With the holiday shopping rush just around the corner, retailers are already beefing up their sales teams to get ahead of the game.
Holiday hiring hit new highs in 2018, with more than 700,000 seasonal workers recruited for last year’s December holidays. And 2019 is shaping up much the same. Target is bringing 125,000 seasonal workers onboard at 1,800 stores, and Amazon, Kohl’s and other big names are following suit.
Competition for the best talent remains fierce, which means starting early is critical for a successful seasonal hiring strategy. The best rule of thumb is to start by September and have your seasonal staff in place before Thanksgiving.
Here are four essential steps for getting the right people on your team fast.
Step 1: Plan Ahead.
Assess your seasonal business needs before you post that first job ad.
- What are your anticipated sales this year?
- How much foot traffic do you expect?
- What promotional deals will you be offering?
- How much extra work can be covered by your current workforce?
- How many extra people do you need?
- When do you need them?
- How long will it take to recruit and train them?
Step 2: Know Where to Find Great People Fast
Here’s how to identify qualified seasonal applicants quickly.
- Reach out to previous seasonal employees. If they did a great job and had a positive experience last year, they may want to come back. Notify them when your next round of hiring begins.
- Get referrals from current employees. Encourage your team to share job openings with qualified job seekers they know. Some retailers even offer referral bonuses for employees who bring successful new hires to the company.
- Write clear, no-BS job descriptions. Do you need people to work holidays, weekends and/or evenings? Put that in the job description. Is heavy lifting required? Put that in there, too. Seasonal job seekers don’t want to waste time, so let them know right up front what you expect.
- Keep expectations realistic. Be crystal clear about whether the job ends after the holiday season or if successful hires would have the opportunity for longer-term positions.
Step 3: Build an Easy Hiring Process
The best seasonal candidates go fast. If your process is too slow or complicated, they’ll take their talents to a competitor before you can review their application.
- Let job-seekers complete applications right from their phones. The same thing goes for online assessments and screening interviews.
- Send real-time notifications to keep all parties on the same page — from the moment the first job ad goes live right up until the offer is extended.
Invest in an applicant tracking system that provides a 360° view of the entire process. Make sure it’s easily accessible from any device.
Step 4: Follow Through with a Great Employee Experience
Not only do the best candidates go fast, many have more than one offer on the table. Make it easy to choose you with a headache-free onboarding process and out-of-this-world employee experience.
- Let seasonal workers complete new hire paperwork electronically, from any device.
- Invest in an Employee Engagement Platform like ePULSE™ to get real-time feedback on what employees are thinking and feeling. Get insights to build your employer brand and make your store the one everyone wants to work for when the holidays roll around next time.
- As we said in Step 2: Stay in touch with top-performing seasonal workers. Send updates throughout the year, and give them advance notice when your next round of seasonal hiring begins.
Do you need to find seasonal talent fast? Contact Hire Well Now today. Our Recruitment Specialists and advanced managed solutions will help you get the right people on your team when you need them.