Corporate Eye

Tick Tock: Recruiting Hourly Workers


I was aware that I didn’t know much about the subject of hourly hiring, but it turns out I knew even less than I thought.  There are a lot of moving parts to the process, including several (such as drug testing, background checks, and physical exams) that aren’t as likely to apply in salaried hiring.  And whereas salaried employees are typically inclined to keep their jobs as long as possible, turnover is a huge issue in the hourly world–so the hiring process tends to be constant rather than cyclic or intermittent.

Other differences I hadn’t thought about:  Walk-ins are an important source of hourly applicants.  Location is often especially important to hourly workers, who are likely to work within five miles of where they live.  And time-to-hire is a key factor for many hourly applicants, who may need to find work quickly.

I also had some misconceptions.  Although it’s true that hourly workers have traditionally tended to be young and either under-educated or still in the process of getting educated, today’s hourly workforce is divided roughly into thirds in terms of age (a little over one-third for the under-25 set, a little under one-third for the over-45s, and the rest in between).  And as for education and experience . . . in today’s economy, teenage dropouts may be standing next to down-sized professionals at the application kiosk.

I gathered my new view of hourly hiring by visiting the websites of several specialized recruiting consultants and niche job boards.  The Job Magnet, a site specifically catering to hourly job seekers, has an overview of candidate sourcing (PDF) in their Employer area.  (And while you’re there, check out the nice way they have matched up the look of their seeker-facing home page and their employer-facing home page.  Each shows five photos of audience representatives across the top, and the difference in depiction of the two groups–job-seekers and employers–is quite instructive in itself!)

Kronos, which provides HR solutions specifically tailored for the hourly workforce, offers a case study and a webinar on the ROI of selection.  (Look in the right-hand navigation pane.)  And HRLogix, which specializes in “strategic talent acquisition strategy” for the gaming and hospitality industries (major employers of hourly workers) provides a nice graphic overview of the whole hiring and onboarding process.

Niche board Snag-a-Job offers helpful information in its Employers section.  There are a variety of short, targeted articles in the Hiring Library, and a good round-up of information and tips in the monthly Recruiting Edge newsletter..

But by far the most interesting and useful resource I found is “How to Find and Recruit the Best Hourly Employees (PDF),” a Workforce Institute white paper by Mel Kleinman of Humetrics.  Among the eye-openers included in this paper is a 2008 survey of hiring managers which found that only 9% regarded the corporate website as one of their best recruiting tools.  And a mere 14% listed the Internet as a top tool.

What’s the problem?  Find out in the next post.

(Thanks to Chris Metcalf for the cleverly framed clock.)

The following two tabs change content below.
Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.


Thanks for the wonderful comments about my white paper on hourly recruiting, When you get a chance take a look at This is a community site dedicated to people who hire and manage frontline workers.

All kinds of neat FREE stuff there.


Comments are closed.