The Sprockets Platform

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. 

The Sprockets team

Sprockets Accelerates Company Growth: Continues Path Toward an Equitable Hiring Process for All

Sprockets Accelerates Company Growth: Continues Path Toward an Equitable Hiring Process for All 1016 528 Sprockets

Here at Sprockets, we always tell people — customers and prospects alike — that our hiring solution reveals which applicants will succeed like their current top performers, ultimately empowering them to build the best teams. But did you know that we’re so confident in the accuracy of the Sprockets platform that we use it to hire and retain our own employees?

We’re continuing to scale our company so we can help even more businesses stabilize staffing levels and remove bias from the hiring process. Continue reading to learn how five new hires will bring their talent to the Sprockets team as we continue our mission of creating an equitable hiring process for all.

Jessica Tighe, VP of Customer Success

“At the end of the day, making the customer experience great is the number one goal.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

I’ve been managing Customer Success teams for 20 years, ensuring customer satisfaction from consumers to enterprise accounts. I’ve worked in startups to Fortune 100 companies and at the end of the day, making the customer experience great is the number one goal. 

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

The culture and people really drew me to join Sprockets. You truly have to enjoy the people you work with and this team is great! Everyone has the same goal, is collaborative, and ready to jump in no matter the task. 

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

I’ve been part of several companies that have scaled up and my experience in this area will help grow our company. Hiring great people, creating structure around processes and procedures, and streamlining our day-to-day will help us continue to grow into a larger company while ensuring our customer satisfaction is at the forefront.

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

I’m enjoying getting to know the team, jumping right into customer calls, and hearing firsthand what improvements we can make. I’m quickly learning the current world but also bringing new ideas to the table on how we can improve. 

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets?

What are you waiting for?! The team is great and we have a wonderful product.

Stacey Boswell, VP of Finance

“I will provide clarity and integrity to numbers.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

It all started with a ten-key adding machine when I was a kid. I would sit and just add random numbers. My passion for finance came out of my love for numbers. I have been in finance management for about 12 years working mostly in the startup environment. One of my joys now comes from looking at processes and trying to find automations or more efficient ways to proceed in the future.

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

Definitely the culture and ability to help build something great!

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

I will provide clarity and integrity to numbers. That data can then be used to make impactful business decisions from a place of knowledge. I’ll help implement processes and technology to eliminate pain points.

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

My favorite part of my role so far has been digging into the data and looking with unbiased eyes.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets? 

I quickly saw how involved everyone at the company is! Slack — our workplace communication platform — is always ringing with excitement. It’s easy to immediately feel part of the team.

6. Do you have anything else you’d like to share? 

If we are on a video chat and you see something in the background, that is not a horse in my house! It is one of my two Great Danes: Arya and Bjorn.

Joe Gattuso, VP of Enterprise Sales

“It’s a pivotal time to be a part of Sprockets as we enter our growth stage.” 

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

My sales career started when I was eight years old selling popcorn door to door for my local Cub Scout pack. I may still hold the record for most popcorn tubs sold, but it’s been a while since I checked. In my professional career, I’ve been lucky enough to have helped SaaS companies from early stage Series A to publicly traded organizations grow.

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

The people and the opportunity. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a few members of our leadership team at a previous company, Upserve. They are both people who I trust and more importantly, know how to execute. That, along with an impactful product and an addressable market, made it an absolute no-brainer for me.

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

In my role, I’ll educate enterprise customers on the impact Sprockets can have to solve real-world business problems. 

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

Our executive team chops the wood and carries the water. It’s one thing to have values written on your company wall, but another to actually do them. It’s incredibly motivating to see this in action.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets? 

Don’t hesitate. It’s a pivotal time to be a part of Sprockets as we enter our growth stage. 

Deanne Watt, Senior Product Manager

“We are truly changing the way hiring will be done.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

I started my early career as an art director and moved into tech management and interactive development. My career shifted to product about ten years ago where I was really able to use all the skill sets I had gained. I have mainly focused on early startups to growth stage companies. 

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

The culture exhibited in the interview process as well as the product drew me to Sprockets. I was not disappointed. Since I started working here, I have been blown away by my team members and the product. I have found my family.

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

The product managers will help the entire product team focus and work with our users directly to help create a vision that is both useful and delightful.

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

Learning how different we are from our competitors. We are truly changing the way hiring will be done.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets? 

