How to Compete for Talent in the Click-to-Apply Era

Job candidates can apply to numerous jobs at lightning speed.

July 20, 2023

This article is brought to you by Sprockets, a NACS supplier member.

It’s never been easier to apply for a job. With just a few clicks, job seekers can apply for several jobs in a matter of minutes. This expedited process, coupled with an ongoing labor shortage, creates an uber-competitive environment for talent. Since they applied to multiple companies, applicants can be scooped up and hired almost immediately by whichever company reaches them first. The rest of the companies are often left ghosted while holding the bag for a big job board bill.

“This new hiring landscape means that c-stores can spend thousands to reach candidates who aren’t even available by the time they get in touch with them,” said Zach Matook, director of marketing at Sprockets, a provider of hiring software.

So how can convenience retailers keep up in today’s labor landscape? The answer may lie in a company’s existing applicant pool. Sprockets’ hiring platform allows hiring managers to reengage with past applicants by sending them text messages about new job openings. Retailers can use optimized templates that Sprockets has created or they can customize the messages.

If candidates are interested, they simply click a link in the message, bringing them to Sprockets’ brief three-question survey that determines whether they would be a good culture fit with the company. Then, hiring managers receive a text message notification about the applicants along with their fit score. With the touch of a button, managers can contact the applicants and talk to them in real time or schedule an interview.

Oftentimes, managers simply skip the interview, since the candidate has already been screened by Sprockets to predict their likelihood to succeed, according to Matook. If an initial conversation goes well, the manager can offer the applicant a job on the spot.

“The quick notifications also allow c-stores to become proactive in their hiring process instead of being reactive, waiting for those candidates to apply again,” said Matook. “You've had thousands of people apply over the years—and you’ve paid for those applicants if you use a job board. Why not engage with the applicants you’ve already invested in?”

On the other end of the interaction, the candidate receives a text message after they reapply if they are a match with the company based on their Sprockets score. The message thanks them for applying, tells them that they are a match and gives them the preferred contact information of the hiring manager to complete the application.
“It's about making the candidate feel special and wanted,” said Matook. “This constant stream of applicant communication is what we believe is the future of hiring.”

Join Sprockets on Tuesday, July 25, for a NACS webinar featuring Sprockets CEO AJ Richichi as he discusses how you can transform your hiring process through a few simple changes, leading to a boost in applicant flow, lower hiring expenses and increased employee retention across all your locations.

This is the final installment of a two-part NACS Daily series on how convenience retailers can use the Sprockets system to hire the best candidate and improve retention. Learn more about Sprockets.