In the wake of the pandemic’s devastating impact on businesses nationwide, hiring has become one of the biggest challenges facing the rent-to-own industry. So APRO did a rental dealer “pulse check,” and asked: What actions or plans do you use to attract, select, and retain good talent?
“The current employment market beats all the challenges I’ve experienced as a 42-year RTO veteran,” noted Cary McPherson, Owner of RNR Tire Express of Texas LLC (RNR of Texas), stressing the severity of the issue. “We’re seeking to open our sixth location soon, and not being able to find staff might actually delay our opening. I’m definitely one of those frustrated owner-operators looking for answers.”
Luckily, many rental dealers had potential solutions to suggest – the most common of which was referral and bonus programs.
“As we continue to struggle with hiring delivery specialists, we’ve been promoting our internal referral program – we have a referral bonus paid to the referring employee during the first year of their referred person’s employment,” said Dan Fisher, Vice President of Majik Enterprises International Inc., dba Majik Rent-To-Own. “We’re also developing an external referral program – paying a referral bonus to customers who refer a quality employee to us. But it’s still too new to know how it’s working.”
Dan Singh, CEO of Dial Rent To Own, offers a hiring bonus – paid after 90 days of employment – to get good talent, while Bud Evans, Owner of CHE Investments LLC, is offering more bonuses and more bonus cash to help keep good talent. McPherson chimed in that RNR of Texas is offering incentive bonuses along with “very high pay, a world-class benefits package, and a lucrative career opportunity to grow and be promoted in a rapidly expanding company.”
At Showplace Inc., Owner Gary Ferriman also offers internal referral bonuses, but as one element of a bigger-picture approach.
“At Showplace, it’s our first priority to hire correct fits to the kind of business we are and the kind of business we do,” said Ferriman. “We work to build our culture, because the better our culture has become, the fewer openings and less turnover we’ve had. We believe if it’s a great place to work, then it will attract others. We augment this with a strong referral bonus at hire, plus another bonus after one year.”
Unsurprisingly, many rental dealers depend upon the Internet to identify and court potential hires – via employment websites, their own websites, or social media.
“We post our job openings on YouTube and boost the video for maximum exposure,” Singh said. “We promote employee opportunities on our website main page, and we post many of our ‘fun’ employee activities on Facebook, to show what a great time our folks have at work.”
“Our best and most cost-effective source has been the use of social media – especially Facebook,” agreed Joe Romano, Owner of R7 Lease Purchase, Inc. dba Premier Rental Purchase.
“We use ZippyApp.com,” Fisher added. “It’s helped us reduce our expenditure on Indeed, while still providing us great leads for store-level and manager-in-training candidates.”
At SKC Enterprises Inc., dba Rent One, Owner Larry Carrico recommends building a simple career website connected to your main company website.
“Presenting videos of our coworkers building, marketing, selling, and managing our products is a simple solution that explains exactly what we do,” said Carrico. “All of us have a website for our products; why not a special site just for our potential employees?
“Hiring is not rocket science,” he continued. “However, it does require a serious sense of urgency, due diligence, and high expectations. Potential hires need to know we consider them essential! How promptly and professionally we respond to their inquiries will make a difference in winning them over. Reply in whatever method they contacted you: if they called, then call them, and the same for inquiries via text or email.”
“At Dial, we approach attracting employees much the same way we approach attracting customers,” Singh concludes. “A portion of our advertising budget is put aside to promote our company to prospective employees. Our bottom line is: Spend as much energy attracting employees as attracting customers – because there cannot be one without the other.”