If you pass our culture survey, you will not be disappointed. The team is amazing. I am very fortunate to have found Sprockets.

Jenny Mott, Organic Growth Manager

“The passion here is really contagious and the people are truly lovely.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

I started my career in marketing completely by chance and was lucky enough to fall in love with it pretty immediately. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to grow my skill set and impact, focusing on SEO, content marketing, and integrated campaigns. I’ve worked agency-side and in-house, primarily with service businesses and manufacturers. My personal mantra has long been, “I’ll bloom where I’m planted.” I made the jump to Sprockets and the SaaS industry because it’s great new fertile soil that I know will help me accelerate my growth journey. 

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

The vision, energy, and opportunity to grow alongside other highly motivated teammates drew me to Sprockets.

3. How will your role help our company grow?

I will help define and execute our marketing strategy to help us reach those companies who could most benefit from our product. I’m excited to spread the word about Sprockets and help ease some operational stresses for businesses while making the hiring process a more equitable one!

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far?

First, meeting my wonderful teammates and learning about the work they’ve done and the work they’re excited to do — the passion here is really contagious and the people are truly lovely. Second, realizing how much opportunity there is to truly make an impact on the trajectory of the company and to further our mission. Coming in at such an early and pivotal stage is a really special and exciting opportunity!

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets?

If you’re passionate about growth, comfortable with ambiguity, and like the idea of fixing a broken hiring process, Sprockets might be a fit!

Join Our Mission

We believe everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, and background, deserves a fair, unbiased shot when they apply for a job. Our solution uses artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and over 80 years of psychological research to identify which applicants will succeed and stay long-term like a business’s current top performers. If you share these same values, we want to hear from you!

Top performing restaurant employee

How to Make a Convenience Store Profitable

How to Make a Convenience Store Profitable 1016 528 Sprockets

Convenience store revenue totaled $663.5 billion and grew almost 25% in the last year, according to the 2022 Convenience Store News Industry Report. It seems like the industry is finally picking back up again and returning to pre-pandemic levels. Continue reading this blog to learn how to make your convenience store profitable and successful. We’ll even explain how one hiring software can help you stabilize staffing levels so you can allocate resources elsewhere. 

How to Make Your Convenience Store More Profitable

The average convenience store gross profit margin sits around $450,000. Keep in mind that this is just one location. Eventually, you’ll want to expand to multiple locations to maximize profits. Here are four ideas to help your c-store thrive in 2022. 

1. Increase Your Food Selection

One in four consumers stop at a c-store for lunch and 30% will purchase fast food items over refrigerated products. In fact, foodservice makes up 23% of c-store sales. No wonder convenience stores are now competing with quick-service restaurants. If you aren’t already doing so, think about adding more fresh food meal options. You could even have an associate greet customers at the front doors with samples!  

2. Up Your Prices on Popular In-Store Items 

This might feel strange — especially since gas prices are skyrocketing — but c-stores only make two cents to every gallon of gas sold! Consider increasing the price on in-store items, (especially food options). Don’t feel like you have to match price points with your local grocery store. Remember, customers are paying for the convenience of your goods, not just the products themselves. 

3. Understand Product Placement

You’ve probably heard the common saying “eye level is buy level”, but are you applying it to your c-store? Products that are placed at eye level are more likely to be selected and purchased by your customers. Why? Eye-level products have more visibility than those at your feet or knees. One study found that it only takes 8 seconds for a person to make a buying decision and if you think about it, it makes sense. A majority of c-store customers are traveling or on the go. They likely don’t have time to think too long about what snack or beverage they want. Consider placing your best-selling items at eye level to better catch your customers’ attention.

4. Drive Sales With the Best C-Store Employees

If you want to profit off of your convenience store, then you need to reduce costs where you can. One bad hire can cost $5,000, according to Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research. Avoid these expenses and end the cycle of costly employee turnover by hiring the right c-store associate every time with Sprockets’ solution. It reveals which applicants will succeed and stay long-term based on shared personality traits with a location’s current top performers. Ultimately, the platform empowers owners and operators to build reliable teams, reduce labor costs, and improve profit margins. It’s more accurate than other hiring solutions and even proven to increase employee retention by 43%, on average.

 

“If you’re on the fence, just the price should push you over because if it saves you one bad hire per year, you’re up money. That’s a no-brainer.”

