When you work in staffing, late summer and early autumn means more than just pumpkin spice everything - it’s time to get in gear for seasonal hiring. Retailers, delivery companies and many more nationwide are starting to fill in the gaps in their workforce with temporary workers before the holidays and before budgets run out. And as a $160B industry sending out 3 million workers a week, staffing firms are ready to assist.
In this blog, we are sharing some tips from our 400+ staffing firm clients on what strategies have made them successful when it comes to seasonal hiring. Our hope is that this might help you stay on top of the holidays and close out the year in a good position.
1. Start the process early
When companies turn to you for their seasonal needs, you need to be prepared. Ramp up your screening and hiring efforts now so you are not scrambling by the time November and December roll around. Go as far as creating a seasonal hiring strategy, just as you would for other business initiatives – and stick to it!
2. Think local
Seasonal hiring tends to be very geo-specific, so it’s important to find qualified candidates in the area. Go to local job fairs, target your social media posts and advertising locally, and/or partner with a local college to recommend students or graduates who match your needs.
3. Clean up the job posting
When your client company sends you a job posting, sometimes it may require a little of your expertise to get right. This is important all the time, but especially for seasonal work! Some pointers to keep in mind:
- Straight forward title
- First sentence needs to tell all
- Keywords in the body
- Mobile friendly
4. Conduct good interviews (and look for one main quality!)
No brainer, right? It seems simple but bears repeating especially when you are swamped with seasonal hiring. In the interview, you are looking for three essential things: what the candidate offers, what the candidate wants, and how to work together. Use your expertise to uncover the skills and experience that will get your candidate placed, and especially look out for the #1 thing required of seasonal work: reliability!
5. Refer to your contact list
When you are in the weeds of holiday hiring and candidates are hard to come by, it might be time to hit your contact list. Did you have any exceptional seasonal workers in the past? Contact them and ask for referrals. Ask your current temporary workers. Ask your LinkedIn contacts for referrals. Ask your industry contacts, your friends, your family. Anyone you can think of, ask!
6. Tap into the retirees
An aging population means that retirees are becoming an attractive option for seasonal work. And retirees tend to be great workers, too! They offer a diverse candidate pool with extensive work experience, one that is generally open to flexible work arrangements and ever-changing tasks. If you’re not already thinking of ways to target this group, start now.
7. Make sure you can meet payroll
When you need seasonal workers to fill jobs, you might consider offering extra incentives like end-of-season bonuses for completing a full assignment, or offering an extra bonus for previous employees to return. You could also provide special perks like employee discounts or special events for seasonal workers.
These are just a few tips on seasonal hiring based on feedback from our clients. For more information, contact me with questions anytime. And if payroll funding is something that might help you fill holiday job orders, contact us anytime for a free consultation.
About the Author
Barb Hammerberg, CCWP has held almost every job that exists in staffing firms, from recruiter to regional director at some of the largest staffing firms in the world. She brings decades of experience and industry knowledge to her role as the Director of Client Development at Advance Partners.