Climbing the Career Ladder with an Hourly Job

For the ninth month in a row, the national unemployment rate has remained below 5 percent, a clear indication that the economic recovery in the U.S. continues to progress. The results of a recent workforce survey by Snagajob and LinkedIn recognizes this development, and paints a positive picture of the overall employment situation.

Snagajob CEO Peter Harrison says the company's research highlights encouraging trends for hourly workers and managers.

"With a low unemployment rate, and a dramatic spike in the amount of open hourly positions and jobs, it's a job seeker's market right now," he stated. "As the competition between employers increase, this data helps hourly employers understand what workers want out of a job to help improve recruitment, improve engagement and reduce turnover."

Advancing your career in an hourly job

Based on Snagajob's research and engagement with 75 million hourly workers and nearly a half a million employers, one of the issues that came to the forefront was "a real need for resources to guide hourly workers through their employment journey," Harrison noted.

The workforce survey analyzed 16 business sectors and examined issues like employee engagement and how long it takes to get hired and promoted. It also provided insights on career growth opportunities and the advantages of having a well-rounded skillset.

The path to promotion

Among the skills that help workers advance in restaurant and retail careers are a basic understanding of finance, management and new store development skills. The restaurant industry tends to provide a faster path to managerial roles than retail, although, statistically, hourly workers in beverage, crafts and furniture businesses get promoted to managerial jobs the fastest.

Some specialized knowledge is necessary to advance in management positions, but a business education can help applicants gain a foundation and competitive edge for moving on to higher-level jobs.

Why recruiting skills matter

The ability to recruit and retain staff is the most universally valuable skillset in the restaurant and retail sector. The survey results also suggest that management candidates and trainees who show initiative in learning skills like recruiting, hiring, employee scheduling, staff development, and employee relations boost their chances for promotions. Other strengths that lead to career advancement and management opportunities include financial forecasting ability, operations management potential, and a proactive attitude toward improving bottom-line profits.

Getting hired quickly

Since financial need is often a primary motivator among hourly workers seeking employment, one of the metrics Snagajob focused on is hiring speed. As the report states, "For many hourly workers, getting a job quickly is the difference between being able to pay the bills or not."

On the average, the turnaround time for restaurant hiring is several days less than that of retail businesses. Restaurants average 15 to 27 days between the date of an application and the resulting job offer. The average lead time for retail stores is 33 days. One of the key takeaways in the report is that faster results can sometimes be produced by targeting certain types of businesses.

"If you're looking to get hired quickly, the data shows sandwich shops, sports stores and casual dining restaurants are your best bets – they hire the fastest among the 16 sectors we analyzed," said the report.

By focusing on objectives like increasing operational efficiency, improving training procedures, and developing practical marketing ideas for the business, hourly workers can position themselves for promotions, recognition, and upward mobility in their careers.

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