02 Nov Stay Jolly: How to Hire Seasonal Workers for the Holidays
In our post on being a seasonal worker during the holidays, we made a strong argument for why now is a good time to start considering seasonal work if you are in the job market (or not, but open to some extra cash). And if you’re on the other side of the hiring desk? Here’s how to hire seasonal workers for the holidays and still keep the happy in your happy holidays.
Tips if You Plan to Hire Seasonal Workers for the Holidays
Be jolly. Or, at least make sure they are, if you are hiring for positions that are customer-facing, like retail, hospitality or other businesses that are particularly frequented during the season. You’ll want people who are tirelessly upbeat and outgoing, especially if they need to work an extended schedule or manage crowds and long lines.
Consider a professional. You can certainly announce on your company website or on a job posting board that you are hiring. But before you decide to handle all recruiting yourself, this might be a time to turn to a staffing agency or HR professional. There are several reasons why.
One, it’s already a busy time for you if you need additional help. It could be better to be more expedient with someone else vetting candidates for you. Second, if you’re hiring for a position that is usually not critical to your business, you may want someone with more experience in that area advising on your hiring. For example, if you need extra security because of the additional inventory, you may want someone with more experience specializing in those needs.
Experience matters, maybe. For the holiday season, think carefully about whether you need someone with prior experience or not. On the one hand, someone who has done what you require before will need less time to get up to speed, less supervision and likely will make fewer mistakes.
On the other hand, just because you need more help, doesn’t mean you need an expert. Seasonal help is heavily sourced from college students who are (for the most part) eager and plentiful, but will likely have little to no prior work history that is relevant.
But don’t be overly tempted by going for less experience purely for cost reasons. You don’t want to spend such a busy season correcting errors or losing valuable business because you skimped on talent.
It’s already time. If you need to hire seasonal workers for the holidays, you need to be hiring . . . pretty much now. The holiday season is often considered to start in late November. However, many of the biggest employers of seasonal workers, like Target, Amazon and UPS, will have started hiring some time ago – snatching up talent already. And the recovering economy means there are fewer people out there in the market to begin with.
Your business could benefit if you hire seasonal workers for the holidays.
It’s worth stopping to evaluate now, before it gets busy to see if a few (or, a lot) of extra hands could not only make life easier, but more profitable. If you’re able to offer better, faster service than your competitors by being properly staffed, seasonal work could help lead to year-round profitability.