Five Ways to Increase Applicant Volume and Decrease Turnover

Gain a competitive edge in a tight job market.

This article was done in partnership with Kwantek, TEAM Software’s strategic partner for applicant management.

It’s critical to take a two-fold approach to employee retention in a tight job market: increase quality applicant volume and decrease turnover. While these might seem like two separate goals, they’re more closely related than you think. As a service contractor, your overall goal is to hire and retain great employees to deliver superior service to your customers. This starts during the hiring process, and the steps you take during your first few interactions with a prospective employee can greatly impact the longevity of that employee with your company. If you invest the time upfront, you’re much more likely to have employees who are committed to your mission and vision and stick around for the long haul. We’ve identified five ways to give you a competitive edge by increasing applicants and decreasing turnover.

Modify your job application

Yes, there’s a lot of information you need to obtain from a job application, but that doesn’t mean it should be a burden to complete it. By keeping your application short and simple you increase the likelihood that candidates complete it. Include the standard information that you absolutely need, and trim off the questions that are redundant or irrelevant to the position. For example, Kwantek says limit unnecessary stress on the candidate by reducing (or eliminating) the details from former jobs. Instead, focus on job-specific questions for this position such as physical requirements and shift availability.

Implement an applicant tracking and onboarding system

Hiring for low-paying jobs in a tight job market is a tough combination for service contractors to deal with. One of the ways we help businesses be more efficient and manage distributed workforces is by forming strategic partnerships with best-in-breed providers like Kwantek to ensure end-to-end efficiency for the hiring and onboarding process. According to Kwantek, customers who use their software as part of their hiring strategy have seen a 126-percent increase in applicant volume since 2016. Kwantek also has introduced several new integrations in 2018, including Google for Jobs and Indeed Apply, to add more value to their hiring and onboarding offering.

Interview for skills and fit

While it’s important to ensure that candidates have the skills needed to do the job, don’t underestimate the importance of ensuring the right fit for the company. According to Kwantek, using an effective pre-hire assessment allows you to free up time during the phone screen to focus on more important information. This includes making sure the candidate understands:

  • The expectations for work ethic and attitude.
  • The working environment.
  • Required certifications or experience.

Be upfront about expectations, requirements and pay

The last thing you want to go through is an extensive pre-hire and onboarding process only to have your new employee walk off the job after a few days, or worse, not show up at all. You can lower the chance of this happening by ensuring an accurate representation of the position, job site, pay structure, schedule and company from the beginning of the screening process. If you have several similar positions but they vary in pay due to different schedules, make sure the candidate knows which position they are applying for.

Conduct regular check-ins in the field

For industries with distributed workforces, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s going on in the field and have employee satisfaction suffer because of that lack of insight. One way to stay connected to what’s going on with your employees is by communicating with them directly through tools like eHub, TEAM’s web- and mobile-based workforce management tool. You can see job information and locations, view schedules, send employee schedules and review compliance information. Another option is to shift from annual reviews to a real-time performance model to engage employees through individualized feedback, reward employees when great things are happening or correct areas that need improvement. And, staying in contact with your top performers helps reduce the likelihood that they’ll be job shopping in the buyer’s market.

The days of sifting through stacks of job applications for a single opening are gone. You have to ensure you’re taking proactive steps to reach qualified applicants, especially in high turnover industries such as Building Service and Security. The tide doesn’t appear to be shifting anytime soon, so take the time to find qualified applicants and give them a seamless onboarding experience — it will save you thousands of dollars in turnover.