– Curtis Wilhelmi, McDonald’s Franchise Operator

Convenience store

The Ultimate Guide to Convenience Store News: Publications and Trends

The Ultimate Guide to Convenience Store News: Publications and Trends 1016 528 Sprockets

You’re on a road trip and notice your gas tank is almost empty. There are two gas stations within the next ten minutes. Would you go to the closer one or drive a few more miles to stop at your favorite c-store? According to the 2022 NACS Consumer Fuels Survey, 74% of drivers would drive the extra miles to their preferred brand, regardless of price. 

If you want your business to be the winner, then it’s important to follow convenience store news and take note of what other c-store brands are doing. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know and will even explain how one hiring solution can increase your associate retention by 43%, on average.

Where to Get Your C-Store News 

While there are many c-store news outlets, we recommend these two reliable publications: 

Convenience Store News

For more than 40 years and counting, the number one industry publication continues to provide its audience with a plethora of resources like magazines, newsletters, meetings, conferences, and more. Their mission is to “deliver the insight, analysis, market research and business intelligence that helps c-store retailers stay ahead of what’s next — critical information to grow sales and profits.” Every year, they announce their Convenience Store News Best New Products Awards to recognize high-quality food items that exceed customer expectations.

NACS Magazine

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) offers “industry knowledge, connections, and issues leadership to ensure the competitive viability of its members’ businesses.” Their next trade show will take place on October 1 through 4 in Las Vegas — our Sprockstars will see you there! 

Convenience Store Industry Trends

Which of these 2022 convenience store trends is your business following?

1. Increase in Restaurant Quality Food

The c-store industry continues to see a decline in fuel profits as they currently sit 7.2% below pre-pandemic levels. With fewer people on the road and rising gas prices, getting customers to walk in your door can be quite a challenge. Now, c-stores are adding more food options to compete with quick-service restaurants. Seven out of ten customers who stop to pump gas also make their way inside and one in four consumers visit c-stores for lunch. Additionally, 30% will purchase fast food compared to other c-store food items like made-to-order meals and refrigerated items. 

Top brands like Wawa and 7-Eleven are attempting to be a one-stop shop for consumers. No wonder they both recently launched drive-thrus! Wawa even added a dinner menu to their list of food options. “It is critical to provide new ways to access Wawa, increase convenience and provide new options for service,” Wawa Director of Construction Terri Micklin said.

2. Digital Loyalty Programs

If you want to retain customers, then you need to incentivize them to continue to shop at your location. Some c-stores have found success with digital loyalty programs, and others are quickly catching on. Huck’s Convenience Stores, for example, implemented Huck’s Bucks Bigg Rewards and received 20,000 signups when the program first launched in 2020. Loyalty customers receive 10 cents off every gallon of gas and points with almost every purchase to earn discounts, free food, and other program prizes. The chain found that loyalty customers typically spend $5 more than non-loyalty ones. 

Tip: Partner with third-party delivery services like DoorDash or UberEats, so your customers don’t even have to leave their houses! 

3. Frictionless Technology

Current trends in convenience store technology include artificial intelligence and frictionless checkout. Texas and New Mexico c-store chain Delek US, for example, has cut checkout lines by 67% using a combination of these two solutions. Customers are able to scan and pay for their items in just 15 seconds! 

Emerging technology like Sprockets uses artificial intelligence to supercharge the hiring process. The platform identifies shared personality traits between a location’s current best employees and its applicants. Then, the solution reveals which potential hires will succeed and stay long-term before the interview and without a resume. On average, Sprockets boosts employee retention by 43%, ultimately saving c-store owners and operators thousands of dollars.

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 part of the LGBTQ+ community proudly holds a pride flag.

How to Support the LGBTQ+ Community and Diversity in the Retail Industry at Your C-Store

How to Support the LGBTQ+ Community and Diversity in the Retail Industry at Your C-Store 1016 528 Sprockets

June is Pride Month, though your c-store should be supporting the LGBTQ+ community — customers and employees alike — year-round. Diversity in the retail industry is crucial to your c-store’s success. Everyone deserves equal rights and to be fully accepted for who they are. We’ll discuss four ways your c-store can foster an inclusive, welcoming environment without falling victim to the rainbow-washing bandwagon. 

 

“Right now, in the hourly workforce, there is tremendous pain around diversity and inclusion. We want to give everyone a fair shake.” 

