If you haven’t started your seasonal recruiting for the 2016 holiday season, you’re way behind the grade all ready. Many large and medium sized retailers have been flooding Monster.com and other recruitment sites for weeks now. Others report they’ve been accepting applications and actively interviewing candidates since mid-to-late September.
Recruiting is tough at the best of times, when you have the time and resources to wait for just the right prospect to walk through those doors. When it comes to the big holiday rush, where most businesses make a large chunk of their yearly income, you really have to up your recruiting game in order to make the most of the season.
1. Recruit seasonal employees through existing staff.
It’s a given that just because your most trusted employee recommends someone for a job, there’s a good chance that recommendation won’t end up working out. The biggest advantage to hiring through your existing staff is that:
- The new hire will be more likely to work within the company’s set of rules and guidelines. They’re friend/family member’s reputation at work is on the line, after all.
- You get the confidence of knowing the new hire will get along well with the person who recommended them, and will integrate with the existing staff faster because of their inside connection.
Recruiting through your existing employees also saves money on ‘Now Hiring’ signs, radio spots, and time spent on the phone pre-qualifying and playing phone tag with applicants.
2. Leverage your loyal customer base for potential seasonal hires.
Hey, they might have a job all ready. Perhaps they’re ‘too good’ to work at your restaurant or retail outlet. Still, there’s nothing wrong with asking those customers with whom you’ve developed a relationship with over the course of running your business if they want a job.
If they’re loyal customers, that means they like the business. Why wouldn’t they want to work for you? People get cash-strapped during the holidays and may appreciate an extra part-time job to pay for all of Santa’s presents!
3. Send out daily social media blasts welcoming applications.
This should be a dead-given at this point. You can talk to your employees, pitch your existing customers, even stand on the street in front of the business offering a $100 signing bonus to all successful applicants. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get a massive list of quality people to choose from.
Send out blasts on your social account every day until you’ve completed your hiring. Make sure to use hashtags detailing your business name, the fact you’re hiring, and your location — with direct links to an online application portal for best results.
4. Make them an offer that’s hard to refuse.
Hiring holiday employees that will actually work out can be tempetuous at the best of times. The fact they know the job is likely only to be temporary makes it easy for even the once-in-a-while slackers to goof off while at work, take excessive days off, and even quit on you without notice.
If you plan to make lots of money during the holiday season (what business doesn’t?) then sweeten the deal with the promise of a really hot ($$$) Christmas or New Year’s bonus, payable after the employee has successfully completed the season to your standards. Include rules like no unscheduled days off without approval or a doctor’s note, and sale’s quotas (if applicable).
5. Hire people with flexible schedules.
Picture the scenario: Your new hire “Emma” has worked her butt off all holiday season for you. You and the rest of your staff are really happy with her, even considering keeping her on after the holidays are over. Suddenly, two days before Christmas, you learn she has plans to visit her grandparents — thousands of miles away from Christmas Eve until sometime after the New Year.
Suddenly, you’re in a real pinch for Boxing Day and Boxing Week and doom and gloom is sure to follow. Confirm during the job interview that the prospect is available on key days you’ll need them, and that they’re flexible for working extra hours if needed, and open to emergency call-ins.
6. Start holiday recruiting early.
It’s better to spend a few extra bucks on increased salary expenses, than it is to wait until December 1st. At that point, you have minimal time to train new hires effectively. Not only that, all businesses have to expect that not every new employee will work out.
They may not like the job, or you, or one or several of your employees. You may decide after a few days or weeks that they just aren’t what you’re looking for. Start hiring in mid-October or the start of November to minimize turnover headaches.
Is your business ready for the upcoming holiday season?
Main Image Credit: Andre Douque/Flickr