How Retailers Can Leverage Technology in Their Recruiting Strategies: Part 1

Author Nico Roberts Date Mar 09 2021

Let’s take a look into digital transformation, specifically within the realm of talent acquisition. We’ll dive into some of the tools, technologies, and tactics that leaders within the retail hiring space are utilizing to drive their pipelines. 

These tactics are specifically focused on companies that conduct high volume hiring. If you need to hire more store associates, warehouse workers, logistics personnel, or anyone else working in the field, these are strategies that will be applicable to you. 

The events 2020 contributed to the acceleration of digital transformation. 

Last year was a tough one for retail, with thousands of store closures. While stores weren’t allowed to operate normally, they couldn’t completely shut down operations without going bankrupt. 

The health crisis forced retailers to adapt both for the consumer, as well as the employee.

When talking with a variety of talent acquisition leaders, the major roadblock for their company in 2020 wasn’t the adoption of new consumer interfaces, but rather: how do I hire 5,000-10,000 employees in these conditions? 

New consumer experiences

The way in which consumers interacted with stores opened up a set of new opportunities for the workforce. Organizations may need to hire more employees for: 

  • Curbside pickup
  • Mask disbursement and temperature checks 
  • Sanitation 
  • Leadership (new roles require training and development)

This has brought real opportunities, as well as some challenges to the Talent Acquisition side. How do you hire employees for these brand new positions? 

Companies with digital infrastructure in place adjusted relatively well

While the various companies we work with all went through their challenges, but they were able to adapt to the new working conditions for both the consumer and employee side.

Already having the digital infrastructure in place for their recruiting teams, they were able to quickly adjust their hiring practices to cater to a remote working environment.

Leaders in Retail, Logistics, Healthcare, and a variety of other industries are all identifying how new technologies can positively impact their business. 

Video interviewing became the new norm

We saw a 68% increase in video interviews in 2020 among our customers. These are broken down into two different types of interview. 

One is the traditional zoom or google hangout video interview. These provide more of the human connection you would get from an in person interview, while allowing both the interviewer and prospect to participate from a location of their choosing. 

The other is what we call asynchronous video interviewing. These are especially utalized when you’re hiring a high volume of workers. As part of the applicants screening process asking them to record a 45 second video, promoted with a question. 

Text to apply combines employer branding with new applicant streams 

This is something enterprise companies are beginning to deploy. You give applicants a shortcode and enable them to apply for a role, without having to go to any websites. 

We’ve found that the easier you can make it for these job seekers to apply and get started with the interview process, that opens up the opportunity to keep that person engaged longer.

Smartphones are a staple of today’s society. The average person spends around 5.4 hours per day on their smartphones. This new applicant funnel allows you to meet these applicants where they are, and connect with them. We’ve seen similar digital approaches utilized in the restaurant space, with a surge QR code menus. 

Part 2 of this 2 part series will be shared next Monday, March 15th. In the meantime, browse some of our other content below:


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About the Author

Chief Business Officer

Nico Roberts

Nico Roberts is the CBO (and employee #3) at Fountain. He has worked with many global Fortune 1000 companies, helping them standardize and scale their high volume operations and hiring practices.