Job openings continue to surge, as the United States has a record-setting 11 million jobs currently available, indicating a worker shortage and high turnover rates according to Reuters. So why are companies struggling to fill the void? Simply put, employee demands have changed.
JB Poindexter & Co’s (JBPCO) Vice President of Human Resources & Administration Craig Woolcott and Vice President of Talent Acquisition Lance Boll and their teams have led the way in shifting the enterprise’s approach to recruiting hourly and salaried team members across its Business Units.
With so much talent available, JBPCO has adapted and positioned itself to not only source qualified talent, but also retain them as well. Below are three changes the enterprise has made to ensure it recruits and retains the best talent.
A high percentage of job seekers quit when filling out a job application if it appears to be too long or cumbersome – often preferring the one-click apply. According to Boll, jobs should take about five minutes to apply to – following a questionnaire and a resume submission. He, along with JBPCO’s Talent Acquisition Team, always act with urgency. Regardless of if an applicant stops midway or completes the application, if the candidate is qualified, the team reaches out.
“As part of the process, we ask them why they stopped the application,” Boll said. “For the ones that are qualified, we usually get them re-engaged to have a conversation and possibly move forward to an interview.”
This method has been successful, as Boll states in 2021 JBPCO hired 135 salaried individuals, an 80% increase for his team from 2020
“Timing is critical,” said Woolcott, which is especially important at the hourly level with the number of jobs currently available.
Along with the online application process, Woolcott said that JBPCO has implemented a text application process at its largest Business Unit Morgan Truck Body, a potential pilot to use across the enterprise. Not only is the cycle time reduced, the implementation was necessary, as mobile application rates overtook desktop for the first time.
The application simplification has helped increase the number of applicants by casting a wider net and forging that line of communication. The team can then not only vet applicants, but also gauge the market for the position they’re hiring for and make adjustments to be more competitive.
“You don’t just want bodies. You want people that are going to come in, make an impact and grow the business and themselves,” Woolcott said. “The talent acquisition team has to focus on finding the right people to be able to be successful in our environment, in our pace and in the type of work we’re doing.”
A recent Deloitte survey stated that a majority of both employees and employers do not want to return to the office full time, and that a fully remote experience has affected mental health. Yet, there’s a call to return to the office.
The answer: Employers should consider going hybrid to provide flexibility for employees, while balancing the needs of the business. The last two years have shown that the future of the workplace is hybrid.
JBPCO implemented a hybrid schedule for its salaried team members. Since going hybrid, the company has shown increased productivity and satisfaction, thus making the change permanent. Balancing flexibility and the necessary face-to-face time is critical to thrive, and the hybrid environment is the perfect middle ground.
“The key is finding what that balance is for our culture, and at the same time, the balance of ensuring we’re able to attract the top talent that we’re looking for,” Woolcott said.
Employee retention has been a top challenge for HR professionals. It has become more challenging as of late, as employees may no longer aspire for a lifelong career with an employer, but look at an employer that would allow them to “fulfill their professional and personal goals.”
JBPCO makes onboarding and training a top priority for new hires. Socialization, training and development are especially critical for hourly team members, and Woolcott has found that a thorough onboarding helps leads to better retention numbers.
Following revised training methods and orientation, JBPCO has instituted a buddy system to help integrate the new team member more seamlessly. Along with that, the enterprise has looked to incentivize leaders that are able to get team members to stay on board along with team members that stay with the Business Unit for a long period of time.
Is it possible to still recruit and retain qualified employees when their demands have changed considerably? Sure, but you’d be missing out on a tremendous amount of potential employees. Needs have changed. With over 10 million jobs available, showing a proper investment in the potential employee – and continuing to invest them after they get hired – paves the way for long-term employees, if done right.
Whether you’d like to get to know more about JBPCO and our Business Units, learn more about career opportunities or if you’d like to potentially do business, we’d love to talk with you.