Many businesses see an increase in business over the holiday season. This often leads to a need for more workers. It may not be reasonable to hire a permanent employee to deal with a temporary situation. That’s why many companies hire seasonal help instead.
The time of year for seasonal workers is upon us. And right now, the hiring market is highly competitive. Job candidates expect more pay and benefits, which can make it difficult to find enough people to cover this year. It’s also another reason to find ways to make your seasonal workers happy so they want to come back.
We are now facing the winter holiday season, but the methods outlined here apply anytime. Having a plan in place now will give you a better chance of cutting your hiring costs next year. You can spend fewer resources looking for qualified seasonal workers and more serving customers and increasing profits.
Hire the Right People for Your Seasonal Jobs
You should care about who you hire for seasonal jobs just as you do for full-time positions. Finding the right people will give you better results and increase the likelihood that some of your seasonal workers will return.
Start recruitment early to give your business the best chance of finding the right people and the right number of people needed to keep up with demand.
Consider who will be available during the time you need extra support. College and high students usually have time off during the holidays. They may be willing to pick up shifts to make extra cash for the season. The same goes for jobs that are only active during the summer, like lifeguards and park workers.
If you are hiring temporary workers for the summer, teachers may be a good choice, depending on how school districts in your area operate.
Start with availability based on your region. If you live in a location that has cold winters and warm summers, then these suggestions will apply.
Another group to consider is stay-at-home parents who may like to work outside of the home a few evenings a week when their partner is home to care for the children.
Once you know who your likely seasonal employees are, you can figure out how to reach them. Posting a basic ad in the classifieds may get some responses, but you can do much better if you go to where the people you need tend to be.
Ask Your Team for Seasonal Worker Referrals
Referrals from existing employees can save your company recruitment time and money. If you have reliable permanent employees on your team, they may be a good source for seasonal workers. They already understand the job and environment. They are also more likely to recommend people who will do well because they may feel some responsibility for the person that they recommended.
You can incentivize referrals by offering a reward for successful hires. This could be a bonus or a special perk, like an extra paid day off. When adding an incentive, make sure you have clear requirements that are easy to find. Most businesses only give the incentive reward if the referred person is hired and if they work for a certain length of time.
The required time frame to qualify may need to be shorter than it is when giving an incentive for permanent hires. Temporary workers often only work weeks or months at a time, so the goal has to be reasonably obtainable to be effective.
Show Appreciation for Your Seasonal Employees
It is easy to overlook the importance of showing appreciation for employees who are only present for a short time. Make sure you do. This is great for morale and makes seasonal workers feel like a real part of the team. When they feel needed and appreciated, they will be more likely to want to come back.
Make sure everyone on your team – whether they are full-time, part-time, or seasonal – is treated the same. That means putting everyone through your onboarding process and training. They must have the same access to the tools needed to learn and do the job effectively.
Don’t forget to express your appreciation as well. Seasonal workers are helping you make as much money as you can during the most demanding time of the year. They may not be around all the time, but they are still very important and a part of your team. Make sure they know that, and they will be more likely to want to come back when you need them again.
Be As Flexible As You Can Be About Scheduling
Seasonal employment isn’t usually enough to pay for a person to live all year long. That means the people you hire will most likely have other commitments. This could be another job, school, or family responsibilities.
Be as flexible as you can when it comes to scheduling. Make sure you accommodate any availability limitations or requests. After all, if you hire someone to work when they tell you they can’t, then you are both wasting your time.
Being flexible can also help you get more out of your seasonal workers. If you are willing to get creative with shifts, then some workers may be able to give you more hours.
Scheduling will depend on business needs, so do your best to balance your daily operation with the scheduling requests of your seasonal workers.
Stay Connected to Your Seasonal Workers
Stay connected to your seasonal workers. Don’t look at the end of the season as the end of your relationship with them. There are several ways to stay in touch. Invite them to follow your business on social media. Build an email list for them.
Also, make sure they know that you will need them again next year. If they are happy with this year’s seasonal employment, then they will be more likely to remember you for next year. You can also use the methods listed above to share messages with your workers, keeping them aware of recruitment efforts and hiring bonuses when the time comes.
You should also make a point to contact previous seasonal employees directly to ask them if they are interested in working another season.
Provide Efficient Training with Options to Grow
You should be invested in the skills and knowledge of your seasonal workers just as you are with your full-time employees.
Provide adequate training resources for all workers. Your seasonal employees should go into the job feeling just as confident as anyone else you hire. A good eLearning platform can help streamline this process (and keep it within your training budget). You can build online courses that are easily organized into a curriculum that meets the needs of specific job roles.
You can also add training courses focused on seasonal situations. For example, a class on dealing with customers in a fast-paced, busy environment could be beneficial. Or you could include training on seasonal products and services. The more prepared they are for the job, the better their experience will be.
For seasonal workers that return, you could offer expanded training that allows them to take on more responsibilities or move into more complex roles. This can empower your seasonal staff to grow their skills while providing better support for your team.
Visit LMS.org to learn more about eLearning platforms that can help you hire and train seasonal workers efficiently.