Have you begun to prepare for holiday hiring?
Many businesses have a seasonal spike in the number of workers they need starting right about now. Help Wanted ads are cropping up all over!
Employers who need to boost seasonal hires to survive the holidays are beginning their recruitment in earnest.
Holiday Hiring Perfect Storm
With low unemployment coupled with the ever-increasing growth in e-commerce, how will you prepare for holiday hiring the number of workers you need?
Many well-known firms have long relied on seasonal teams to help manage their busiest time of year. But as unemployment levels have fallen they have had difficulty attracting workers to the temporary, often low-paying positions.
Last year many firms reported a tough time with holiday hiring, and began to offer incentives and perks to overcome that problem. And with unemployment rates still low, employers need to realize they must provide “something extra.” They need to differentiate themselves from other employers also seeking seasonal workers.
“Companies are fighting hard to retain and attract employees,” Andrew Challenger from Challenger, Gray and Christmas said. “They’re keeping them longer, and there’s less of this ‘hire a bunch at the holidays and dump them at the end’ because companies need them year-round.”
Prepare for Holiday Hiring Using Different Approaches
So, with the difficult hiring climate upon us, it’s time to prepare for holiday hiring using different approaches. Get creative to see how you might improve your holiday hiring.
Reflect on these tactics for holiday hiring (and keeping) top-notch workers:
Prepare for Holiday Hiring by Contacting Quality Workers from Previous Years
Give preference to “same time, next year” candidates. Select candidates most likely to come back again next year for the busy season. That could simplify your hiring for next year’s busy season.
Seasonal Has Become Permanent
Don’t assume you will keep seasonal hires just for the season. Some seasonal hires will be candidates for permanent positions. Identify possible permanent hires early on. Monitor their performance. At the end of the busy season, decide if they’re qualified for permanent jobs.
Promote the opportunity for seasonal workers to become permanent and earn health care, retirement benefits and tuition assistance.
Prepare for Holiday Hiring and Rehiring
Assume employee turnover. Some of your workforce will not hang in for the entire season. That’s a given! Prepare for holiday hiring expecting you’ll have to hire some workers to replace defectors during the season. Structure pay to reward seasonal workers who stay as long as you need them. You might consider weekly retention bonuses or provide a bonus based on production if they complete the season.
Don’t Skimp with Onboarding
Provide resources to successful onboarding your seasonal staff. Throwing seasonal employees into the job inadequately prepared could hurt your production and bottom line.
Some businesses are offering extra hours to its own existing employees instead of hiring temporary workers, which could be difficult to find in tight labor markets.
Offering extra hours to current employees or to current temporary workers instead of hiring extra staff might help. It avoids the cost of hiring or the risk of getting poor workers.
Pay vs. Cost of Living
Especially in a labor market that has a higher cost of living, people respond — as they always would — to jobs offering higher pay.
Companies able to offer more competitive wages or attractive employee perks frequently are more successful in quickly hiring their required seasonal staff.
Accurate, Up-to-Date Job Descriptions
Make sure job descriptions for seasonal hires are accurate, complete and up-to-date. Don’t just use job descriptions that are several years out-of-date. Have the supervisor who writes the job description follow an employee who does that job and update the description even for seasonal workers.
Offer bus service to help workers get to your site. This will lower absenteeism and tardiness. That will also help to lower the amount of firing and rehiring you need to do.
Hiring Attitude Plus Aptitude
Hire for attitude as much as aptitude. Frankly, most seasonal work is about being flexible and getting up to speed quickly, not a sophisticated set of skills. Look for reliable employees who stress safety and customer focus.
Retailers can offer seasonal store and distribution center employees increased wages during peak weeks and offer employee discounts on merchandise.
Some retailers will also host after-hours events such as holiday parties for seasonal associates.
It is more important than ever for companies to provide good customer service. They operate in a fast-changing, competitive market. The pressure is on to have a successful holiday season. The hiring crunch has come at a time when customers want easier shopping and more fun during one of the busiest times.
Some employers are offering flexibility in some of its seasonal positions – the chance to work from home. For example, retailers are offering remote customer sales rep positions to seasonal employees.
Increase focus on service through new training, tools and technology. Training programs will prepare them to better serve customers, especially during this busy season.
Expand Prospective Candidate Base
Reach out to students, working moms, retired persons or just people looking to make extra money for the holidays. They might require use of flexible hours, flexible shifts or even part-time work to fit their outside schedule.
Single-Source Staffing Agency for Holiday Hiring
If you use staffing vendors, give one sole responsibility to hire for your peak demand. Staffing agencies may be swamped filling the seasonal needs of many clients at once. Tell one agency that you will give them all your seasonal business. They should be more willing to give you ‘first dibs’ on the best seasonal workers.
So, study these suggestions for holiday hiring and tell us what you have done to help overcome the seasonal crunch.
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