AJ Richichi, Sprockets CEO 

 

Sprockets’ mission is to transform the broken hiring process into an equitable one for all, regardless of gender, age, sexuality, or race. Our platform is proven to increase diversity as it evaluates applicants’ mental makeup to reveal who will succeed and stay long-term. And, unlike humans, it’s completely objective.  

Top c-store brands like Wawa, BP, Meijer, and Shell all received a perfect score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index. The tool evaluates “corporate policies, practices and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees.” According to the index, these c-stores are considered the best places to work in the LGBTQ+ community. Make sure your c-store maintains an inclusive environment by following their examples!

Diversity and Inclusion in Retail Examples 

1. Avoid “Rainbow-Washing”

While you may think rainbow-ing your company logo throughout June shows support for the LGBTQ+ community, it actually does the opposite. See, a true ally actively engrains LGBTQ+ equality long-term into their company culture and values. According to Forbes, the term “rainbow-washing” refers to companies who profit off rainbow-themed products but fail to support the community long-term. The lack of authenticity is merely performative, or in other words, another social media post. 

2. Donate to LGBTQ+ Organizations

Consider giving back to organizations that provide resources for the LGBTQ+ community. Here are a few reputable ones:

No matter the monetary amount, donations have a direct, positive impact on these individuals’ lives. Regardless of which organization you chose, be sure to do your own research. Encourage your employees to support your chosen organization as well. You could even consider having a small fundraiser in your c-store. 

3. Add Pronouns to Employee Name Tags 

Addressing someone by their desired pronouns is a basic form of respect that everyone — regardless of sexuality or gender identity — deserves. Top brands like Target now offer employees name tags with pronouns to be more inclusive of all genders. This eliminates confusion and misunderstanding, especially for non-gender-conforming individuals who are more likely to be misgendered. It’s easy for these folks to feel singled out, so by adding your pronouns to your name tag, you are actively showing your support for the LGBTQ+ community and normalizing the conversation around gender identity. 

4. Use Gender-Neutral Language

Take the time to redefine how your c-store associates address customers. For example, instead of greeting customers with “hey, guys!” your associates could say “hey, everyone,” “hey, folks,” or even “hey, y’all.” Small, simple changes like these foster inclusivity at your c-store. Plus, it signals that your location(s) are welcoming towards all individuals. Remember, it can be uncomfortable and even frightening for non-binary, transgender, intersex, and other LGBTQ+ folks to speak up, especially if they are misgendered. 

5. Implement Sprockets’ Hiring Solution

The Sprockets platform is proven to increase diversity and eliminate bias since there’s no need for resumes or even interviews. “Right now, there is tremendous pain around diversity and inclusion. We want to give everyone a fair shake,” explains Sprockets CEO, AJ Richichi

Our hiring solution uses natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and over 80 years of psychological research to determine which personality traits make your best associates so special. Sprockets’ simple red-yellow-green scoring system makes it easy to see which applicants will succeed and stay long-term, empowering c-store owners and operators to build diverse, reliable teams.

The Sprockets Team with Customer Success Lead

Sprockets Expands Leadership Team to Rapidly Transform a Broken Hiring Process

Sprockets Expands Leadership Team to Rapidly Transform a Broken Hiring Process 1016 528 Sprockets

The current hiring process is broken; our mission at Sprockets is to transform it into an equitable one for all. After our series A funding, we immediately began expanding our teams to make that vision a reality for even more businesses in the hourly workforce. We followed our own advice and used both internal and external recruitment methods: one individual was promoted internally, while another new hire was made through an employee referral. Both external hires received a high Sprockets fit score which made the decision a no-brainer. 

The Sprockets platform is the easy, effortless way to hire and retain high-quality individuals. Our hiring solution analyzes applicants’ answers to three simple survey questions to determine whether or not they will succeed and stay long-term like your current top performers. It’s proven to dramatically reduce costly employee turnover and eliminates the need for resumes and even interviews. 

Meet Our New Sprockstar Leadership Team

So, without further adieu, here are the new members of our leadership team: Christian Palombo, Eric Lou, Katie Tumbleston, and Bailey Griffin. 

Christian Palombo, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO)

 

“With the right process, technology, enablement, and team, there will be no limit to our success at Sprockets.” 

