Imagine you’re given directions to a faraway destination. Would you want to take winding back roads filled with hazards and traffic? Or would you prefer to make a beeline and arrive ahead of schedule?
Obviously, most would choose the latter. But a bumpy road is exactly what many job-seekers face. The good news? You can save them from the downsides of the typical hiring experience by focusing on how they can take a shortcut and get hired — fast and without the typical pain that comes with the retail hiring process.
Here’s the rundown: Your hiring process is most likely taking too long, and you’re losing promising candidates as a result. If you’re asking candidates to maneuver through confusing paths (like creating a log-in and password when they’re ready to apply or asking them to spend 20 minutes filling out a clunky online application), it should come as no surprise that some get lost or click away and end up elsewhere.
So what’s the fix? The answer is right under your nose: Your smartphone. It’s a portal to lightweight, frictionless experiences and conversations that candidates actually love. And that’s simple. People love simple.
That’s the way to win in retail hiring. Transform something that’s ordinarily tedious and time-consuming into something pleasant and built for the consumer. Each aspect of the candidate hiring journey should be broken down and built back up as part of a cohesive, streamlined experience from start to finish.
Start With a Text
In hourly hiring, ease and simplicity outweigh loyalty. Keeping this in mind, the goal is to get to the candidate first and be the fastest to extend an offer. Every click, window and form you put between your candidate and your application is an avoidable roadblock.
Even when things seem simple, they are often as unwieldy as the steps they’re replacing. For example, a QR code. It may seem like a lightweight solution (and it absolutely can be), but when scanning a QR code takes a candidate to a career site where they’re then forced to go through the same process as before, no simplifications have really been made.
The best option: Use a QR code to drive a candidate to a simple text to apply experience.
Text to apply is the most streamlined way to move candidates through the hiring journey and without friction. Not to mention, 70% of Gen Z prefer to communicate via text. Text to apply allows the candidate experience to be on the go and turns the application into a conversation.
No typing in URLs or trudging through outdated platforms. Bonus: No opportunity for a candidate to wander off the path you’ve paved right in front of them.
Keep it Conversational
A conversational screening process is key to keeping candidates engaged, but employers lack the time and resources to personally respond to texts.
Automated conversational experiences solve this. A conversational AI assistant can take over communication from the first text and automate 95% of the hiring process — saving your hiring managers time and getting candidates through the process faster.
Now the job search, screening, scheduling, onboarding and more are all automated. Right on the candidate’s phone.
With this process, an individual goes from a perfect stranger to an active candidate in minutes. It’s a simple and modern experience.
Mobile Onboarding, Too
Success — you were the first to extend an offer to your dream candidate. Ready to roll now, right?
Not necessarily. There’s still one more bump that could knock the whole journey off the tracks. One in five candidates who accept an offer won’t actually show up for their first day of work. Nearly 20% of people verbally accept an offer and never fill out their onboarding paperwork.
While competition accounts for some of that percentage, a critical factor is confusion or frustration over what comes next. Candidates want a simple experience through and through, all the way up to their first step in the door on day one.
This poses a problem for those with an onboarding process filled with a full inbox of emails and paperwork. What if we took the whole process mobile, and a candidate could complete it in just a few clicks? Better yet, what if the process involved more than just forms and instead helped candidates get ready for their first day?
That’s the ticket. Helping your candidates get to their dream destination (your open job position) is easier than you might think. It comes down to finding the right tech and letting it take the wheel. The endeavor comes down to finding the right tech and letting it chauffeur the candidate through the front door.
Josh Secrest is the VP of Marketing and Client Advisory for Paradox. He has led talent and talent acquisition teams for some of the world’s largest and most recognizable brands. In his most recent role as Head of Global Talent Strategy at McDonald’s Corporation, Secrest helped design people programs and experiences to support internal and external talent for McDonald’s corporate offices and restaurants around the world. Previously, as Head of Global Talent Attraction at McDonald’s, he collaborated with Paradox to bring the world’s first voice application to life in partnership with Google and Amazon’s Alexa. Prior to joining McDonald’s, Secrest spent more than 13 years at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. where he was as an HR business partner and led various HR functions including global talent acquisition, philanthropy and home office development.