The holiday shopping season is well underway, along with employers’ seasonal hiring efforts. The National Retail Federation has predicted holiday sales will increase 3.6% this holiday season, and retailers are expected to be recruiting between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal employees for the 2016 winter holiday season. As stores get slammed with business and the need for extra help persists among employers, it’s easy to get lazy with the hiring process. You don’t want hire just anyone, however, and it’s important you follow the right procedures. If you take certain steps and plan ahead in your hiring efforts, your business is likely to have a smoother holiday season. Here are some helpful strategies for recruiting seasonal employees:
1) Start Early
Recruiting winter seasonal employees should start way before Thanksgiving, or even Halloween. In order to ensure finding the right talent and smooth training for seasonal employees, it’s best to start interviewing and hiring around August or September, and keep an eye out for potential seasonal help year-round.
2) Create a thorough training system for seasonal employees
When recruiting seasonal employees, it’s smart to create a detailed and thorough onboarding process to enhance your company’s profits and success, especially if you are hiring seasonal help in large volumes. Simply throwing seasonal employees into their new roles without proper training can hurt your company’s customer service quality and seasonal sales numbers.
3) Look into groups of the population most likely looking for seasonal work
When recruiting winter seasonal employees, it helps to pay special attention to groups such as college students and retirees, who are more likely candidates for seasonal jobs. Most people that fall into these categories aren’t looking for full-time work, but would like to get out of the house and bring in some extra income.
4) Pay attention to potential permanent employees
While much of the seasonal staff you bring on will only be working with you for the holidays, some are likely to be in the market for full-time jobs. Seasonal employees are a great way to find permanent talent for your company, since you can get an idea of how they perform before you bring them on permanently.
5) Get your employees in on the action
Your current staff can be a huge help in recruiting seasonal employees, since no one else is more aware of how your business operates. Encourage your permanent employees to help you look for seasonal help through avenues such as word of mouth and social media. If you are hiring seasonal employees in large volumes, it might also be a good idea to bring employees into the interviewing process as well. Another plus is that if your permanent employees refer people that they think they would work best with to fill seasonal positions, you are looking at a more harmonious holiday season. To help motivate your staff to assist with recruiting seasonal employees, you can offer rewards such as bonuses, free lunches, gift cards or paid time off.
6) Realize some seasonal employees won’t work out
While it’s best to start recruiting seasonal employees early, many businesses will find that their hiring efforts must continue through November or even December, since some seasonal employees are likely to quit or be let go. So even if it looks like you have filled every seasonal role with strong talent, keep accepting job applications to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.
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Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.