Your Guide to the Holiday Season (and Seasonal Hiring!)
As of this morning there is officially snow on the ground in Northern Utah and with only 6 Saturdays until Christmas (yikes!) we can officially say we've entered the holiday season! If you're in retail this means you've now entered your busiest time of the year and you're probably looking for some extra help and a team of season hires.
If you're in a largely seasonal based business, you're probably already geared up for the this holiday season, but either way let me give you a couple ideas of how you can either gear up now or prepare for next year.
Preparation is Key to Seasonal Hiring
The most important element of seasonal hiring is some good preparation. A good seasonal preparation is not only going to set you up for success, but also save you a lot of time and money going forward. You need to ask yourself a couple of questions first:
- Did you go through the seasonal holiday steps ahead of time?
- What seasonal job positions do you want to run job ads for?
- What do you want your job ads for your seasonal job positions to say?
After you've answered those questions it's time to start doing a little research. Get out there and start talking to job seekers and perspective candidates and see what they're looking for in a job and identify where those people are at.
One of the tough parts of seasonal hiring is that timing is everything. You don't want to run your job ads too early because you don't want candidates sitting around forever. At the same time, you need to give yourself enough time to get a handful of employees through the hiring and training process before your busy season takes off. While most of these steps have been mostly research based, there are a few other steps you can take to help launch the process ahead of time.
Video: Your Guide to Seasonal Hiring
6 Steps to Hire for the Holiday Season:
1. Have Career Site Up-to-Date
Make sure your career site is live and up-to-date, even in the off season. We've discovered that the best job seekers are proactive and will be looking and making plans ahead of time. By having an active career site all year round, you have somewhere for job seekers to land to learn more about your company.
2. Create Job Pages
Once job seekers have landed on your career site you need to give them something to look at while there aren't job ads available yet. This is where a job page comes in handy.
A job page is different from a job ad because it is strictly informational and doesn't actually give an opportunity to apply. The job page could tell a story of a day in the life of this position. A job page should be exciting, engaging, and create a little hype for the job.
3. Set Up Job Alerts
After you've given job seekers an opportunity to learn about what jobs they would like at your company, you'll want a way to notify them when the actual job ad goes live. By having job seekers sign up for a job posting alert, whether it be an email or a text message, you're making it easier for them to come back and apply later.
4. Learn from Previous Employees
At ApplicantPro we encourage our clients with seasonal positions to go back at the end of the season and change all of their employees statuses to either "hired – re-hirable" or "hired – not re-hirable". This way when it comes to time to start recruiting for the new season you can immediately market to those previous employees.
5. Look at Last Year's Applicants
After you've gone through and sorted your previous employees go ahead and take a look at your previous applicants. Grab your best candidates that just barely didn't make the cut to be hired last year. Possibly they lacked a little experience but got it in the off season or they even worked at a competitor last season and are now the ideal candidate for you this year. Either way you'll want to add these people into your applicant pool and let them know you're hiring again.
6. Start Looking for Referrals
We've stressed before that employee referrals often result in some of your best hires, but if it's your off season and you only a few year-round employees to make the referrals, you'll have to get creative. In this instance you'll want to take referrals not only from current employees but also previous employees and previous applicants.
A previous employee is just as great as a current employee when it comes to referring someone to your company. While referrals may not result in a large quantity of applicants, research shows that it will give you the best quality of applicants.
Those are all my tips for seasonal hiring. Again, I hope that you're already geared up for this year, but you'll find these tips helpful for next year's seasonal hires. If you're not ready to go this year, reach out to us and we'll help you get some of those last-minute hires in so you can still have a successful holiday season!
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