Seasonal Hiring – Don’t Let It Be Your March Madness
While this blog isn’t really about basketball during the blissful (at least I think so) weeks of the NCAA’s March Madness extravaganza, it does refer to another cyclical phenomenon that can bring chaos, perhaps excitement, and irregularity to your daily routine. Seasonal hiring. It can be hectic and stressful for many companies. The two busiest times for this type of hiring for many companies are before the summer and before the winter holidays. Here are some helpful tips to make this process more efficient.
Know when your “busy” season is going to start and make sure you have enough manpower to handle the season. Also, it will be important to make sure your staff is well trained. A key component to this step working effectively is to be clear and concise when listing your job requirements, screen applicants for those requirements (perhaps using an employee assessment tool for unearthing certain characteristics), and then make sure new employees are provided the tools necessary to do the job, as well as the right expectations for success during the training process. Its okay to be picky when hiring, even for seasonal staff, because the other option is having to retrain (or release) a new employee halfway through the season. And what’s the opportunity cost of that exercise for you?
Use Hiring Software
A web-based hiring tool such as applicant tracking software (ATS) will allow you to quickly search through all applicants that are applying to your positions using various filters and sorting tools. This will allow you to use quick, deal-breaker-type questions to eliminate the candidates that are not a good fit. You will be able to more quickly find those individuals that meet minimum basic qualifications for the position, and who are more likely to fit the needs of your company. Some organizations might overlook the need for this software application for seasonal hiring due to concerns about potential cost, but it will save you time and money in the long run to make a quality hire, and an applicant tracking system can be an affordable option — even for small businesses.
If you have staff members that come back, season after season, consider rewarding them with a re-signing bonus. Also, make sure they know about your employee referral incentives in case they know of others that would like to work within your organization. Also, when you are hiring, it is wise to give preference to those that will be able to come back season after season. This will reduce the cost of training new employees and the employee onboarding process will likely be more efficient.
Advertise in Various Places
Using the standard job boards is great for many types of jobs, but with seasonal help, you may need to think outside of the hiring box, too, as some job seekers desiring short-term employment may not peruse the big boards for temporary work. Use social media to spread the word of your seasonal job opportunities, and enable current staff to easily share the jobs on their own social media profiles, as well. Also, if you think students would be one of a few good referral sources for a position, post jobs to local college job boards or and social media properties.
Whether you are hiring for retail jobs during the holidays or summer landscaping positions, seasonal hiring is nothing to take lightly. Use your time and other resources to make accurate hires now to ensure a successful business season later. This will also ease the burden of your full time employees and your hiring managers, while will earn you some points on the employee engagement spectrum. To learn more about ExactHire’s HireCentric applicant tracking system, please visit our resources section or contact us.
Image credit: Strobist: Basketball Group Assignment 2007-03-28 by Doug L. (contact)