The Holidays Are Coming! How to Prepare for Seasonal Hiring

Does the holiday season bring you stress every year, due to understaffing? Are you in charge of keeping critical projects running on schedule but are losing employees to holiday-related time off? If you didn’t include holiday hiring plans in your yearly projections, now is the time to do it!

How Many People Will You Need?

Your first step should be to perform a workforce planning schedule that covers the weeks when full-time employees tend to take vacation days. Have your seasonal employees start in the fall, to give them time to get up to speed, then try to keep them on until a week or so after the holidays end. That will give them time to complete projects or update your regular workers when they return.

Next, think specifically about your recruiting and hiring needs. Here are three best practices for high-volume seasonal recruiting:

  1. Understand the types of candidates you are seeking. This includes knowing what kind of employee you want to hire, as well as the talent pool you will be sourcing from. If your idea of the “perfect” candidate is clearly defined, you will have an easier time sorting through potential new employees. Having all of the variables clearly defined will provide you with a smoother high-volume hiring process.
  2. Ensure you have filled all of the gaps in your organization. This is especially true for back-office tasks and process roles.
  3. Choose the best assessment tools. Whether you will have candidates complete computer testing, or a simulated work environment, test and assess each tool before you begin the hiring process. High-volume recruiting requires a large number of just about everything: recruiters, paperwork, computers, and tests – make sure that whatever assessment tools you are using, you have it fully tested and ready to go before you begin hiring.

Where Can You Find the People You Need?

The fastest and easiest way is to use a qualified temporary staffing agency. If you don’t have a relationship with one already, contact colleagues and other professionals with whom you network to get references or recommendations. They can quickly provide prescreened candidates with the experience and flexibility that you need. Make sure you ask questions about their ability to meet your needs. If you need to hire a large number of people at one time, ensure the agency has the necessary resources and expertise to fulfill your order.

If you have to conduct the search for seasonal employees yourself, here are a few ideas on how to find them:

  • Take out an advertisement in the local newspaper — not in the classifieds, but in the most popular section of the paper. Even a small ad with your logo and a short but bold headline will attract reader attention. Be sure to include all of your contact information, including your website’s URL.
  • Use your website. Your website is one of the most effective ways to attract qualified job candidates because visitors are already interested in your company. Capitalize on visitor traffic and promote your seasonal job openings today.
  • Use social media. Promote your openings on any social media network or forum you participate in. Social media sites are a terrific way to quickly and readily reach out to those looking for temporary work.

Give yourself a gift — by planning ahead, you can avoid the stress of an understaffed holiday season!

Leave a Reply