At the beginning of this year, Podium released a report on the state of local business. As we conducted the research for that report, we asked hundreds of business owners what they anticipated their biggest challenge would be in 2022. The top response was staffing and hiring. 

This response doesn’t come as a surprise. Turnover rates are higher than ever before—in 2021, over 38 million workers quit their jobs in what’s been dubbed “The Great Resignation.” This phenomenon has made hiring and retaining employees a massive challenge for business owners across all industries. 

Keeping candidates engaged and excited about working for you is the key to coming out on top in this competitive market. Here are 4 tips that will help you succeed. 

1. Maintain a positive online reputation

Hiring is a two-way street. You wouldn’t blindly hire a candidate, and most candidates wouldn’t accept a position at a company they didn’t know anything about. If you’ve invited someone to interview at your company, you can safely assume that they’re going to do an online deep-dive on your business. Because of this, keeping a positive online reputation is crucial—what your employees and customers say about your business online can be a deciding factor for your candidate.

Whether your online reputation is great, terrible, or even nonexistent, there are various steps you can take to improve it, including: 

  • Use text to collect reviews from your customers
  • Link to any existing reviews on your website
  • Stay active on social media
  • Add a culture page to your website that shows off your company values

2. Keep candidates in the loop via text

Are you having trouble with no-shows for interviews? Reach out to candidates by using their preferred method of communication—text messaging. Our very own Podium HR team sends roughly 500 texts a month to candidates that apply to work here. 

We want to make sure our candidates know that we care, so we send them text reminders about upcoming interviews, follow up with them after interviews, and give them an open communication loop. This way, candidates can easily contact their recruiter if they have questions about next steps or need to reschedule due to last-minute emergencies. 

3. Give candidates the opportunity to speak to your current team

The hiring process should include more than a recruiter and a candidate. Meeting multiple employees during the interview process will give candidates an idea of what their work environment will look like if they accept a position with you.

In addition to formal interviews, consider allowing candidates the opportunity to speak with current employees in a non-interview setting. This could be done during a tour of your workspace or even via zoom for remote candidates. While a formal interview might leave candidates too nervous to think clearly, meeting current employees in an informal situation will give candidates an opportunity to ask questions and get to know their potential team. This can leave a lasting impression on candidates and get them excited about a future with your company.

4. Create a fantastic onboarding experience

After a candidate has accepted an offer, send them a congratulatory text and link them to information about onboarding. Starting a new job comes with many unknowns, and immediately sending a newly hired employee information about what to expect during onboarding will put them at ease. 

If onboarding experience isn’t something you’ve prioritized in the past, now is the time to change that. First impressions are everything—studies show that a good onboarding process can improve new hire retention by up to 82%. The Society for Human Resource Management recommends asking yourself the following questions if you’re not sure how to get started putting together an onboarding process:

  • How long will onboarding last?
  • What impression do you want new hires to walk away with at the end of the first day?
  • What do new employees need to know about the culture and work environment?
  • What role will HR play in the process? What about direct managers? Co-workers?
  • What kind of goals do you want to set for new employees?
  • How will you gather feedback on the program and measure its success?

An onboarding process can be as simple or robust as you’d like, but remember that the more resources and support you give your new hires, the more likely they’ll be to stick around for the long haul. 

If you want to hire in today’s competitive market, you need to do everything in your power to keep candidates engaged and excited. If you’ve found a candidate who is an obvious good fit for your company, make their decision easy by maintaining a positive online presence, encouraging frequent and transparent communication, and giving them a stellar onboarding experience. The competition to hire is fierce, but with some tweaks to your hiring process and a focus on candidate experience, you’ll be adding top talent to your team in no time. 


Jono Andrews
Jono Andrews Group Manager of Product Marketing
Jono is a Group Manager of Product Marketing at Podium, the premiere marketing and communications platform that connects local businesses with their customers.  He loves to help local businesses see success in creating the best customer experience.

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