The CStore Decisions/Humetrics 15th annual HR Benchmarking Survey found that employee referrals have reclaimed the No. 1 position as the most effective recruiting tool. Referrals have long been a valuable source of high-quality, cost-effective candidates, leading to faster hiring and better retention rates.
Employee referrals tend to be high-quality candidates because they have been recommended by someone who knows the company and the job requirements well and believes the candidate is a good fit.
Craigslist (less than 5%), job fairs (4%) and the local newspaper (less than 2%) ranked among the least effective recruiting tools, according to respondents.
A surprising 49% of retailers reported that they are not using any incentives or referral rewards at this time. Of those who do offer these perks, about 40% find them moderately to highly effective.
To better attract new talent, 87% said their starting wage in 2022 went up, and no retailers reported that their wage decreased. Some 11% of retailers reported that their chain’s starting wage stayed the same, while 1.5% didn’t know.
Retailers were asked: “If you increased your starting wage in 2022, in dollars and cents, how much was the increase per hour?” Responses included: $3.25 per hour; $2 per hour; $10 per hour; $1.50-$2.50; $2-$4, depending on experience; $2 per hour; $1.50, plus merit increases for team; $1 per hour; and 50 cents per hour.
The benefit packages offered to full-time hourly employees saw changes compared to last year. In comparison to last year, more employers offered paid vacation and sick leave than the previous year, while wellness programs, education benefits and paid personal time decreased in benefit packages:
- ↓ 9% — Wellness programs
- ↑ 31% — Paid vacation/sick leave
- ↓ 10% — Education benefits
- ↓ 22% — Paid personal time off
Hiring & Selection
It costs about one-third of an employee’s annual salary to replace and train a new hire, according to C&D Restructure and Taxation Advisory. But often, the hiring process misses critical red flags, or the organization is desperate and has to hire anyone to fill vacant positions. This puts c-stores at risk for high turnover.
Compared to 2022, online job applications are down 17% in 2023, and in-person interviews are up 11%. Conducting a pre-screening telephone call is down from 54% in 2022 to 30% in 2023. In-person interviews were the top hiring and onboarding practice used by retailers.
With staffing challenges ongoing, retailers seem more open to hiring from often overlooked demographics. Some 27% of respondents reported their chain is hiring workers with disabilities, up 8% from 2022. The largest jump in hiring area was for those with criminal records. Some 33% of chains are hiring workers with criminal records, up 27% from 2022. Of those who hired associates with criminal records, 10% reported it did not work out.
To view the full survey, click here.