The 2012 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference is over, the swag has been packed away, our feet have recovered and we’ve had time to reflect on the questions we heard at our booth. Here are the top three questions – and our answers – that we heard at SHRM:

Does workplace culture really matter in businesses with predominately hourly employees?

You bet it does. Workplace culture has a big impact on employee engagement, retention and recruitment. Just ask Google, Zappos and Pixar. Businesses dominated by hourly employees can see the same benefit of investing in their workplace culture. If your culture supports engagement it will show in the customer service your employees provide. Consumers are willing to spend more when they receive good customer service (and are quick to cut ties if they don’t), so engaged employees can translate to bottom line sales. Employees who like where they work are also less inclined to leave, which can save you thousands a year in avoided turnover costs. Finally, when your business gains a reputation for having a good workplace culture, more job seekers will want to work for you, allowing you to hire only the best.

Are hourly job seekers online?

Yes!  More than 80 percent of American adults are online and, according to Pew Research, 56 percent of those online are looking for information about a job. When you consider that 60 percent of America’s workforce is paid by the hour, it’s clear that hourly job seekers are online looking for their next great opportunity.

What do I need to consider if I want to recruit through social media?

Social media’s wide reach makes it a tempting recruitment tool, but before you wade into the social media pool, consider these questions:

  • What is already being said about my business? Are comments generally positive? Do you have an uphill battle to correct misconceptions? What you find should shape your messaging if you still want to pursue the channel.
  • How will I moderate my social media channels? Social media is all about interaction. If you won’t be able to post to your Twitter account daily or won’t have time to answer questions on Facebook, social media may not be for you. If you don’t have time to devote to monitoring, maybe you have a trustworthy (and social media savvy) employee or two who would welcome the new responsibility.
  • If this is a success, can I handle the application flow? You stand to reach a lot of job seekers with social media. If your campaigns are successful, will you be able to manage an increase in applicant flow? If you’re not sure, considering using social media to point job seekers to your postings on a specialized site that will help you narrow the field to the most qualified applicants using filter questions and assessments. You’ll get the benefit of social media’s reach without risking a flood of unqualified applicants to your inbox.

We’re already getting excited for next year’s conference. In the meantime, if you have hourly hiring questions, fire them over to