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Rent-to-Own Recruiting Challenges In Today’s Competitive Environment

Written by Keven Dalke

May 18, 2020

The Rent-to-Own industry presents the same overreaching challenges today to business owners as traditional retail: How do I increase sales, drive customer foot traffic, increase web conversions and manage inventory levels — just to name a few. But one challenge that typically comes up in my conversations with RTO dealers involves recruiting, and, more importantly, how to fill the talent pipeline.

Recruitment  may mean different things to different people, but recruitment is the overall process  of attracting, identifying and selecting suitable candidates for jobs within your organization.

Here is a simple question: Does your website have a career section? I believe it should have a simple, click-to-apply process with short, easy to complete forms. This will help you continuously engage with candidates. You could also incorporate chat and chat bots to improve engagement, make sure candidates don’t drop off and, ultimately, improve the conversion rate to employees.

A website career section is a great start. However, there are a few additional steps you can take that might ease the process and encourage a steady flow of the best applicants. Here are a few thoughts to improve your overall results.

Develop a process for your team

If you have a multistore operation it can be difficult for one trusted person to recruit and hire for all locations. Creating a process or roadmap for your local store management team to follow is helpful. Also, once you have a process in place, do not assume your team will know how to successfully execute the process. In-store training on the recruiting process is critical for success.

Build a strong employer brand

Building a strong employer brand not only reduces employee turnover by 28 percent, it also attracts those passive candidates to your company over others. A  Glassdoor survey found that 69 percent of respondents are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its brand by responding to reviews, updating the company’s profile and sharing updates on the company’s culture and work environment.

Top candidates may not even apply in the first place if they don’t like what they see: 69 percent of job seekers said they would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were currently unemployed.

If you have a lot of negative reviews from former employees, or customers it may be time to work on your company culture before you try to fill any open positions.

Move as quickly and efficiently as possible

Office Vibe reported that the best candidates are off the market in 10 days. It’s important to act quickly, especially when you know you’re interested in a specific applicant. Even if you haven’t made a hiring decision, you should follow up with the candidate often, discussing details of the position to ensure you’re on their radar.

Create better job descriptions

Many companies write job descriptions with lists of responsibilities and requirements, but a study found that this can alienate qualified employees.  Job descriptions that include the Needs-Supplies approach, which focus on what the company can do for the candidate will generate the most quality candidates in today’s environment.

Although the right skillset may seem like the most important factor in whether a candidate is a good fit, the truth is that skills for Rent-to-Own can be acquired, but great customer-centric personalities and qualities like coachability, emotional intelligence, temperament and motivation are often overlooked. If you focus on what your company can do for potential employees, you’ll attract candidates who better fit your needs.

Finally, consider the length of your company’s hiring process after top candidates have been identified. Is it longer than two weeks?  Have you lost A-level candidates in the past, either because they dropped out of the process, accepted other offers, or both?

If your hiring process takes too much time, or is just generally inconvenient, it doesn’t matter what your sourcing efforts or benefit programs look like. The best candidates are more than happy to take another position or even stay in their current job.

This article originally appeared in the May 2020 issue of Retail Observer.

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