[This article was written by Rosie Harman.]
Most businesses experience some level of seasonality each year. It’s usually the busy season when you have to bring in more help. During the busy season, hiring seasonal employees is a go-to action plan for most businesses. Thus, begins the rigorous hiring campaigns, which involve posting jobs on websites, social media, contacting a staffing agency to hire seasonal talent, seeking refers, and so on.
What are the peak sales exactly? This varies. For instance, car sales increase when new car models arrive on showroom floors. This usually happens in August. Likewise, accounting firms are busiest in winters (January to April) as companies are closing their fiscal years, and individuals are preparing to file tax returns.
The peak hiring seasons differ from one small business to another. During the peak season, it’s critical to appease your customers. Small businesses can take advantage of these trends to thrive and stay successful during the most profitable time of the year:
1: Timing is Critical
A small business should build on its experience of hiring a seasonal workforce from previous years. This would allow you to bring workers just in time to train them. The best time to start working on seasonal hiring is right after thanksgiving. Start the training, and they would be ready to serve customers in the first and second week of December.
Depending on your business’s peak sales season, hire seasonal employees two weeks ahead of time. Use the previous year’s trends as well as the quarterly sales report of the current year to predict the number of part-time workers you would need for the season.
2: Training is the Key
During the peak sales seasons, maintaining quality customer services is just as important it is offseason. Businesses want well-trained supervisors because it directly reflects their brand image. The best way to ensure that is to provide training even if they are your returning seasonal employees. They need to have updated knowledge on your products along with other interpersonal skills to ensure they are well-equipped to do the job.
3: Design a Talent Acquisition Plan
Competitive wages are not enough to ensure you will secure top talent. At least that’s what the engineering staffing agencies say. It’s important to offer signing bonuses as well. If you are a retail business, offer discounts and special shopping days to your associates as an extra perk.
Depending on your business niche and budget, look for creative ways to attract new employees who can accommodate the uptick in clientele and customers. For more ideas on how to incentivize your candidates, talk to your employees, and find out what they value. You can also run a poll on social media.
Some Tips to Ace Seasonal Hiring
Finding reliable seasonal help can be daunting, but with some tips on hand, it’s easier to make the right decision for your business:
Consider Hiring Students
Depending on the role, there is no harm in hiring students. Many young students are looking for seasonal work experience to get skills. To ensure that you hire the students who are eager to learn, you may also reach out to program directors at local high schools and colleges. Choose students with a good academic background to be your interns or temporary hires.
Companies like Walmart give secondary importance to seasonal hiring practices. They give extra shifts and seasonal bonuses to their permanent employees to handle sales during peak seasons. You can do the same.
Another way is to use employee referrals. Your current employees understand the company’s culture as well as business practices. They know what skills and personal traits are mandatory in your workspace. If they are able to refer a valuable resource, you may also consider offering a referral bonus.
This is one tip that’s the secret ingredient to successful seasonal hiring as well as to ensure that you secure the best talent. Plan in advance. The sooner you start, the better. It’s just like doing preliminary research before business incorporation. Do factor in the time for vetting and training the seasonal employees. They should be prepared to handle the peak sales.
The current pandemic situation might affect seasonal hiring, but one thing is sure, it’s not coming slow. Don’t take the bare-bones approach to hire a seasonal workforce. Act wisely so that you may focus on your business operations and the seasonal employees represent your business in the most authentic way.
Rosie Harman is a full-time mortgage recruiter and a blogging enthusiast in her part time. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington and has spent the majority of her career working in tech giants in Texas.
When she’s not helping the content team, Rosie enjoys adventuring with her two children around her home town.