Christian headshot

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

I have been fortunate to work with amazing people at hyper-growth startups in similar industries as Sprockets. My previous experiences at companies like Upserve and EverQuote allowed me to establish successful approaches to scaling SaaS B2B startups. When I spoke with Sprockets’ Chief Marketing Officer, Chad Troutman — who happens to be my former colleague at Upserve — I knew this was an opportunity that I could not pass up.

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

I am passionate about solving challenges about the future of work. I believe that emerging technologies, advanced analytics, and workflow automation will change the experiences for both employees and customers. Sprockets applies these advanced applications today to directly address the labor crisis and support the largest class of employees in the United States: hourly workers. 

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

With the right process, technology, enablement, and team, there will be no limit to our success at Sprockets. I believe it is my responsibility to ensure Sprockets has the right blend of people, processes, and technology to solve problems for our customers and scale our business. 

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

My favorite part has been solving problems for our customers. Our customer base has been deeply impacted by the labor crisis and current market conditions. Working with customers to address uncontrollable employee turnover, shuttered business operations, and financial burdens has been extremely rewarding to me personally.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets? 

DO IT! There are very few professional opportunities in life where you can make a significant impact, grow personally and professionally, and help advance an industry. 

Eric headshot

Eric Liou, Chief Product Officer (CPO)

 

“The company has a great culture, filled with collaborative and passionate people who are all marching towards the same goal.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here?  

I’ve spent over 20 years working in digital product strategy, design, and development at large companies as well as startups. I’ve helped three startups before, one of which was my own that I co-founded back in 2005. I’ve launched over 15 products in my career and have led product, design, and engineering teams.

2. What drew you to Sprockets?

The company mission and the potential of the product drew me to Sprockets. I find our mission a noble one — we are helping people maximize applicants’ potential by finding jobs that align with their skill sets and core values. At the same time, we’re helping companies hire better candidates and retain them for a longer period of time. We’re solving all of these key problems in an innovative way with a platform that leverages psychology and cutting-edge technology.

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

As Chief Product Officer, I’m primarily focused on setting a clear, compelling product vision and an effective strategy that will help us achieve that vision in the most effective way possible. Additionally, I’m here to create a great product culture that is driven by trust, autonomy, and delivers consistent product innovation for our customers and our business. Lastly, I’m tasked with building and scaling the organization across product management, design, and engineering.

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

My favorite part is discovering all the product opportunities at hand. There are so many avenues to take the platform on and so many problems to solve in the HR space, that I’m excited to strategize on how to best tackle them.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets?

The company has a great culture, filled with collaborative and passionate people who are all marching towards the same goal. Sprockets empowers you to bring your best self to work and trusts in you to make the right decisions. This type of environment breeds so much creativity and innovation that personally, it’s my ideal place to work. We are hiring across all functions within product management, design, and engineering. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to chat!

Bailey Griffin, Customer Success Team Lead

 

“We also use the power of Sprockets to help us hire.”

Baily headshot

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here?

I was born and raised here in Charleston, so after studying in Clemson, I couldn’t help but come back and replant my roots here.

2. What drew you to Sprockets?

You hear it all the time, but I was truly looking for a company that had a culture that fit who I was and gave me the potential to get where I wanted to be. Lo and behold, I found the perfect place for that! I clicked with everyone in the company, which made the transition into my position smooth.

3. How will your role help our company grow?

I have had the opportunity to move throughout different departments here at Sprockets, so I have seen all sides of the business. Now that my feet are set in Customer Success, I truly can see where our customers’ pains lie and what they are looking for. Having the background knowledge of our customer’s pain points is invaluable, and I strive to utilize that knowledge to improve the CS team, the platform, and ultimately revamp our customers’ way of hiring.

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far?

During my time here at Sprockets, the company and the product have changed immensely, but the core of Sprockets is still the same. I joined the team when there were only a handful of people in the room, naturally bonding us together to have strong relationships. Now, with over 50 people in the (virtual) room, you still get that tight-knit feeling.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets?

Take it from us, we know whether or not you are a good fit! Seriously, we also use the power of Sprockets to help us hire. So not only do we know if you would be a good fit, we also know which department will be the best fit for you. Come join us! 

Katie headshot

Katie Tumbleston, Talent Acquisition Manager 

 

“Much of my studies, passion, and career history is directly aligned to creating a just and equitable world.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here?  

