As a retailer, so many variables can affect your hiring strategy. In a previous article, we shared our research and best practices for sourcing hourly staff in different sized markets, such as campaigning using databases to consistently have a pipeline of candidates. We thought we’d explore the oft-ignored, hard-to-fill regions that are still brimming with talent.
Why market size matters
In smaller or rural markets, retail applicant flow can be difficult due to the overall size of the candidate pool. In a larger city, you can draw from a much bigger group. In an area with a population of 10,000 or less, there may only be a handful of quality candidates that fit your profile.
In big markets, it’s easier to post on a job board and have candidates come to you. In mini-cities, towns and villages, there can be a struggle for quantity, so it’s better to focus on quality.
Get your feet on the street in remote markets
While it’s still wise to get your job out on all major job boards, we also recommend a grassroots, feet-on-the-street approach in these areas. Participate in the communities that include or attract your potential talent pool. Regardless of whether you’re actively hiring for an open role, make a constant effort to have a presence and ongoing dialogue with the local base (it’s great for hiring and for business).
The goal is to connect with members of the community who can help share information about your jobs. Start with schools and colleges, community centres, employment offices, town representatives, churches and cultural groups. You may want to sponsor a local sports team, civic event, contest or outreach program.
Besides making you and your team feel good, regularly supporting the community helps your employment brand. You want the community to know who you are, what you do, and how to promote you. So when you’re hiring, you have local supporters who can share your opportunities with their networks and augment your efforts to find qualified candidates.
Word-of-mouth is king. When it comes to hiring great people in remote areas, it can literally ‘take a village’.
Build your web presence
You’re more likely to attract younger, tech-savvy candidates with a strong web presence, especially those who initially engage and seek out information via the web and social media. For retailers looking for hourly employees, this probably includes your target audience.
Use your careers page to create a talent community: engage candidates, current and former employees, company leaders and HR pros, and encourage them to exchange information, ideas and job opportunities. Invite them to share roles with their networks and refer people they think would be a good fit.
Strong retailers like Home Depot often hire in both remote communities and urban markets. Their careers page showcases their brand, culture, customer expectations, and what they offer their employees (such as training, career progression, events and benefits). They also invite potential candidates to join their ‘talent community’ (ie. their pool or database) if they aren’t yet ready to apply. That way, they have interested candidate contact information on record for possible openings down the road.
Your own digital platforms can offer candidates behind-the-scenes information about your organization, employees and company culture. Creating blogs, contests and discussions on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram are also effective ways to keep talent communities engaged.
Mindfield helps retailers develop sourcing strategies to find top candidates in markets of any size. Get in touch!
Mindfield is a Recruitment Outsourcing solutions provider that partners with companies to create powerful hourly workforces. Our solutions combine a recruitment team, simple to use technology and a data-driven hiring strategy that promises to improve the quality of your hourly workforce. This approach focuses on tying business outcomes such as sales performance, tenure, and engagement to the selection, hiring and measurement of quality candidates.