Our Latest Survey Sheds Light on the Top Challenges and Strategies of Hiring Hourly Workers in 2021

Even in a “normal” talent market, hiring hourly workers can be a tall challenge. So what’s it like under the current, topsy-turvy conditions recruiters face—including mounting numbers of open job requisitions, an astonishing surge of candidate ghosting, worrisome talent shortages, and an ongoing global pandemic?

Talent Board and Hourly by AMS went straight to the source to find out!

We issued a joint survey to recruiters and talent acquisition (TA) professionals across the globe and received a total of 271 anonymous survey responses from individuals at companies of all types and sizes and a wide range of industries.

Here’s a small sample of what we learned:

  • Top 3 Challenges in Attracting Qualified Candidates—Respondents’ top three challenges in attracting qualified hourly candidates to open jobs are:
  1. Wages (66%)
  2. COVID-19-related safety (46%)
  3. Government benefits (such as unemployment) tied with medical benefits (each at 37%)
  • Top 3 Challenges in Hiring Hourly Workers—When it comes to actually hiring hourly workers, respondents say their top three challenges are:
  1. A lack of qualified candidates (49%)
  2. Candidates’ COVID-19 safety concerns (39%)
  3. Candidate ghosting (37%)
  • Applicant Volume—The volume of hourly applicants has decreased in comparison to pre-COVID days for nearly half of respondents (47%). Conversely, the volume is increasing for 33% of respondents. The volume has remained steady for a little less than 20%.
  • Applicant Diversity—The volume of diverse hourly applicants has risen over the past year among people of color (31%), female applicants (30%), and younger applicants (30%). On the other hand, the volume has dropped most notably among older applicants (41%), male applicants (38%), and younger applicants (36%).
  • Top Recruiting Technologies— More than half (57%) of respondents’ organizations are considering implementing recruiting technologies in the next 6 to 12 months to help streamline their hiring processes. The top technologies they’re considering are: ATSs (31%); video interviewing solutions (31%); interview scheduling systems (28%); CRMs (26%); and candidate sourcing systems (25%).

Again, these are just a few of the insights our survey uncovered. We also have stats on how COVID-19 has impacted the recruiting process, the top incentives employers are using to attract hourly candidates, the shift in time-to-fill from pre-COVID days, recruiters’ overall satisfaction levels with their hourly hiring efforts, and more. You can read and download the full survey report here.

Business As UN-usual

As we note in the report, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly thrown hourly recruiting into chaos, but it’s not the only factor doing so.

Some of the other issues fueling the shortage of hourly workers include extended unemployment benefits in the U.S., individuals aging out of the workforce globally, the widespread demand for workplace and work schedule flexibility, and the escalating need for employees to provide child and elder care to family members. All of these things have combined to make it more challenging than ever for recruiters and hiring managers to fill empty hourly roles.

For today’s TA teams, conducting business as usual isn’t an option. Old approaches aren’t going to win new hourly talent. Forward-thinking employers will look beyond quick fixes like free lunches and on-site gyms. Instead they’ll focus on differentiating their candidate experiences in ways that make them more engaging to hourly workers … and that make it easier for candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers to understand each other’s needs.

Be safe and well.

Kevin W. Grossman, Talent Board President


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