By Mel Kleiman
Convenience stores have long struggled with high turnover, but a few simple tips can help you hire well and improve your retention numbers.
First, c-stores should always be taking applications, even when they have a full staff.
Secondly, even if fully staffed, they should not only take applications, but each week every manager should interview at least two of these applicants. If you have options at your fingertips, you’ll be able to hire smarter and faster when you lose an employee.
With unemployment at record lows, making your jobs easy to apply for has never been more important. When job seekers have their choice of employers, most will take the path of least resistance. If you don’t have all of the “doors” that could gain entrance to your hiring system open, you’re sure to lose applicants to the competition. Here are some questions you should be asking:
• If you have a real door they can walk through, what hours is the door open and what will happen when a job seeker enters?
• Can they walk through your website’s door? How easy is it to find that door? Is the online application process simple and quick or complicated and lengthy?
• Can they walk through the social media doors?
• Can they open a door with a text message?
• Can they enter through your phone system?
Whichever door they choose, you’ll want to have a procedure in place to ensure whatever happens next in your hiring process makes applicants feel appreciated and gets each person fully engaged in your hiring process.
NEED MORE APPLICANTS?
When it comes to bringing in applicants, employee referrals are a key consideration. Consider giving an incentive to employees if they bring in a successful hire.
When applicants come in for the interview, in addition to past employer referrals, ask all job applicants for the phone numbers of three people they have worked with who can provide references on the candidate’s work ethic. This not only gives you good reference information but, more importantly, an opportunity to connect with three more employed people you can ask about your candidate as well as whether they may be interested in exploring employment with your organization.
If you are posting job openings online, consider the timing of your posts. Indeed.com recently published an informative study entitled: “Timing Matters in the Job Search” that has some interesting applications for employers as well. The short version for those who hire frontline, hourly employees is: “Those without a four-year degree do most of their searching midday and are comparatively less active weekday evenings. The Sunday evening peak is there, but it’s not as pronounced as with employed and better-educated job seekers.”
There are few things more frustrating than taking time out of a busy schedule for an interview and having the interviewee no-show. The main reason most
applicants make the appointment but end up being no-shows is because they leave the door open in case they don’t find a better job offer in the meantime. Surely you don’t think that once they agree to your interview, they quit looking for a job.
To minimize this frustration, during the phone interview, ask them what other jobs they are considering and add a brief sales pitch for the job and the company to your question set.
When a job applicant shows up both on time and neatly dressed, at the start of the interview, give that candidate a $5 or $10 gas or gift card as thank you for being on time and appropriately dressed. This gesture will set you well apart from competing employers as well as reinforce the value your organization places on timeliness and appearance.
When candidates are late for an interview and/or dressed inappropriately, rather than send them away, explain that punctuality and appropriate dress are extremely important to your organization and you would be happy to reschedule the appointment if they are still interested. If they don’t reschedule, you just saved yourself a lot of wasted time, but, if they do return on time, appropriately dressed, you’ll know you have yourself a highly promising candidate for employment.
AN EMPLOYEE RETENTION TIP
Add an “Employee Data Sheet” form to the paperwork a new hire completes and use it to find out the person’s favorite candy bar, restaurant, charity, sports team, etc. Then, when you’d like to recognize them for an achievement, you can give them something you know they’ll appreciate.
If you would like a copy email [email protected] with the subject line: employee data sheet.
Mel Kleiman is an international authority, writer, speaker, trainer, pragmatic business owner and consultant whose expertise is hourly, frontline employee recruiting, selection, and retention best practices. He is the founder and president of Humetrics.
Keep Your Employees Effectively Engaged
Want to keep your top talent happily engaged and on board for the long term? Want to inspire your other employees to reach their full potential? It’s easy, according to Mel Kleiman, the founder and president of Humetrics. All you have to do is show that you care. Here are a few simple questions you can ask several of your employees this month. You’ll garner valuable information and employees will feel respected and valued:
1. Does everyone seem to be on the same page when it comes to the quality that’s expected in everything we do?
2. What are you most proud of accomplishing during your time here?
3. What is the best part of your job here and why?
4. Do you think your job description has changed since you were hired and, if so, how?
5. What circumstances might prompt you to look for another job?
6. Are there any company policies you find difficult to understand? How could we make them clearer?
If you want more employee questions sign up for his blog at www.humetrics.com/blog.