CHICAGO — The easing of pandemic restrictions is leading to increased business across the nation, and many dry cleaners are enjoying the fact that more customers are coming through their doors. What many aren’t enjoying, however, is that their staff might not be big enough to provide the services necessary to keep returning clients happy and coming back.
In the modern business space, online recruitment is one of the best tools employers have to connect with those looking for a position, and of these, Indeed is one of the biggest platforms available.
A recent webinar, sponsored by the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), focused on how dry cleaners could best use this tool to fill out their staff. Brian Fish of Pier Cleaners, headquartered in Wakefield, Rhode Island, and Amy Wischmann of Benzinger’s Clothing Care in the suburban Buffalo, New York area, both spoke, each of whom has successfully used Indeed in different ways.
Pay to Play?
For Benzinger’s staffing issues, Wischmann has found that it’s not necessary to break the bank to find qualified candidates. “We have toyed with the paid sponsorship version of indeed, but in every case, we came back to the free version,” she says.
“Your results will vary, based on the size of the applicant pool,” Wischmann says. She notes that, in the area where Benzinger’s is located, there are about 70,000 people in the suburbs and 900,000 in the metro area. This population size allows her company to use the tool’s free version and still get the results they need for staffing.
With 250 million unique visitors a month, the job board gets the kind of traffic that allows applicants and employers to find each other. “Indeed is essentially the Google of job boards — they’re ubiquitous,” Wischmann says. “If someone is looking for a job, they are more than likely to have their resumes on Indeed. It’s almost inescapable, in large part because they do offer a free version, and that’s obviously appealing to people.”
The Free Way
“The free version of Indeed offers a tremendous number of features,” Wischmann says. These features include:
- Step-by-step instructions for job postings — “You don’t have to worry about having some consistent format that you have to remember,” she says. “It’s going to have that consistency built in.”
- Easy applicant tracking with notes — “You can track your applicants over time,” she says. “You may have someone who has applied, as we have, 11 times.” Wischmann has found that this is particularly helpful when someone steps into a hiring position. “I’ve taken this over recently, and I can see all the notes that the previous Benzinger’s employee kept on people who have applied multiple times, and that’s extremely helpful,” she says.
- Convenient communication — “Indeed has a great messaging system built in for communicating with applicants,” she says.
- Interview scheduling — “An employer can schedule both phone and in-person interviews directly from the application,” Wischmann says.
- Pre-screening questions — “You can add questions to postings,” she says. “For instance, we always pre-screen when hiring delivery drivers for certain things, such as having a valid driver’s license. The applicant knows right up front if they meet some basic requirements.”
- Assessments — Indeed offers tests for various skillsets as another method of pre-screening. “If you want to know how someone rates on customer service skills, it’s as simple as checking a box,” Wischmann says. “Indeed builds that right in, so that when the applicant comes to your job posting, they can take that assessment, and you can see the results for yourself before reaching out to them.”
- Phone screenings — Before bringing an applicant in, the employer can ask the applicant some questions through the platform to ensure that a follow-up interview would be useful for both parties.
“You get what you pay for,” however, is always the key for using free services, and it’s no different when using Indeed. Wischmann has found that these drawbacks aren’t show-stoppers, though.
“I could only think of a couple of negatives in terms of using the free version,” she says. “The biggest us is that you have to wait for the applicants to come to you. They have to find you; you can’t seek them proactively — that is a service you have to pay for.”
The other drawback, Wischmann says, is more of an annoyance than a hindrance. “Because Indeed does have a paid version, every single time you post a job, which for us is frequently, it forces you to ‘opt out’ of the paid version at two or three different steps in the job-posting process. It takes seconds, but it’s an annoyance you have to get used to using the free version.”
Maximizing Indeed for Free
Wishchmann has found that a key element of getting the most out of the free version of Indeed — especially in a tight job market — is to make sure you’re responding to applicants quickly and providing frequent communications. The best way to do this is to set aside a time each day to manage your Indeed results.
“Ideally, the same person is handling the process at your company, so they are comfortable using it,” she says. “They can just build it into their schedule and know that they are going to sit down for 15 minutes, 30 minutes or however long it takes per day.” By ensuring that the search is monitored regularly, rather than intermittently, good leads won’t slip through the cracks.
Come back Thursday for Part 2 of this series, where we’ll examine the tools that Indeed’s paid options give to employers in finding their next great hire.