When hiring for an open position, it's helpful to know more about the qualified candidates who are likely to apply. You can use job zones to determine how to attract the ideal candidates for a position. A job zone is a group of occupations that require similar education and experience.
Many companies hire for positions in Job Zone 2. This job zone refers to positions that require minimal preparation with some on-the-job training, such as customer service representatives and bank tellers. If you're hiring for positions in this job zone, it's worth knowing what these employees want and how you can recruit them.
What is Job Zone 2?
According to the Occupational Information Network, an application that provides occupational data, Job Zone 2 includes jobs that require some preparation, though not as much as higher job zones. Employees in this job zone use their skills and knowledge to help others, such as customers or patients. Some examples of occupations in this job zone include the following:
- Bank teller
- Retail worker
- Customer service representative
- Dental laboratory technician
- Security guard
- Taxi or rideshare driver
- Materials mover
Jobs in this job zone usually require a high school diploma and some prior experience or work-related skills. For example, a retail worker may benefit from having previous customer service experience.
In addition to education and skills, on-the-job training is critical to ensure that employees in this job zone can gain the practical knowledge to do their work successfully.
Job Zone 2 education and experience
Most jobs in zone 2 require applicants to have a high school diploma. Usually, these roles don't require a college degree or vocational training. For example, a receptionist won't usually need a formal degree, but a high school education can give them the comprehension and basic math skills required for the position. When hiring for jobs in this job zone, you may note that a high school diploma or GED equivalent is a requirement.
Similarly, you may ask for applicants to have some previous work experience or knowledge. It may not be necessary for candidates to have direct experience, but they should have transferable skills they can use in the position. For example, an applicant seeking to be a customer service representative may have worked in another role where they used communication, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution skills.
While experience or skills can be useful, most new employees in job zone 2 positions will still need on-the-job training once they're hired. These occupations may require a few months to one year of job-specific training. For this reason, you may consider offering mentorship or apprenticeship programs. Mention training programs in the job description to attract candidates who genuinely desire to learn and grow in their careers.
"Mention training programs in the job description to attract candidates who genuinely desire to learn and grow in their careers."
Job Zone 2 demographics
Knowing the demographics of employees in Job zone 2 can help you understand what they're looking for in a new position. The 2023 "Job Seekers: What They Want" study, a collaboration between CareerBuilder and Morning Consult, found these employees to have the following characteristics:
- They're blue-collar workers with less education than other job zones.
- They're more likely to be female and single.
- They're more likely to live in urban areas.
- They make a lower income than other job zones, with 50% making less than $35,000 annually.
According to the CareerBuilder study, employees in Job Zone 2 view their careers as a way to provide for their families and handle their finances. Among the people polled in the study, 32% of workers in this job zone said they were likely to consider getting a new job — the highest percentage of all the job zones. When asked why they want to find a new job, they cite the opportunity to make more money and earn better benefits. They're also less likely to feel confident in their job security, which may prompt them to seek new jobs.
How to hire employees in Job Zone 2
As the effects of the Great Resignation continue to linger, many hiring managers have struggled to fill the blue-collar jobs that make up Job zone 2. Research from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that jobs that require in-person attendance and have lower wages have experienced the highest quit rates in the past two years.
If you want to attract and hire workers in Job zone 2, follow these steps.
Partner with high schools
Since most jobs in zone 2 require a high school diploma, you can often find candidates by going directly to the source. Reach out to high schools in your area and ask to partner with them. You may be able to attend a job fair or speak to classes about your industry.
This way, you can begin recruiting students before they graduate. Many high schoolers feel unsure about their next steps after graduation. You can help them understand their options and highlight the potential career paths they can take.
Streamline the application process
Make it easier for candidates to apply for job zone 2 positions. These applicants lean heavily on employer websites when looking for new jobs. Have an easy-to-find, direct link to job openings on your company's website. Make sure it's mobile-friendly so candidates can fill out an application on their phones. Additionally, don't make applicants jump through hoops with aptitude tests or skills assessments. Those screenings will be unnecessary for most job zone 2 jobs.
Look beyond the resume
While you may screen candidates based on their resumes, don't dismiss an applicant based solely on these documents alone. Instead, review their entire application to determine if they have the skills you seek, even if they don't have the experience. If you find a promising candidate, schedule an initial phone screening. Ask specific questions about their work-related skills and knowledge to determine whether they'd be a good fit.
According to CareerBuilder's job seeker survey, most people in job zone 2 jobs want to have better benefits. These may include traditional ones, such as health care and 401(k) plans, but they can also include nontraditional perks such as flexible work schedules or gym memberships. Whatever benefits you offer employees, emphasize them in the job description and during interviews. Additionally, if you offer competitive salaries for jobs in this job zone, highlight this perk. Employees in job zone 2are more likely to apply for jobs if they believe they can make more money.
An apprenticeship or other formal training program can be a big draw for candidates in job zone 2. Many people in this job zone want to further their careers, but they feel like they don't have the right qualifications or experience. A robust apprenticeship program can help you attract candidates who'll work hard to develop the skills they need to advance.
Use your existing employees
Besides online searches, workers in job zone 2 primarily learn about new jobs from their friends and family. Most likely, you already have employees in your company who can refer people in their network to open positions. If you don't have one already, implement an employee referral program with incentives for successful referrals. For example, you may give employees a $500 bonus if they refer someone who gets hired.
Candidates in Job zone 2 want to find positions with good pay and comprehensive benefits so they can care for themselves and their families financially. By customizing your hiring process, you can find skilled candidates who can become successful employees with the right training. For more insights into the different job zones and what workers want in a new position, download CareerBuilder's "Job Seekers: What They Want" report.
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