Want Great Hires? Target Your Hiring Methods

If you have just one hiring process for all workers, you could be losing out on great talent.
By: | September 11, 2017 • 4 min read

Just as job descriptions vary, so do the methods used for sourcing, recruiting and hiring for different positions. That’s why when employers are designing their hiring programs, they should think about workforce segmentation, and design recruiting practices that fit the needs of each distinct group of roles they’re filling.


While workforce segmentation has traditionally applied to post-hire HR programs, it’s also important to apply the concept to hiring and adjust methods based on the unique workforce an employer is looking to develop. Just look at online application drop-off—according to a CareerBuilder study, 60 percent of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications because of the application’s length or complexity. If employers have one hiring process for all workers, they could be losing out on over half of their potential candidates because of their online application alone.

A one-size-fits all approach is no longer going to cut it. It has become necessary to take workforce segmentation seriously during the talent acquisition process, especially when it comes to how a company hires people and the technologies it uses to assess job candidates.

Tech and Digital Usage Varies By Workforce Segment

Just as savvy recruiters know where to source their candidates, such as using GitHub to find tech workers and coders or using Instagram to find a graphic designer, it’s just as important to customize the next step of the hiring process.

Technology usage can impact both an employer’s ability to recruit and source new talent and its ability to lock candidates in. Many traditional online hiring processes treat all candidates as if they’re sitting at a desk next to a phone and computer. However, according to the strategic consultancy Kelton, 86 percent of active candidates use their smartphone to begin a job search and 70 percent of active candidates want to apply via mobile.

For example, when SBA Communications needed to hire wireless tower workers, it found its traditional job posting efforts were not successful. So in response, it deployed a new strategy and started using SEO and SEM strategies along with Facebook advertisements that included an easy text code that applicants could use to apply if interested. The company saw a significant increase in applications as a result of this approach.

Hiring Millennials

As employers focus on recruiting and hiring Millennials, job applications must be mobile friendly with on-the-go capabilities. Increasingly, younger workers have replaced email with texting—so text may be a more viable option for connecting with this workforce segment. A study done by Pew Research confirms what many of us already know—that texting is the most widely-used and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97 percent of Americans using it at least once a day. Another study, done by mobile-device-care company B2X, revealed that 25 percent of Millennials look at their phone more than 100 times a day compared with just 10 percent of baby boomers. If employers want to reach and hire younger workers, the first thing they need to do is get mobile.

All Roles Require Thorough Employee Screening

Too often, employers throw critical hiring processes into the wind for high-turnover roles such as those in retail, restaurants and non-professional roles. When hiring needs are pressing and employers are experiencing heavy turnover, critical hiring processes such as screening, reference checking and onboarding may seem like a waste of time—but nothing could be further from the truth.

These critical steps can help employers make better hiring decisions and bring on candidates who are likely to be better fits and stay longer. Many of these non-professional roles are on the front lines of customer interaction, interfacing with clients on a regular basis and impacting the organization as a whole. Findings from a study conducted by SkillSurvey show that retailers can lose money when hiring for nonprofessional positions such as customer service if they don’t take the time to identify and hire candidates with skills such as the ability to gather the right information from customers and tailor their recommendations accordingly.


While each workforce segment requires a different set of hiring practices, one thing should be consistent throughout—the strategic vetting of candidates. Even if a retailer is hiring for a seasonal position, the tactical usage of references to obtain insight into candidates’ past performance can help set companies apart and boost their bottom line.

In the end, using the right hiring methods for the right workforce segments can help businesses get candidates in the door—but using consistent screening procedures like reference checks and behavioral interviews will help employers find the best fit.

Ray Bixler is CEO of SkillSurvey, a reference checking technology firm.