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With Summer Seasonal Hiring in Swing, Companies Need to Shift Strategy to Compete, Fountain Survey Finds

The World Has Changed — But HR Pros Report Being Stuck in White Collar Mindsets

Fountain, the leading high-volume recruiting platform, conducted a survey in partnership with Morning Consult. The nationwide survey of over 400 HR professionals whose companies employ more than 500 people and hire hourly workers found more than 70% of respondents use the same process for hiring both hourly and white collar workers. Moreover, 90% said a resume is important for hourly workers and 65% said they spend at least some of their time reviewing cover letters. This is despite the fundamental differences in these jobs and the particular challenges that persist in these roles (no shows, etc.). This mismatch can be the difference between a company filling these frontline positions, or seeing their business suffer a dynamic made all the more acute in a hot job market, which continues to soar based on the latest jobs report.

Top 10 Findings:

1. Top three biggest pain points among HR professionals: 1.) Time-to-hire; 2.) sourcing applicants; and 3.) scheduling are the top three biggest pain points among HR professionals when it comes to hiring hourly workers. 38% of HR professionals say time-to-hire is their biggest pain point.

2. Administrative burden: HR professionals are spending a lot of time on administrative recruiting tasks like conducting background checks, scheduling and reaching out to candidates — not to mention reviewing resumes and cover letters.

3. No-show rate is creeping up: Over half report a less than 80% first day attendance rate.

  • 42% of the HR professionals surveyed reported a greater than 20% absence rate
  • 53% of respondents reported a less than 80% first-day attendance rate

4. Interviews? Still mostly IRL. Despite the digital transformation that followed the pandemic and the rise in virtual interviews overall, 62% of those surveyed still conduct hourly interviews in person. It’s unclear, though, that this is having an impact on the no-show rate, which remains high. And almost half of respondents say more than 20% don’t show for the interview itself.

5. Inefficiencies lead to decreased satisfaction: Two-thirds of HR professionals are not satisfied with their company’s hourly hiring process.

6. Too picky? The majority report hiring between 6–20% of applicants for their jobs. As they continue to fill their funnels, the administrative burden only balloons with such a selection rate. Only around one third of HR professionals hire more than 20% of the candidates out of the total applications they receive. This means the majority of HR professionals may be too selective — or the quality of candidates isn’t on par with what they’re looking for.

7. Yet turnover is high: For all the time spent being selective, turnover is stubbornly high. Nearly a quarter of respondents have 30%+ turnover. 60% of respondents reported turnover of more than 10%.

8. 90 is a good start: 90% of respondents agreed that DEI are important for their company’s hourly hiring.

9. Job boards are sourcing king: Just 6% of companies primarily source candidates through social media — suggesting a major gap between the promise of these platforms and reality and barely ticking up from a 2016 SHRM study that found it was used by 5% as a primary tool. Nearly two thirds (64%) indicated that their company primarily sources hourly workforce candidates on online job boards.

10. Seasonality is stressful: Only 37% say they are very satisfied and only 43% say their teams are able to respond very well to hiring seasonally.

Impact on the US economy and jobs market:

  • “The front-line worker economy continues to be pretty robust, with lots of jobs open and easy mobility. We’re likely to see continued strength in this area–and there are a number of ways companies can compete better in the battle for this entry-level talent, who have so many options; the number of U.S. job openings recently hit 10 million, driven by sectors like retail and warehousing,” said Fountain CEO Sean Behr.
  • These survey results hit on a major problem–recruiters using the same process to attract hourly workers are missing out on landing these candidates. These workers represent more than half of all wage and salary workers in the U.S., and represent a distinct labor pool operating with a very different set of skills and job requirements.
  • “Hiring hourly workers using the same methods used to hire salaried workers–from time-intensive applications that require cover letters and resumes, to drawn-out interview processes with multiple follow-ups–shows a big disconnect. To attract and retain more hourly workers, recruiters at these companies need to meet these workers where they are using a simplified approach,” said Fountain CEO Sean Behr.