It is late October, and Halloween is right around the corner. But the true terror of this time of year for some retailers and call centers is managing recruitment plans for seasonal workers.
It seems every year the holiday season comes earlier and earlier, and if your company relies on holiday sales as a major part of your yearly revenue, it is imperative to have a recruiting plan in place to attract seasonal talent. Here are few tips to help during this busy season to set yourself apart and ensure a quality seasonal workforce.
- Just like holiday shopping , it pays to start early Your plan should be ready to implement by Halloween. You should plan to have your advertising ready to go by November 1st, and have your hiring managers in place and ready to handle the stream of new applicants.
- Think past traditional job boards Job boards can be helpful for advertising your position and attracting job seekers. However, they can miss the quality talent looking for your openings, namely the retired and student communities. Look to supplement your advertising to reach these job seekers by posting your positions at local schools and community colleges, as well as in local newspapers. Both these vehicles have a better chance of reaching these two prime demographics. Also, don’t overlook social media when promoting your seasonal work. Identify relevant local groups and networks, and promote to those lists.
- Have a solid training plan in place Make sure you have ample time to get workers up to speed so they can hit the ground running when customers come a callin’. Make sure your trainees are also adequately paid during the training period. If you don’t value their work and effort during this time, it will show when they deal with actual customers.
- Personality matters When interviewing potential candidates, make sure you take into account their demeanor and attitude in addition to their skills and qualifications. For service-oriented positions, personality and willingness to learn should be just as an important factor, or even more important than experience and background.
- Have a plan in place to keep quality seasonal employees When interviewing seasonal employees, ask yourself if you would hire this person on a permanent basis. Utilizing the seasonal talent pool is a great way to find employees that that you can bring aboard after the season, or later in the year. Harness this pool by keeping relevant data on seasonal employees, documenting their interest in working past the holiday season. Having a solid database tool to capture seasonal applicant data can be a great way to mine future talent.
- Have a strong communication system in place This goes hand in hand with the above suggestion. Maintaining an effective communication process with seasonal applicants and employees can be a great way of staying connected to workers you would like to hire after they graduate, or retire.
- Do your seasonal workers look like they belong? Making sure that seasonal workers fit the company culture is important not only from an organizational standpoint, but also from a customer relations perspective. You will want to make it extremely difficult for customers to be able tell the difference between permanent and seasonal employees. Effective job training can make all the difference here, and will help the bottom line of your company not only for this particular Holiday season, but also for the upcoming sales year.
It is never too early to start focusing on seasonal employment strategies. Once you have a process in place, make sure you monitor the effectiveness of each of these areas. Make sure you can quantify each factor so your overall plan can be adapted and improved. Doing this can help ensure that the only fear and terror you experience during this time will be on Halloween, and not the hiring season afterward.
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