The Future of Hourly Hiring: Top Trends and Tips for Seasonal Recruitment

The Future of Hourly Hiring: Top Trends and Tips for Seasonal Recruitment

Key Takeaways:

  • Hiring rates have stabilized, and fewer jobs are open than in the last several years, but industries hiring hourly workers are still booming. The trend should continue with seasonal summer hiring.
  • Understanding job seeker motivations, how to gain worker loyalty, and why workers left their last job can help shape a company’s talent attraction strategy.
  • Workers want a fast and easy hiring process.
  • There are many ways to attract hourly workers. Three tactics to consider are Craigslist, NEXXT, and Nextdoor. 

Labor Insights for Hourly Workers

Hiring rates have stabilized over the last several months, and job openings are at a three-year low. As of the end of March, there were 1.32 jobs open for every unemployed person. However, according to Indeed data, sectors that hire hourly workers, particularly those that summer workers desire, are still above pre-pandemic baselines. As reported in the Snagajob Summer Hiring Report, the top three sectors summer workers desire include food service, retail, and warehouse. The chart below shows how all three sectors remain above pre-pandemic baseline levels. 

Chart Source: Indeed Job Posting Index


What is Motivating Job Seekers?

Recently, a large staffing firm, Employbridge, released its Voice of the American Workforce Survey results. The survey is the largest US survey of hourly workers and includes logistics, manufacturing, transportation, clerical, hospitality, construction, and gig workers. 

One of the report's highlights included the factors that hourly workers consider most when looking for a new job. Unsurprisingly, pay tops the list, which has been the case year-over-year. Career advancement has become nearly as important as pay, now ranking as the second most crucial factor when searching for a new job.

For workers seeking employment this summer, Snagajob’s Summer Hiring Report found that:

  • 43% prefer work that is close to home
  • 31% are interested in finding an experience that will help them move ahead in their career
  • 29% share they seek work that fits their personality, hobbies, interests, and values
  • 27% value paid time off

Additionally, according to the survey findings, summer workers value employee discounts and a sign-on bonus.


How Can a Company Earn Worker Loyalty?

The Voice of the American Workforce survey revealed that, beyond pay increases, companies can earn an hourly worker's loyalty through several vital factors. Advancement opportunities, benefits, and consistent work topped the list. For advancement, whether a company prioritizes internal promotions over external hiring is essential.


What is Driving Quits?

The same survey also asked candidates why they left their last job. For the second consecutive year, the top reason was not feeling appreciated. According to Employbridge, many respondents commented on their perception of unfair treatment.

Now that wages have grown for hourly workers, workers are leaving for more emotional reasons. As you can see in the chart below, appreciation and feeling overworked or burnt out are among the top reasons.

The data in the chart above was consistent across all industries except for transportation, which ranked finding a better schedule or shift as a top reason for switching jobs. 


What Do Job Seekers Mean When They Want Flexibility?

The flexibility that transportation workers crave is consistent with that of hourly workers in general. It’s about more than just scheduling flexibility. To elaborate, hourly workers seek greater flexibility in their pay schedule, preferring to receive their paychecks more often.



Legion reports in their State of the Hourly Workforce Report that hourly workers need access to their wages faster. 

Sixty-two percent of hourly workers express a preference for weekly pay, with 43% citing the lack of an early payment option as a key reason for leaving a job. This represents a notable increase from 29% in 2022 and a mere 2% in 2021. The increases are most likely tied to the financial barriers that hourly workers can face, like needing to work several jobs to gain financial stability and pay for rent and food. So, access to a paycheck quickly is very important. 


Schedule Flexibility

Legion’s workforce report found that several factors are essential to workers: the ability to choose the number of hours worked per week, having more scheduling options such as avoiding morning shifts, and the ease of picking up or swapping shifts.

The Employbridge report looked at shift structure and what workers currently had versus what they preferred. They found that hourly workers are increasingly interested in 4-day work weeks. 

Gig shifts have also experienced tremendous growth. According to Employbridge, workers preferring gig-like shifts increased five percentage points from last year. Interest in weekend shifts has also increased slightly because workers are not getting a whole week's hours from their regular jobs and are looking to offset this with additional work.

It is worth noting that shift preferences differ between male and female workers. Women generally prefer 8-hour shifts, five days a week, while men more commonly seek ten or 12-hour shifts.

For those seeking summer employment specifically, Snagajob’s Summer Hiring Report reports that most workers want 20-29 hours per week. Regarding flexibility, 61% of workers want a flexible schedule, and 39% want a regular and predictable schedule. Below is more info on the distribution of hours summer workers are seeking. 

Chart Source: Snagajob Summer Hiring Report


What Do Job Seekers Want in an Application Process?

To best attract hourly workers, employers need a fast and easy application process. 

Career Plug’s 2024 Candidate Experience report found that 45% of job seekers would prefer to hear from an employer within 24 hours. The study also found that responsiveness throughout the hiring process is the second most crucial factor influencing someone’s decision to join a company.

Ease of application is also essential. A 2024 Job Seeker report shared that more than one-third, or 39%, of job seekers would abandon an application if it takes too long. Application abandonment commonly occurs when candidates are required to enter the same information from their resume manually (28%), to join a talent network (27%), or if required to register to apply (18%), according to the survey findings.

Chart Source: Employ 2024 Job Seeker Nation Report


What Can an Employer Do to Create a Diversified Talent Attraction Strategy?

Along with streamlining the hiring process to create something fast and easy, employers should diversify their strategy to reduce risk and overdependence on one vendor. The three vendors below could be interesting to consider when reaching hourly workers.



Nextdoor is great for employers with hyper-local events or positions that need an awareness boost. It offers seven different ad types, giving employers options for selecting what might work best for their strategy.



NEXXT offers an excellent solution for text utilization. Recently, NEXXT rolled out a new text format. This new format allows longer form text, going from 160 to 600 characters, and includes a photo in the message.



Craigslist is great for high-volume and hourly hiring and can be especially useful when diversification is a goal. The solution is low-risk and affordable.



In conclusion, while the labor market has slowed down regarding job openings and overall hiring rate, the demand for hourly workers across many sectors remains very high and competitive. Understanding hourly job seekers' motivations and preferences for the application experience is essential to campaign planning. Also, having a diversified approach ensures a campaign has lower risk and is less dependent on one vendor to hit hiring goals

Remaining abreast of the labor market is crucial when crafting and adjusting recruitment strategies. The talent acquisition experts at Recruitics are here to help you navigate any market condition with confidence.

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