Charter aims to juice hiring as it works to fill 3,000 roles

Charter Spectrum broadband
Charter initially tested a new job search tool internally with approximately 2,600 employees. (Charter Communications)

Charter Communications rolled out a new tool to help match potential employees with the right role, aiming to streamline the hiring process and gain an advantage in what one executive characterized as a tight job market.

The company noted in a recent press release it is currently working to fill around 3,000 positions, including retail, sales, customer service and field technician roles. That figure also includes positions related to Charter’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) projects.

Seth Feit, Charter’s group VP of talent, told Fierce this number isn’t necessarily anything out of the ordinary, even with the RDOF roles factored in, stating “we have a lot of open positions on a pretty regular basis.” The thing that’s unique about its current situation is actually the job market itself, he said.

“Our candidate flow is lower than it was last year this time,” he said, noting Charter continued to hire apace even during the pandemic. “We’re down about 21% on our views on our website and about 11% down in applicants that are applying for jobs. So that to me is a tighter labor market than it was before.”

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Feit said Charter’s position reflects a nationwide trend. Indeed, a jobs report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier this month showed the economy added 266,000 non-farm payroll employees in April, a steep drop from gains of 770,000 in March and 536,000 in February. The government noted growth was fueled by hiring in the leisure and hospitality markets, as well as “other services” and local government education, with retail down and construction unchanged.

The executive said Charter’s $18 minimum wage has given it a leg up, especially in rural markets. And Feit said he is optimistic the company’s planned increase to a $20 minimum next year will provide a similar boost in urban markets so pay constraints are less of a factor in hiring.

But Charter recently made another move to juice hiring with the rollout of “Spectrum Fit Finder,” a job search tool designed to help connect employees with the roles they’re looking for and maybe even some they hadn’t thought of themselves.

“It’s matchmaking,” he explained. “With the job market being as tight as it was, this was a way to optimize job seeker interest and get them better aligned to roles that fit their personality and their perceived skills and what they’re good at and what they like to do.”

Feit said Charter initially tested the system internally with approximately 2,600 employees to get feedback on how the process worked. He added initial results from its public rollout have been positive.

“The early data is showing that we’re getting people to stay on our website longer,” he said, adding “the average person that clicks on Fit Finder is clicking on more than one job.” In the short time since its public launch, Feit said more than 700 people have completed the Fit Finder assessment, with the tool yielding almost 1,500 job clicks.

"We're very happy with the initial results," he concluded.