While some businesses may already have a strategy for hiring extra staff during the busy times, others are still figuring out their seasonal hiring needs and how to go about meeting those needs. Hiring seasonal workers can be a stressful task for a business owner, but using these five tips can make it easier.
1. Create a clear job description
Focus on writing a job description that presents your company in a favorable light and provides a clear, accurate description of job duties, says Jennine Rochlin Leale, founder of HRPro Consulting Services LLC. This can help you avoid hiring what could become a disgruntled, unproductive employee, she says.
If a strong performance during the seasonal employment can lead to a full-time opportunity or strong references, highlight those benefits in the job listing — you’ll get a higher rate of response from applicants, Leale says.
2. Tap into social media
Use social media to show your business has a positive culture, treats its employees well and provides opportunities for its employees to grow and learn, says Flynn Zaiger, founder and CEO of Online Optimism, a digital marketing agency.
“We show off our culture and the appreciation we have for [employees], even if they are only with us for a short time,” says Zaiger, who recommends using images and videos of current employees to engage with job candidates. Be sure to consult with your human resources or legal team to make sure you’re following photo permission and parental consent laws.
Post on social media if your business tends to draw younger seasonal employees. Teenagers spend most of their social media time on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, according to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center.
“Social media can give them a reason to choose you over the other options,” Zaiger says.
3. Ask current employees for referrals
If you don’t have an employee referral program, consider implementing one now.
Employees hired from referral programs are more efficient, more likely to stay with your business and generate 25% more in profits for companies than their peers, according to a paper by the Institute for the Study of Labor.
Offering a gift card reward for a successful referral can be a smart strategy for a seasonal position hire. Leale suggests making it clear to employees, in writing, that the new-hire must work through the season for the referring employee to receive the gift card.
“Now you have that person invested in the other person sticking and being responsible,” she says.
4. Host a job fair
Hosting a job fair increases the number of people you can interview in one day and boosts employee morale, says Laura Platt, HR manager at Spreadshirt, a global e-commerce company.
“With the staff participation, the day is exciting and it creates a sense of unity within the team,” she says.
The idea also benefits applicants, who save time scheduling interviews and can get an idea of how current employees work together, Platt says.
Plan ahead to get a better response and avoid wasting money and time. Platt’s company typically starts to advertise a job fair about two weeks before the day via social media, flyers and road signs, and contacts local schools, organizations and community centers to get the word out.
“This is about putting the best foot forward and showing them who the company really is,” Platt says.
5. Vet each candidate
Once you’ve compiled a solid pool of candidates, carefully examine each applicant’s resume and references and conduct a background check. The process for hiring a quality seasonal worker is just as important as hiring a permanent employee, Leale says.
“If you don’t vet them properly, they could be more of a problem for you than the problem you hired them to solve,” she says.
During the interview, ask questions focusing on a variety of scenarios to find out how the candidate may behave in different situations, says Jody Holland, a corporate trainer, executive coach and consultant.
For example, ask about a time a candidate had to deal with a difficult situation at work or in school and how the issue was resolved. You can establish a rating system for each candidate, then keep track of the ratings and when hiring, you’ll be able to see the candidates who have the top scores.
“It works particularly well with seasonal hiring, since you are trying to do hiring much faster than, say, a hospital, who spends five hours interviewing one candidate,” Holland says.