performers. It’s trusted by top brands and proven to stabilize staffing levels, even during a labor crisis!

The Staffing Solution That Boosts Employee Retention by 43%

The simplest way to build and maintain a strong, cohesive staff at your hotel is by hiring with Sprockets. Our clients spend 37% less time on the hiring process and improve employee retention by 43%, on average. If that’s not enticing enough, we’ll even give you a free demo to show you firsthand how our hiring platform can solve all of your staffing challenges. Get on the path to hiring success (and get ahead of your competitors).

Announcing Our $10M Series A Funding

Sprockets Receives $10M to Make Hiring Process More Equitable for Employers and Job Seekers

Sprockets Receives $10M to Make Hiring Process More Equitable for Employers and Job Seekers 1016 425.31 Sprockets

Today, we officially closed our Series A funding at $10mm with participation from Forte Ventures, Healthy Ventures, Thayer Ventures, Lytical Ventures, Blu Ventures, and VentureSouth. The investment will help Sprockets further help business owners hire and retain the very best hourly employees, even during a labor crisis. 

Sprockets CEO and founder AJ Richichi said, “We are building a better way to hire. This capital will help us bring an equitable and efficient hiring process to millions of companies and job seekers nationwide.”

Our hiring platform reveals which applicants are right for your needs, empowering you to build a strong, cohesive staff that will stay long-term. Trusted by some of the world’s biggest brands, it’s proven to boost 90-day employee retention by an average of 43%.

 

 

What Does This Mean for You? 

Sprockets understands the frustrations you are currently facing at your business are so much more than not knowing how to staff during unprecedented times.

“Many feel handcuffed by government stimulus payments, COVID-19 shutdowns, inflation, and generational changes to candidate behavior,” Richichi explained. “Companies that deploy our software are statistically faster, less discriminatory, and less prone to error.”  

This round will allow Sprockets to undergo dramatic growth and expansion in order to lessen your hiring headaches and ensure an easy, seamless use of our hiring platform. 

Our Growth and Accomplishments

The funding comes a few months after we achieved 10x growth at the peak of the labor crisis.  

Sprockets helped thousands of customers and hundreds of thousands of candidates in the QSR and hospitality industries in 2021. We are so proud of what we have accomplished but know there is much more work to be done. 

“We sincerely appreciate the overwhelming support from customers, partners, investors, and team members,” Richichi said, expressing his gratitude.

Our company is also lucky to have investors who share our passion for fixing a broken hiring process. Tom Hawkins, founder and managing partner of Forte Ventures, states, “The Sprockets technology solution is invaluable to hiring managers in QSR, hospitality, and multiple other industries with hourly workers. Imagine the change that Sprockets will have on worker satisfaction and career stability within a segment of the population that has historically been ignored by most of the HR tech players. We’re excited to have led Sprockets’ Series A financing and look forward to supporting the management team moving forward.” 

Other investors who participated in our Series A round can attest to Sprockets’ success, particularly in the face of a labor crisis. “Businesses need easier and faster ways of making good hires,” Anya Schiess, co-founder and general partner at Healthy Ventures said. “Sprockets solves this problem with candidate-focused automation.

Richichi, along with the rest of the Sprockets team, is grateful for this rare opportunity. “We are challenging a hiring process that’s been static for hundreds of years, and being rewarded with great traction,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to sign the world’s biggest brands, integrate with industry leading technologies, and build a world-class team.”

Hiring Success Story: 95% Employee Retention in 90 Days

We recently helped a 50+ location Bojangles group achieve 95% employee retention in just 90 days. With the help of Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System, the franchise was able to achieve an ROI of 14x and uncover over $134,000 in savings. The employees they hired with Sprockets stayed longer than those who were hired without, proving the ability of our platform to accurately predict applicant success and increase employee retention. It’s possible for your business to achieve similar success. To learn more about how our AI-powered platform can help change the future of your own hiring, schedule a free, 15-minute demo here.

 

Two engaged, happy restaurant workers

3 Examples of Effective Employee Engagement in Top Companies

3 Examples of Effective Employee Engagement in Top Companies 1016 528 Sprockets

Employee engagement refers to your workers’ emotional connections to the goals of your company. High team member engagement is often linked to strong employee retention, while a lack of engagement results in workers feeling less satisfied and invested. It also means that you may not get as many unique contributions from your staff and will likely suffer from costly turnover. But in order to know how to achieve high engagement, you need to know what that looks like. Continue reading to discover three stellar examples of employee engagement in companies.

Start hiring hourly workers that will have a strong emotional connection to your business right off the bat with Sprockets. Our Applicant Matching System reveals which applicants will succeed like your current top performers, empowering you to build strong, cohesive teams that will stay long-term.

 

 

Examples of Employee Engagement in Companies

1. Taco Bell

One of the best employee engagement examples is Taco Bell’s Start With Us, Stay With Us program. First launched in 2016, the platform highlights Taco Bell’s genuine commitment to their workers. Their employee-first attitude recognizes the realistic needs of staff such as tuition reimbursement, scholarship opportunities, and growth within the company itself. 

Frank Tucker, Chief People Officer at Taco Bell, understands that many people get their first job at a restaurant: “Whether they want to start with us for a year or stay with us for life, we feel it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re offering benefits and programs that create innovators and leaders for our communities inside and out of our restaurants.” 

Even when workers decide to leave the taco chain, Taco Bell ensures they have learned valuable skills that will help them with future endeavors.. The company hopes Start With Us, Stay With Us will motivate their workers to advocate for the Taco Bell brand and increase loyalty. 

2. Chick-Fil-A

Chick-fil-A has a unique set of employee engagement ideas because of the way it empowers its franchise owners. Most franchise companies regulate their brand in a top-down manner. However, Chick-fil-A gives franchise owners the freedom to implement their own set of standard operating procedures. Rather than saying “this is how we do it,” Chick-fil-A owners are given a chance to customize how they think things should be done based on their location, team, and customers. 

Franchisees are in charge of everything from the hiring of workers to providing employee benefits. They also have excellent training models in place. This strategy helps employees feel less overwhelmed by customer demands and more enthusiastic about their work. Additionally, Chick-fil-A refuses to let individual franchisees treat each other as competitors. The fast food restaurant will even fly representatives from successful stores to struggling ones so that the hard-hit stores can learn from them. 

3. Buffalo Wild Wings

When it comes to understanding team member engagement, communication is key. For example, Buffalo Wild Wings responded to high employee turnover with surveys to understand the experiences of their workers. The restaurant then used this feedback to determine how they could improve their employee engagement strategies. Staff who truly believe employers listen to their concerns are more likely to have a positive experience working with the company. 

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Buffalo Wild Wings implemented Brand Champ. This employee engagement program was designed to teach employees the “how” behind the brand and equip them with background brand knowledge to succeed while performing daily operations. Additionally, Buffalo Wild Wings launched  “What’s Hot at B-Dubs,” a virtual employee engagement program featuring inspirational guest speakers. The goal of both programs is to help employees understand why and how their work matters.

Go Beyond Employee Engagement Examples

Now that you’ve read these employee engagement examples, you’re ready to start improving your own strategies. Whether you’re a restaurant owner or hotelier, that starts with hiring the right people for your business. Luckily, Sprockets’ AI-powered platform reveals what character traits make your top performers so successful. Our Applicant Matching System then identifies which potential hires share these same characteristics. Essentially, it’s like replicating your best employees. Plus, Sprockets’ hiring solution is proven to boost employee retention by an average of 43%.