I have a varied background with titles ranging from Development Associate to Founder and CEO; however, I fell into recruiting and talent acquisition a little over five years ago. I refined and honed my skills in recruiting and hiring after launching an on-demand babysitting software business. Later, I expanded into medical recruiting in Australia and tech recruiting back in the States.

2. What drew you to Sprockets?

The potential for Sprockets to change the landscape of hiring was the initial draw. Much of my studies, passion, and career history is directly aligned to creating a just and equitable world for all walks of life. A close second was the opportunity to build a talent acquisition department from the ground up. This is an opportunity to have a large impact on a company, its culture, and ultimate success — I couldn’t pass that up!

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

We are doubling our headcount this year alone. Each and every role for which we are hiring is crucial to the immediate and long-term success of the company. 

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

Working with the hiring managers and learning more and more about their individual personalities has been my favorite part of my role. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to share our story and vision with prospective candidates and see their faces light up. It shows me that we have something really special to offer customers, job seekers, and our staff. 

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets?

I would suggest taking some time to research our product, target market, and current employees via LinkedIn. Consider whether or not working within a startup environment is right for you. 

6. Do you have anything else you’d like to share? 

I’m thrilled to be on this journey with the Sprockets team and would be happy to talk to anyone interested in joining us!

Become Our Next Sprockstar

We’re hiring! Join us on our mission to create an equitable hiring process for all. Our organization is completely remote, but our team is stronger than ever. Why? We’re so confident in our solution that we even use it to hire our own employees. Plus, we organize quarterly company events at our home base in Charleston, South Carolina.

Sprockets Job Opportunities
Job seeker creates video resume for potential employer

6 Creative Recruiting Ideas to Get More Applicants — No Job Boards Required

6 Creative Recruiting Ideas to Get More Applicants — No Job Boards Required 1016 528 Sprockets

With a near record-breaking number of current job openings sitting at 11.5 million, employers across the country are still struggling to recruit the right applicants. Posting to job boards can be time-consuming and ineffective at targeting the type of hire you need. It’s time to get creative with your recruiting ideas. Learn how to leverage social media for recruitment, utilize your current resources, and more to build strong, successful teams. 

6 Creative Ways to Recruit Employees 

1. Social Media Recruiting

If you’re wondering how to leverage social media for recruitmentdon’t worry — it’s easier than you think! First, it’s important to recognize that Gen Z is expected to be the largest generation by 2023, consisting of 74 million people. If you want to attract these individuals to your business, you need to cater to their interests. So, where does this tech-savvy generation go to get their information? Social media. 

You’re probably already posting job openings on LinkedIn, but have you thought about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even TikTok? With over one billion users just in the United States, 60% of TikTokers are Gen Zers. In fact, top brands like Chipotle and Target have even started TikTok hiring, a recruitment method where applicants can create a video instead of submitting a resume. This gives job seekers a chance to highlight why they’d be a good fit while showcasing their personalities. Social media recruitment is free and easy, so why not give it a try?

Suggested Reading: 

The Essential Guide to Attracting Hourly Workers

2. Conduct Walk-In Interviews

Your next hire could be the customer that just ordered a cheeseburger and fries — you never know! This creative recruiting idea can involve as much or as little effort as you’d like. And, walk-in interviews are great ways to gauge your applicants’ verbal communication skills which you are unable to see on a resume or cover letter. All you need to do is set up an informational table with current job openings and have an employee (or yourself) greet people as they walk through the door. Be prepared to conduct a few interviews to find your next top performer. 

3. Promote Current Employees

Not only is promoting internal hires a creative way to retain employees, but it shows your team you value (and reward) their hard work. Remember, employees don’t just want jobs — they want careers. Promoting your internal hires can lead to an increase in employee morale and even retention. There’s less risk, too, since you already know what their work ethic is like. Internal hires also have a shorter ramp-up time than external ones since they are familiar with your company. A study by Wharton even found that external hires underperform compared to internal ones in the first two years! 

4. Implement Employee Referral Programs

If you’re looking for a creative way to recruit employees while cutting hiring costs, we’d highly suggest implementing an employee referral program. It takes less time and costs less than the traditional hiring process! Current employees can refer someone who they think would be a perfect fit — bonus points if you reward employees who refer someone who stays longer than 90 days. 

A recent study found that employees hired with a referral program stayed longer than external hires. In fact, 56% of employee referrals stayed at their current role for five or more years. This can partially be attributed to the fact that referred employees already know at least one person in the company.

