With the holiday season upon us, it pays to have a plan on how to attract, hire, and retain seasonal employees. This is really important because holiday sales are expected to increase as much as 5.6% over last year’s record numbers.
The key to hiring the best seasonal employees is to get ahead of the competition; therefore, you can attract the best candidates available. Quality employees are easier to train, and they get along with your current employees quicker than others that are available in the pool.
Now you can see why having a plan in place will save you time and money. It will help you pick from the local labor force, quickly and efficiently. Here are some essential tips for your seasonal hiring plan and to guide you through one of the most stressful times of the year.
1. Job Description
You may not have a formal job description for the position you want to hire, but you’ll need to have something written down for prospects to see if it’s right for them. You have to be very specific about the job, the schedule, and your expectations. You can also indicate whether the position is only temporary or something that leads to a more permanent position. To avoid problems down the road, be as honest and open about the requirements as possible, including some of the less appealing elements.
In a tight labor market, incentives help you stand out. Consider giving a sign-on bonus or sales incentives. You can also pay for pet care or childcare services to help them cover the long hours away from home. The list can be endless, so be creative.
3. Where Are They?
Start your search with online job boards, such as Indeed and LinkedIn. Use your social media to put the word out that you’re looking for seasonal help. Your customers are a great resource, so place signs in your store asking if they want a job, or if they know someone who does.
It’s important to remember when you find a candidate that you take the time and give your undivided attention to the interview process. This is where you weed out the bad ones, so concentrate on asking insightful questions and learn about their expectations.
Most of your potential candidates are looking for a flexible schedule because juggling family, school, and work is even more difficult during the holiday season. They understand that they’re needed during the busiest times and will appreciate knowing their schedule in advance.
Most of the training of new hires during the busy season is left to other employees. This is good if you already have a system in place. This is a bad idea if you don’t. Your employees will be busy enough with their duties, so placing them in charge of training others may create bad feelings or resentment. Take the time to train them properly and be available to answer any questions they may have.
Think about seasonal employees as potential candidates for a permanent position. You can take advantage of this trial period to see if they fit in with your other employees and the overall store culture. This means taking notes on their work ethic, conduct, and demeanor with customers. You’re looking for consistency in all of these categories.
Training and Support
To successfully execute your plan, you’ll need to bring your managers, team leaders, or other support staff on board. They will be the ones your seasonal hires most often turn to when dealing with customers or performing other tasks. Training them will ensure that they understand their expectations and create an inclusive environment for all new hires during the busiest time of the year.
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