’Tis the Season for Seasonal Hiring Tips3 min read

December 12, 2018 Recruitment Operations

Now that it’s the middle of December, you’re probably noticing a lot of new faces in your favorite retail establishments and food service businesses. And that shouldn’t be a surprise. The time between Black Friday and the first few days of January represents one of the busiest times of year for the retail and hospitality industries (and also transportation and shipping), and lots of temporary, seasonal hires are made to help with the extra work.

‘Tis the season for seasonal hiring tips! Read on to get a jump on your future seasonal hiring needs.

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1. Give Yourself Plenty of Runway

If your business depends on seasonal employees, then you already know the value of starting the recruitment process early. Competition for seasonal talent is stiff and if you wait too long to get started, you’ll struggle to find qualified candidates.

2. Pump Up Your Recruitment Brand

As reported in SHRM, “seasonal workers are in the driver’s seat in a wide range of industries.” That means top talent are empowered to look around for the opportunities that are going to serve them best. They have choices and a point of view, and if you don’t align with their needs, you’ll be passed over in favor of another opportunity.

To make sure you attract the best people for your opportunities, you’ll have to be crystal-clear about what you have to offer, and that may involve revisiting your job descriptions. Don’t use the same template you’d use for a non-seasonal hire—understand your audience and assemble a description that speaks directly to the person who’s considering this kind of role.

Also, once you start attracting candidates with your excellent job descriptions, don’t be shy with your candidate communication. You’ll want to produce a steady stream of content to keep candidates engaged with your opportunity and recruitment brand.

3. Take Advantage of Recruiting Events and Job Fairs

A presence at a live recruiting event is an excellent way to draw candidates into your pipeline. To get the most out of the experience, employ events management software. You’ll spend time getting to know interested candidates, instead of fussing with the collection of resumes.

4. Make It Easy to Apply

Making your application as easy as possible is a talent acquisition layup. If you’re not giving your candidates the ability to complete mobile-optimized applications quickly and easily, from any location, you’re likely letting strong candidates slip through your grasp.

5. Tame the Interview Scheduling Beast

Typically, recruiting seasonal employees is a high-volume affair. If you want to avoid running around like a crazy person while trying to juggle the scheduling needs of candidates and interviewing team members alike, use interview scheduling software. Instead of double- and triple-checking calendars, making frantic phone calls, and sending emails this way and that, you can give your candidates the ability to schedule—and re-schedule—their own interviews via a self-service tool that lets them pick the interview slots that work best for them. This improves the candidate experience for your candidates, keeps your hiring team sane, and shortens your time-to-fill by letting you, the talent acquisition pro, concentrate on higher-order tasks.

6. Keep Your All-Stars in Your Talent Pipeline

Don’t let your seasonal employees scatter to the winds at the end of their time with you. These folks represent a valuable pipeline of trained and vetted talent who could very likely want to work with you again. Instead of recreating the wheel when next year’s seasonal employee recruiting starts up again, use candidate relationship management (CRM) software to stay in touch throughout the year.

7. Build a Strong Employee Referrals Program

Unfortunately, there’s going to come a time when some of your best seasonal employees aren’t going to come back for an additional season simply because they’ve outgrown their positions. Whether it’s a college student who’s graduating and taking her first full-time job or a retiree who’s deciding to finally take that trip around the world he’s always dreamed of, you’re not always going to be able to bring back your seasonal all-stars. And that’s OK. While those employees may need to move on, they can still help you by suggesting other great people.

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