Frontline Hiring: The Ultimate Guide
Frontline hiring: The basics
Frontline workers are indispensable to the global economy, with 76.1 million hourly workers in the U.S. alone in industries like logistics, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, and food and beverage.
This subset of workers has vastly different expectations and preferences when it comes to their jobs, compared to corporate or salaried workers. In the face of a fickle economy, fluctuating seasonal demand, and high turnover rates, companies have to hire and train new workers almost constantly to keep their businesses afloat.
Corporate hiring vs. frontline hiring
These variables require recruiters to rethink the way they hire frontline workers because the status quo just won’t cut it.
To capture the attention and interest of frontline workers, your recruiting process needs to be faster, smoother, and more engaging than a typical corporate hiring workflow. So how can you get there? Let us be your guide.
How to define job requirements for frontline hiring
The first step to crafting your frontline hiring strategy is to define job requirements and create compelling job descriptions.
Identify necessary skills and competencies
Frontline workers may not have resumes packed with experience or multiple advanced degrees, but they do have transferable skills. Such skills—like critical thinking, adaptability, and communication—are acquired through learned experience and can apply to a wide variety of jobs.
By relaxing requirements based on experience or education and, instead, focusing on skills, your can expand your pool of potential applicants.
Consider the role of job descriptions in attracting suitable candidates
Writing a frontline job description requires the human touch to strike the right chord with its intended audience. Because frontline workers typically apply to multiple jobs at the same time, job descriptions need to be brief but also contain all the info prospects need to make their decision about whether to apply. Click here for a few tips on writing effective job descriptions.
Adapt your hiring process for the frontline worker
As mentioned above, frontline workers have unique needs and expectations when it comes to applying for jobs. Therefore, the frontline hiring funnel needs to match these needs with different recruitment approaches than those employed by corporate HR departments.
Did you know?
Most recruiters use the same ATS to hire all workers, regardless of the type of job. But not all hiring platforms are designed to cater to the frontline workforce.
You wouldn’t use a toothbrush to mop your floor, so why use a corporate ATS to hire hourly workers? Let’s explore the benefits of a frontline-specific ATS.
Modern recruitment strategies for frontline hiring
Hiring high volumes of workers at once can be daunting, but a frontline-specific ATS can help you turn applicants into new hires in a matter of minutes. How? See below.
Digital channels help expand reach
The working world is in the midst of a digital transformation, and everything from your sourcing methods to your hiring process can’t escape this technological takeover. A frontline ATS has you covered with automatic job postings to multiple job sites, engaging conversations through the power of artificial intelligence, and easy-apply capabilities from applicants’ mobile phones.
A ‘hands-on’ frontline job application
If your ideal frontline job candidates have a mobile phone (which nearly all of them do), you can put your job opening right into the palm of their hand with a mobile-enabled application. With a few swipes and clicks, applicants can submit their information, credentials, and schedule availability to get hired in minutes.
Don’t forget about referrals!
Did you know you have a recruiting solution already at your fingertips? Your existing employees! Offer referral bonuses to incentivize them to refer their friends, former coworkers, or family members to apply for your frontline openings.
Hiring and onboarding frontline workers with ease
Now that you’ve got your applicants’ attention, it’s time to woo them with a smooth and friction-free hiring process.
Frontline workers typically undergo background checks before they’re offered a position, but not all background checks are created equal. To develop a screening program you feel confident in, click here to learn more about background check red flags you should pay attention to.
Whether your frontline jobs require in-person interviews, one-to-one video interviews, or one-way video interviews, a frontline ATS can help you schedule and conduct these conversations automatically.
The frontline hiring experience doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) stop once the offer has been accepted. Guide your new hires through an educational onboarding process so they know exactly what to expect on day one.
Legal considerations for frontline hiring
Hiring frontline workers comes with a slew of legal considerations hiring teams need to keep in mind, especially with the advent of artificial intelligence, which is already seeing widespread use for high volume hiring. Before launching your frontline hiring plan of action, brush up on the latest AI laws, frontline worker regulations, and best practices to use available technology most effectively.
Frontline hiring strategies in action
What does frontline hiring look like in the real world? See how some of our customers have adapted their hiring processes to cater to frontline workers.
Laundryheap: Candidate empowerment
Empowering candidates to schedule an interview time that works best for them has drastically reduced the back-and-forth between the recruiting team and candidates. Candidates can also cancel or reschedule interviews from their end, simplifying the hiring process even further and allowing the Laundryheap team to onboard high volumes of candidates quickly. In total, the Laundryheap team has seen a 50% decrease in time-to-hire.
Fetch: The necessity of speed for high volume hiring
“Applicants need to be able to apply quickly,” said Nick Prijic, Driver Operations Leader at Fetch. And on the recruiter side, “They have to be able to handle the volume that’s going to come with thousands of applicants weekly, without having to manually move applicants through the pipeline.”
Stitch Fix: Addressing low recruiter headcount with automation
“Like a lot of companies, you’re approved to hire a certain number of people but you don’t have anyone to hire them,” said Pike. “Fountain could come in and act as that automated tool while we got our centralized recruiting team up and running.”
Remarkable People Solutions: Diverse hiring methods and juggling multiple applicants
Not all businesses should hire exactly the same way, and even regions within businesses may need to hire differently. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t effective with frontline hiring.
“Quality candidates definitely want a streamlined application process without a lot of fluff because they’re probably applying to a couple of different industry leaders.” — Carlie Lockey, Founder and CEO of Remarkable People Solutions
Bojangles: Retaining the human connection
It’s easy to lose candidates when the human connection is missing, so Bojangles concentrated on keeping that human touch as part of the process, thereby improving the candidate experience.
Once a candidate has scheduled an interview, Bojangles automatically plays a video that has been prerecorded by the general manager of that specific location. In the video, the GM welcomes the applicant to the process and expresses their excitement about speaking further about the job opportunity. By prioritizing the candidate experience and maintaining the human connection, applications tend to stay engaged in the process and are less likely to drop off or ghost the hiring manager.