• Hourly workers makeup over 55% of the U.S. workforce and are the public face of your business, especially in the retail and hospitality sectors. Working on the front lines, your hourly employees significantly impact the success of your organization. They must be well-trained and service-oriented. It is well known that long-tenured employees are more productive and customer-friendly than short-term employees. After all, they’ve been around long enough to receive adequate training and experience and know your business model and expectations well.

    Unfortunately, turnover is exceedingly high in the hourly space. The average cost to replace an hourly employee is 30% of their annual salary. That comes out to $6,240 for a full-time hourly employee making $10 an hour, although costs can vary by position and industry. Think about the costs of screening, interviewing, onboarding, and training new employees over and over.

    Many hourly workers leave within 90 days of hire, making it impossible to realize a return on investment. In high-volume hiring situations, the constant replacement of even low-wage employees can become exceedingly expensive. This makes increasing the retention of your hourly employees one of the best ways to positively impact your organization.

    So how do you combat hourly churn, reduce turnover and lower recruiting costs? Start with hiring the best quality employees you can find.

    This article discusses three recruiting strategies you can use to attract and retain high-quality hourly employees. Getting hourly hiring right will lead to improved engagement, productivity, and longer tenure. All this will have a big impact on your organization’s bottom line.



    An evergreen recruiting strategy is especially crucial if you’re in a high-volume hiring industry like hospitality, healthcare, or retail. An evergreen recruiting strategy means you are always hiring for employees and accepting applications due to high turnover. Think of an evergreen tree that never sheds its leaves. It’s green all year long, just like your hiring cycle. An evergreen recruiting strategy uses special job requisitions that never close because there are always positions to fill. Not having to open and close requisitions make it easier on your hiring team.

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    Because quickly finding great hourly employees will always be a challenge, you must develop a long-term, minimal impact recruiting strategy. If you expect to lose an employee a day, you know you need to be looking for your next employee every day. Having a constant supply of high-quality candidates in your pipeline keeps you from making poor hiring decisions because you’re scrambling to fill vacant positions. When you’re not rushing decisions, you have a better chance of hiring the best-fit person for the job and your company, ensuring better retention and productivity.


    Hourly candidates are looking for jobs fast. Your application process must be easy and mobile-friendly. It should give applicants the ability to apply twenty-four hours a day from any location. Due to the nature of their jobs, they can’t step away randomly to fill out job applications. If you have an application process that’s easy to complete at any time of day from anywhere – you’ll get more candidates.

    Communication is key. Once a candidate shows interest in your organization, reach out to them. This can be easy if you have texting capabilities and automation available. Applicant tracking systems can send automated messages to candidates at set intervals in the process, so they’re always engaged. Hiring managers and recruiters can use texting tools to quickly communicate with candidates directly. Imagine how delighted a candidate would be if they received a text message immediately upon submitting their application.

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    And don’t let the length of your application deter candidates. If your application takes more than 10 minutes to complete, reduce its length. Then consider using other pre-screening methods such as one-way video interviewing to help you quickly gain insights into candidates. Additional pre-screening methods give you an understanding of your candidates that you just can’t get from an application or even a telephone screening.

    A short application combined with a pre-recorded video interview creates a hiring process that saves both candidates’ and managers’ time. It cuts down on the number of in-person interviews later in the process.

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    Hourly job seekers are looking to get employed quickly. The faster you can make the application and hiring process, the better.


    Once you’ve hired great employees, treat them well. Make them want to keep working for you and your organization. Companies with a positive employer brand with a reputation for being an excellent workplace will always have many candidates to choose from. Showing employees respect and appreciation, communicating with them clearly and often, providing them with the tools needed to do an excellent job, and helping them maximize their potential will foster goodwill and loyalty.

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    You don’t always have to pay the most to get the best employees. Offering added benefits instead of higher wages and treating your employees like they’re your customers can make your organization a magnet for the best employees. Although it starts at the top, this kind of corporate culture must be present at all levels of an organization. Field managers who directly oversee employees must deliver and be accountable to employee first policies. By creating a positive, inclusive work environment, you’ll give employees a reason to provide you with their best work. The improved engagement and productivity will show up in your bottom line.

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    Worried about your current work environment? Ask your employees what they think. Use an employee survey to uncover attitudes, engagement, and overall satisfaction of your workforce. You can also ask about expected tenure! The results can help you make positive changes that increase engagement, retention, and your overall employer brand.

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    Happy employees want to come to work. They also want to spread the love and will refer their friends for jobs if given the opportunity. Since employee referrals are one of the best sources for high-quality hourly candidates, a referral program will save time and money in your overall recruitment efforts.

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    In hourly hiring industries, there has always been high employee turnover. This is partly because hourly workers are on the front lines, interacting with customers and providing direct support. Vacancies in frontline positions are immediately evident due to the nature of the jobs. Managers feel the need to hire replacements quickly.

    Depending on the job market, hiring managers may get too many applicants or not enough. To improve employee recruitment and retention, consider maintaining an “always-on” evergreen recruiting process, making your hiring process fast and convenient, and creating a positive work environment.

    Using the three strategies discussed in this article will help make you an attractive employer, and you’ll have potential candidates lined up to work for you in no time.

    Looking for more recruiting tips? View additional articles on recruiting and talent acquisition.

    You may also be interested in the following articles:

    1. Talent Acquisition Strategies for Effective Hourly Hiring
    2. The Real Cost of Employee Turnover
    3. Using Data-Driven Decisions in Your Hiring Process
    4. Understanding and Avoiding Adverse Impact in Employment Practices
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