The State of Hiring in Home & Commercial Services (Webinar)

In this webinar, CareerPlug’s Senior Director of People, Natalie Morgan, sat down with an expert panel from the home and commercial services industry: 

During the hour-long webinar, they discuss hiring trends in the home and commercial services industry and what employers can do to adjust to the ever-changing tides of the labor market. Watch the full video below. 

Webinar highlights

Let’s take a look at the topics that were discussed by this expert panel and the actionable advice that you can use to improve your hiring process and make better hires. 

It’s a job seeker’s market 

Employers in every industry have faced similar challenges in the last few years when it comes to staffing their teams. The expert panel reminds us that it’s a job seeker’s market. Open jobs are exceeding the number of people looking for jobs, so if you want to compete, your hiring process needs to be quick and efficient. 

One problem on a lot of employers’ minds is “Candidate Ghosting”, where someone sends in an application or even schedules an interview then seemingly disappears, ceasing all communication with an employer. 

According to one study by Indeed, up to 76% of employers have been ghosted by a candidate, and as Ryan Englin points out, “Sometimes it can feel like much more than that!”

One way to combat ghosting is by being quick to respond once an application comes in. Our recent Recruiting Metrics Report found that the average time to first contact applicants in the home and commercial services industry was 5.9 days

Englin says, “If you’re 2-3 days after they applied, they have probably already started a job somewhere else. This is because large companies and big-box retailers often hire every applicant that applies and weed them out in the onboarding process.” That means that if you don’t move quickly, you could be beaten out by your competitors. 

Some tips for speeding up your hiring process and reducing candidate ghosting?

  • Use various methods of contacting candidates like phone calls, emails, and text recruiting.
  • Use an ATS like CareerPlug to notify you when someone applies and even “fast track” qualified candidates to the next stage of your hiring process. 
  • When speaking with candidates for the first time, aim to have them remember you as someone that’s invested in their success. As Englin explains: “When you get them on the phone, create a connection with them. If they like you, felt there was a connection, and that you were going to invest in them and help them achieve their career goals, they are going to be much more likely to show up.” 

Diversify your applicant sources

The graph below shows where employers in the home and commercial services industry are getting most of their applicants and the rate at which those applicants turn into hires. As you can see, major job boards like Indeed produce the most quantity of candidates but not the best quality

Because of this, it’s important for home & commercial services employers to utilize custom sources and employee referrals. Our expert panel had great tips on how to do just that. 

best places to post jobs for home and commercial services businesses

Because of this, it’s important for home & commercial services employers to utilize custom sources and employee referrals. Our expert panel had great tips on how to do just that. 

Recruit locally 

Local recruitment can go a long way in this industry. Know where your audience is and target them there. Some suggestions from the panel include local unemployment offices, community events, and state workforce agencies. 

Old school methods of recruiting may still work, like networking with local fast food and retail workers or hanging flyers in churches, grocery stores, and laundromats. Kristin Selmezcy said that she put “Now Hiring” signs on all her Molly Maid vehicles for free recruitment marketing. 

And of course, technology can be your friend as well. DeSousa shares that she’s had great success utilizing local Facebook groups and community apps like NextDoor

Solicit employee referrals 

In general, employee referrals are eighteen times more likely to turn into hires than applicants from job boards. So how can you get current employees involved in the recruitment process? 

The first and most important step in getting employee referrals is to simply be a great place to work. If your current employees feel valued and enjoy working for you, they’ll be more than happy to recruit for you. 

Encourage happy employees to hype your company up on employee review sites like JobSage and Glassdoor. Ask employees to record a video of their testimonials that you can share on your careers page and social channels. 

You can even start an employee referral program that rewards employees who bring you great hires. Selmeczy motivates her employees with a referral bonus that they receive after a new hire passes the 90-day mark, but rewards don’t always have to be monetary. When thinking about your incentives for referrals, Englin recommends, “Think about what you can offer people as an incentive that’s aligned with your values. Get creative on how you can incentivize employees; one we see that works really well is PTO.” 

Selmeczy also points out that your employees can be a great help when it comes to accessing talent. In the home and commercial service sector where the labor is often manual, your employees want to work next to other hard workers. “Your employees know that they will be working next to someone, so they’ll be looking for someone with integrity. They want to work with people that are actually going to work.”

How to shift the narrative about trade professions 

Our expert panel acknowledged that a stigma around trade professions could still be preventing people from applying to these types of roles. It’s up to employers in this industry to help shift this narrative in a more positive direction. 

This often involves community outreach and relationship building. Establish connections with local high schools and community colleges where you can have opportunities like job fairs and career days to generate interest in your company. 

Think about how to better sell job opportunities to applicants. There are a lot of great benefits in going into a trade position like not taking on student loan debt and the growth opportunities. It can also be helpful to offer your own training or apprenticeship programs that are open to entry-level applicants and give people the chance to learn on the job. 

If you want to attract the younger generation, our panel says to keep in mind that you may need to “recruit” the parents as well. Often, parents may pressure their kids away from trade because of the stigma around certain professions. It’s important to challenge that and help parents see the benefits of a job at your company. Be sure to practice what you preach and hire for careers, not just jobs. 

Retention: the number one recruiting strategy 

You can’t talk about the state of hiring without also talking about retention. You’re hiring for the long term, after all, and as Englin reminds us, “Employee retention starts the day they apply.” 

So what tactics have brought our panel success when it comes to keeping their team members around? 

“One thing I learned when managing people is to always do what you say you are going to do,” shares Selmeczy. She also talks about the importance of getting to know your employees and showing them that you care: “Not all the people that work for you are like you, get to know their needs, their culture – in a mostly Hispanic workforce (like ours), your workers may observe different holidays than you. Acknowledge and celebrate the differences of your employees.”

DeSousa recommends the mirror test, “Would you want to work for you?”. 

Employee engagement is also an important part of retention. Create a culture where employees support each other and get along well. Host after hours employee events regularly to engage employees and help build friendships. Natalie Morgan recommends, “Incorporate opportunities to get together within the work day as well so that people are more likely to attend the after work activities.” 

Use an employee engagement survey to check in with employees on a regular basis. Don’t just sit on their feedback – use it to make positive change in the workplace. 

To sum it up

Like many other industries, the home and commercial services sector is facing a shortage of applicants and an increase in candidate ghosting. Speeding up your hiring process and diversifying your applicant sources can make a big impact. 

Community outreach and employee referrals tend to be the biggest source of hiring success in this industry. Unfortunately, some stigma around this type of labor still exists, so it’s up to employers to help shift the narrative and help the public see the opportunities that exist within the industry. 

Being a great place to work will not only bring you employee referrals, it will also help you keep your existing team around. Offer social events for current employees and show them that you care. Ask for feedback often, listen to their needs, and act on them.

Hiring software built for home and commercial services

We know that hiring high-quality professionals is crucial in this reputation-driven industry. Learn how CareerPlug’s hiring software can help you make the right hires for your business.


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