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3 top interview questions for hiring hourly employees

Hiring new employees can be a time-intensive, frustrating process.

You’ve heard the statistics: One bad hourly hire can cost a business up to $7,000, according to The U.S. Labor Department. Hourly employee turnover rates can run more than 110 percent in many industries.

Here’s how to change those numbers.

Ask these three key questions during your next interview for better hires and a higher retention rate of hourly employees.

  1. Availability. Scheduling can be the most difficult part of a manager’s job. Try to find employees who are flexible. Ask open ended questions during the interview like: Do you have any other commitments? Are you available to work weekends? Can you work late nights? What were your hours like at your last job? Also, listen closely. We know most applicants will say whatever they think you want to hear during an interview. Probe for consistency in an applicant’s answers to see if they’re being honest with you. If you think there might be a conflict that will limit an applicant’s availability – such as working weekends or mornings or holiday shifts – ask several follow-up questions. Finding applicants who can be flexible makes scheduling easier and decreases the time you need to invest in it.
  2. Retention. Training is resource-intensive. You put in the hours, you train your newest hire, and then they suddenly leave the job. It’s a classic situation. But if you find employees who have a proven track record, you can increase job retention with each new hire. First off, check their application. Find out how long they’ve typically stayed at each job. During the interview, ask questions including: How long did you stay at your last job? Why did you leave? Watch out for applicants who leave positions suddenly due to conflicts with co-workers or former bosses. Ask questions such as, what is your long term goal? Where do you see yourself in five years? Sure, they might not say “at this job.” But their answers will give you a good idea if this job fits even fits their short-term goals. And who knows? A six-month stint might be the perfect fit for the position you’re looking to fill. Tailor your questions to fit what you’re looking for in an ideal candidate – and to address how long you’d like them to stick around.
  3. Conflict-resolution. Constructing a good team means finding employees who will get along together. The best applicants are often skilled at conflict-resolution. You can find out how applicants fare with conflict resolution by asking questions including: Can you tell me a situation where you resolved a conflict at your last job? Strong applicants will have examples of how they resolved a conflict without upsetting the customer or their fellow employees. Building a good team can start in the interviewing process. Find new hires who can work together efficiently and you’re already on your way to building a great team and work environment.

 

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The Snagajob writers comprise our trusty band of regular freelance contributors and in-house wordsmiths who are expert in all areas of hourly hiring and talent management.

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