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Top 3 Recruiting Mistakes High-Turnover Industries Make 

November 17th, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Anna Noa

It’s no secret by now – recruiting and hiring today are TOUGH. The 2020 pandemic drastically changed the way jobs are viewed, and now HR professionals are having to adapt to new applicant expectations in order to secure a quality employee.  

High-turnover industries like restaurants & hospitality, manufacturing, and caregiving have been some of the hardest hit. With the increasing availability of remote work and the ease of starting a side hustle, finding and retaining workers is harder than ever.  

So, what can you do to improve your chances of landing that next-lasting hire? Today, we’ll discuss the top recruiting mistakes we see in high-turnover industries, as well as a few of the steps you can take to improve your process.  

The Shifting Recruiting Landscape 

Depending on your age, you probably remember a time when getting a job was a multi-step, several-week process. You’d submit your application and then have a phone interview. If you did well with that, you’d be invited on-site for an initial interview and maybe asked to complete some sort of assessment. And finally, after reviewing several candidates, they’d call you in for one final interview with your direct-report-to-be and hopefully, within a week of that interview, send you an offer letter.  

Well, today’s job seekers won’t stand for that dilly-dallying, especially when it comes to entry-level or associate-level positions. With the market as competitive as it is, applicants have multiple options at their fingertips. With a growing number of remote jobs available, job seekers are not just looking for something to pay the bills, but rather a place where they feel valued and respected from the get-go. And if they don’t hear back from you for an interview within a day or two of applying, you’ve lost them to your faster, more automated competitor.  

To keep up with these changing expectations, employers must shift their mindset and recognize the importance of creating an attractive and efficient recruiting process that respects the candidate’s time and investment.  

“It’s not their job to make sure you have staff. It’s your job.”

- Rachel Gartner*, Owner & Founder of CareWork 

Recruiting Mistakes to Avoid 

Hiring and recruiting is one of those business processes that can fall into the “but we’ve always done it that way....” trap. But as we’ve already discussed, times are a-changin'. Here are a few mistakes high-turnover businesses make in their recruiting processes.

Extra Steps Before an Interview 

Your candidates have a lot of options these days, so it’s crucial to have a simple and efficient hiring process. Do you ask for additional things between your phone screen and in-person interview? If so, consider having them complete that assessment or additional form when they’re at your office for the interview. Having a couple of interviews might be necessary, but reducing the number of extra hoops your applicant has to jump through will only increase the number of applicants who make it to that final stage.  

“People don’t do it not because they’re not good people, but because they’re busy and already got a job offer somewhere else.”

- Rachel Gartner*, Owner & Founder of CareWork 

Asking Applicants to Pay for Certifications 

Depending on your industry, there may be certifications your new hires are required to acquire so they can legally perform their job. While it seems fair to ask them to pay (since the certification will belong to them even if they leave your organization), it can be a significant deterrent for potential applicants. According to a financial survey done by CNBC in 2023, 62% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. This shows that asking your applicants to pay for a certification simply might not be an option for them.  

Not Regularly Looking at Your Recruiting Metrics 

How often do you look at your sales metrics? Although there are some clear distinctions between sales and recruiting, the harder the hiring landscape gets, the more similar they are. If you’re experiencing a problem in your recruiting, there’s data to point you to where that problem originates. The first step is identifying your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) for recruiting and starting to get in the numbers!  

Recruiting Metrics to Track 

So, what should your KPIs be? If you don’t know where to start, there are a few key parts of your process that make sense to look at.  

  1. The number of applicants you’re getting (for positions you’re always hiring for) 
  1. The number of applicants booking interviews 
  1. The number of booked interviews that turn into hires 

By tracking these numbers, you’ll be able to identify problems in your process. For instance, if the number of applicants you’re getting is significantly higher than the number of your booked interviews, there might be a barrier or unclear step preceding the interview. Getting into your metrics lets you know what part of your process you need to adjust. 

Additionally, it’s important to know the answer to this question: How many applicants does it take to get a(n) interview/hire/retained hire? This data may take several months to collect, but doing so will give you a baseline for how many applicants you need to attain to maintain your recruiting process as is. From there, you can refine your process using the KPI data to make your overall recruitment more successful.  

Practical Ways to Improve Your Recruiting Process Today 

We’ve spent some time talking about what not to do and the numbers you should start with, but what else can you try? Here are a few more suggestions for upping your hiring game:  

  • Be Transparent about Pay: This hasn’t always been common practice, but we strongly believe listing your pay range in the job description increases your chances of getting qualified candidates. Think of it this way – you spend 2 weeks interviewing and assessing a candidate, only to find out they are expecting 10K more than you budgeted for. Now you’ve wasted your time and their time! Being transparent about pay is a simple way to weed out bad fits. 
  • Implement an Applicant Tracking System: There are a lot of technologies out there with various capabilities, but with the increasing need for speed during the recruiting process, finding one that simplifies attracting qualified talent and automating some of your processes is a must. At Whirks, we offer Attract and Hire to do just that. Not only will it post your listings to multiple job boards, but as a client, any applicant you decide to hire can be immediately fed into our electronic onboarding system. This can significantly shorten the amount of time from application to start date. If you’d like to learn more about whether or not Attract and Hire is right for your business, click here.  

Recruiting and hiring have evolved significantly in recent years, impacting industries across the board. High-turnover industries have been particularly vulnerable to these changes, which makes it all the more important for them to be intentional about their recruiting and hiring processes. Utilizing KPI metrics, shortening the hiring process, and being clear and empathetic to your applicant’s needs are all good ways to start.  

At Whirks, we work with businesses to simplify their people processes. From onboarding and payroll to HR compliance and insurance, our team of experts loves to relieve the burden that back-office tasks often are for a business. Interested in learning more? Book a call with our team or check out some of our other hiring process resources here.  

*Rachel Gartner is the CEO and Founder of Carework, a top-of-the-line recruiting business in the home care and home healthcare space. Rachel was featured in an episode of our podcast (The One Step Better Podcast) and shared much of her industry-specific knowledge there. Check it out here