5. Establish Re-Engagement Campaigns

Life happens, and sometimes all people need is a nudge in the right direction. Consider reconnecting with past applicants to fill your open positions. Although some individuals may have already found another opportunity, there are plenty of job seekers still searching. If you hire with Sprockets, the platform will even send applicants your current job openings so that they can fill out the application right on their phones. (It’s that easy!)

6. Predict Applicant Success With Sprockets

This innovative hiring solution is both the answer to your recruitment challenges and a creative way to retain employees. Our simple red-yellow-green scoring system instantly reveals which potential hires will succeed and stay long-term like your current top-performing employees. Trusted by top brands like Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A, Sprockets is proven to help businesses hire 37% faster — that’s three hours you’d get back in your workday! — so owners and operators can focus on daily operations.

Two happy employees

Follow These 6 Hiring Trends to Attract Top Talent

Follow These 6 Hiring Trends to Attract Top Talent 1016 528 Sprockets

It can be overwhelming trying to keep track of hiring trends when you’re short-staffed and covering shifts to pick up the slack, but staying ahead of new trends in hiring can help you retain the best possible employees. We know you don’t have much free time, so we’ll cut right to the chase: If you want to set up your business for success — and keep it that way — consider implementing these 2022 hiring trends. 

Or, you can skip this entire blog and schedule your free, 15-minute walkthrough of the Sprockets platform, the fastest, easiest way to know which applicants are worth hiring and who will only cause you more of a headache.

 

How Do You Stay Current With Hiring Trends?

1. Connect With Applicants Before They Apply

Reaching out to candidates early on in the hiring process — even for hourly positions — benefits both the employer and job seeker. Remember, your job posting is one of millions, so it’s important to set your role apart. Social media platforms like LinkedIn are a great way to connect to potential hires. Take the time to send a brief message about your company, open positions, and why you think the person may be a good fit for your team. Applicants are more likely to apply and may choose your business over a competitor simply because you found them first.  

2. Data-Driven Recruiting 

All too often, traditional hiring methods rely on a recruiter’s intuition when choosing the perfect hire. However, this can lead to potential bias against certain types of people, whether it’s intentional or not. That’s why companies across various industries now lean on facts and data to help them make the best hiring decisions. Data-driven recruiting reduces turnover costs, increases employee productivity, and empowers hiring professionals to gain valuable insight on their process. But, how exactly do companies measure this? The answer is simple —technology. 

3. Technology

How has technology changed the hiring process? It has dramatically transformed the hourly workforce as employers now have access to a wider applicant pool. Plus, advanced solutions make the process faster and easier, so hiring professionals can focus on face-to-face operations like interviewing, onboarding, and training. During the height of the labor crisis, businesses turned to technology to compensate for their lack of employees. Owners and operators quickly realized that the right hiring solutions could help them make more informed decisions in a shorter period of time. Plus, technology has the ability to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Basically, if you aren’t already using technology in your recruitment process, you’re falling behind.

1. AI Screening

More and more organizations are quickly realizing the 540-year-old resume is ineffective and time-consuming. Resumes don’t account for soft skills or an applicant’s personality, which is actually more important than direct industry experience. AI screening tools like Sprockets make it easy to see which applicants will succeed like your current top-performing employees. It’s more accurate and 37% faster than the traditional hiring process. These solutions also allow you to focus on running your business instead of stressing over which applicants will actually stay long-term.

2. Video Interviews

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic made it extremely challenging to conduct in-person interviews. To prevent falling further behind, employers turned to video interviews. This new trend (that’s surely here to stay) greatly widened the applicant pool. Employers could interview anyone – not just people that lived in their location’s city — and applicants had the flexibility to record their part of the interview on their own time. Recent research even found that video interviews are six times faster than phone ones! No wonder 86% of organizations now use virtual tech for interviews.

3. Sprockets

What would you do with three extra hours in your day? No, seriously, get three hours back in your day with our hiring solution. Sprockets uses artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and over 80 years of psychological research to instantly reveal which potential hires will perform like your best employees and stay long-term. There’s no need for resumes or even interviews. Plus, it’s trusted by top brands like Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and McDonald’s franchise locations to increase employee retention by 43%, on average. 

Why Tech Matters in Hiring: 2022 and Beyond

Learn how technology – like Sprockets’ AI-powered platform – is no longer optional for businesses. It’s required.

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