Finding Qualified Front-Line Employees Online
Online contactless hiring is the new standard for the global attractions industry, providing businesses with the opportunity to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their onboarding processes. Compared to conventional in-person recruitment, online hiring allows employers to target their job postings toward the most qualified and motivated prospects, broaden the base of potential employees, and make the candidate assessment process more efficient, consistent, and effective.
“We advertise for all of our seasonal positions online, as well as full-time maintenance and administrative roles as they become available—seasonal positions including those in ride operations, food and beverage, retail and games, environmental services, and more,” says Stephanie Good, director of human resources for Dutch Wonderland, Old Mill Stream Campground, and the Cartoon Network Hotel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “In addition to advertising these jobs on social media, our other online venues include Indeed, college and trade school job boards, the local chamber of commerce website, PA CareerLink, and Craigslist.”
How to Write Online Job Postings
Successful online hiring begins with writing effective ads for job opportunities that attract attention from the right candidates.
“We recommend the following steps to create comprehensive job posting for candidates,” says Maggie Hulce, senior vice president and general manager for Enterprise at Indeed, a job site whose monthly traffic exceeds 250 million people. “Start by creating an exciting job title and highlighting responsibilities in the introduction. Next, provide a short company history and talk about the company’s location. Follow up with additional job details and benefits, reaffirm the job’s selling points, and then include company contact information.”
Hulce’s advice aligns with Dutch Wonderland’s approach to writing effective job postings.
“We focus on conveying the fun atmosphere and experience, highlighting scheduling flexibilities, informing potential applicants of all the perks of working at Dutch Wonderland, and adjusting messaging based on our target audience—for example, teens, young adults, or retirees,” says Good. “Visuals are important too. We make our ads colorful and catchy, like the Dutch Wonderland brand, and use photos and videos of real people to ‘show’ rather than just ‘tell’ about our jobs.”
Target the Candidates You Want Most
Whether shared on an attraction’s own social media sites, industry-specific job sites, major employment portals like Indeed, or all of them combined, job postings work best when aimed at the best candidates for the jobs.
To make the process easier for hiring managers, job sites like Indeed have already developed effective targeting tools for employers. “In order to reach job seekers that fit an employer’s hiring needs, they must look to solutions that will target those who fit their jobs’ criteria,” Hulce explains. “On Indeed.com, employers can promote their job postings to job seekers who fit the employer’s criteria and are applying to similar roles.”
Once human resources or hiring managers identify a group of prospects for initial contact, they can continue the process by prescreening them online before proceeding further. “We recommend that employers have simple application processes that help them identify if a candidate fits their job criteria,” says Hulce. “Using screener questions or skills tests can help employers quickly identify if a candidate’s skills match the role and can prevent them from having high drop-off rates that occur when job seekers are required to fill out long, nonmobile-optimized applications.”
Use Videoconferencing for Interviews
Not meeting applicants in person is the very essence of contactless hiring, which is why conducting person-to-person interviews using online videoconferencing makes sense.
At Dutch Wonderland, “we chose to use Zoom because it didn’t require the applicant to create an account in order to use it,” says Good. “We try to be mindful that a large portion of our applicants and team members are minors, and their parents have varying comfort levels when it comes to allowing their children to use technology or sign up for online accounts.”
On a Saturday in March, 12 of the Cedar Fair parks from around North America simultaneously held what was branded as the company’s National Hiring Day. Large regional parks, like Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, had 4,000 positions available—just part of 45,000 positions available across Cedar Fair properties. Many qualified candidates received on-the-spot job offers via video chats. In addition to virtual applications and hiring, Chad Showalter, Kings Island’s communications director, says the park offered contact-free onboarding and virtual orientation sessions this season to help seasonal associates prepare for their first day of work.
Talent Management Technology Can Help The Process
Talent management technology is software that can identify suitable job candidates, assist with assessment process, and then track their careers while at the company.
“There are three approaches occurring in talent management technology that can help employers implement contactless hiring strategies,” says Hulce. “First, automation in job advertising is helping employers reach the relevant candidates at the right time. Second, automating screening with structured questions and skills tests makes the process more objective and reduces bias. Third, video interviewing, which is quickly becoming the new normal in this time of COVID-19, shortens the time it takes to make human connections and provides more flexibility by eliminating some of the barriers to in-person interviews, such as having to commute, arrange child care, and seek time off. When all three of these approaches are combined, the result is a seamless end-to-end hiring process.”
Let AI Ask the Questions
One of the most innovative forms of talent management technology is Paradox’s artificial intelligence (AI) assistant Olivia, a fully interactive conversational program. In the context of talent management, Olivia can be programmed to “converse” with online job seekers, steering them through employer-set questions that screen the applicants’ suitability for open positions.
“For our client Great Wolf Lodge, we’ve made it possible for job seekers to apply on their smartphones, where they are prescreened by Olivia,” says Josh Zywien, Paradox’s chief marketing officer. “She does this in a friendly conversational way, asking them questions like, ‘Can you share more about your education? What shifts are you available to work? What is your perspective on customer service?’”
Paradox can automatically schedule suitable applicants who successfully complete Olivia’s quizzes for clients, such as Great Wolf Lodge, and help setup and host video interviews. “We can help them automate this process as well,” Zywien says. “Olivia can even conduct the online interviews for clients, allowing the hiring managers to review the videos afterwards at their convenience.” The new technology has helped Great Wolf Lodge increase applicants by 400% and reduce employee turnover by 225%.
The Bottom Line
Contactless hiring makes sense for many reasons in 2021. Moreover, “companies that may have been reluctant to use virtual or contactless hiring solutions before the pandemic are now finding that these technologies not only work, but that they make it easier to hire relevant candidates efficiently,” says Indeed’s Hulce.