Addressing seasonal spikes in business with additional staff members is a common and cyclical priority for industries like retail and hospitality. In preparation for busy seasons, organizations will seek out part-time or temporary talent to fill the necessary gaps and create a positive experience for customers. As we have mentioned before, candidates today want more than just a job — even when it’s temporary or part-time. They want to connect with the organization’s core values and feel a sense of community and connection that translates to them returning in the future if the need arises.
Fortunately, talent teams can use various tools, technologies, and common-sense approaches to reduce pressure and meet seasonal hiring goals. This high-volume, seasonal hiring checklist provides helpful tips for hiring success.
Your seven-step seasonal hiring checklist
1. Know which roles are in “high season”
Different industries have different peak seasons. Recruiters must understand and plan for anticipated spikes as well in advance as possible.
For example, consumer shopping trends affect retail companies during the winter months for the holidays, and late summer for back-to-school time. These spikes particularly affect hiring for a wide range of positions, from store associates to warehouse workers. Meanwhile, springtime is a high season for hiring in the home improvement, tourism, and hospitality sectors.
Be sure to look at the historic ebbs and flows of your organization’s hiring needs and industry-specific data related to seasonal spikes. You can plan your recruitment campaigns and set up nurture programs from there.
Want to learn more about how to set up agile, targeted recruitment campaigns? Check out our blog post.
2. Use artificial intelligence (AI) to jumpstart the process
In spite of your best-laid plans, there will be times when you’ll need to hire new talent quickly. Fortunately, AI-enabled technologies make it possible to leverage predictive analytics with an individual’s captured data to accurately place candidates in roles they’d most likely to be interested in — and for which they’re best suited. It’s a win-win: you’ll find the best-fit talent more efficiently, AND you’re giving candidates options and information that speak to their needs.
An automated HR strategy that leverages AI also can help HR leaders and practitioners retain talent within their organization. Smart automation infused with AI analytics can help employers find existing employees with skill sets they might have overlooked, reducing their need to source talent externally. Analytics deliver insights that hone in on skill gaps or opportunities for upward talent mobility, something most employees want. And it does so without all the manual labor involved in searching and courting outside applicants.
Want to learn more about the value of AI and automation in your recruitment process? Check out our blog post.
3. Don’t stop with a job description
Anyone working in retail or hospitality knows how much first impressions matter. While a basic list of functions and job requirements is certainly a valuable source of information, it shouldn’t be the sum total of a candidate’s experience.
This is when a combination of creative services and technology should bring your company’s message to vibrant life. If an applicant lands on an advertised opportunity, make sure it’s a rich experience that provides insights into your employer brand, your culture, and whether they’d be a good fit.
The best job descriptions are highly personalized, full of photos, videos, “day in the life” scenarios, job-related events, and even directions to your nearby locations. Don’t overlook this opportunity to stand out!
Want to discover how you can unveil the power of employer branding for authentic talent acquisition? Check out our blog post.
4. Make applying quick, easy, and mobile-friendly
In today’s hiring landscape, job options are out there. Don’t expect potential hires to wade through confusing online application forms that ask too many questions, leaving them confused about “next steps.” Even more so, don’t make them depend on a home computer to complete an application.
Adopt a consumer-centric approach that empowers candidates to connect with you on their own terms — and reach out with a response as quickly as possible. Optimize the process for every type of digital technology, especially smartphones. Use geotargeting to filter relevant jobs based on where the candidate lives. Leverage talent assessments and on-demand video interviews so candidates can move the process seamlessly, and you can hire more right-fit talent faster!
A cumbersome recruitment process is one of the biggest disconnects regarding peak-season hiring. Make sure yours is as seamless, easy, and enjoyable as possible.
Want to dig in more on how to streamline the recruitment process to attract quality hires? Check out our blog post.
5. Quell the “quick quit” quandary
Having someone walk out the Thursday before Black Friday — or during a major hotel convention — is always a possibility. But there are ways to prevent a potential crisis and put the odds in your favor.
Many of these “quick quit” scenarios can be avoided by providing straightforward lines of communication early on and showing a bit of empathy, too. Start by asking yourself a few basic questions:
- Is your orientation program thoroughly preparing new hires to deal with the day-to-day?
- Does the role accurately reflect what’s detailed in the job description?
- Do hires have an employee mentor they can shadow or speak to in order to get a feel of what’s required?
- Do their values seem compatible with your organization’s employee value proposition?
- Do their skills align with the position requirements?
In short, the best way to avoid “quick quit” situations is to recognize new hires' challenges and provide opportunities for input and feedback that make them feel like valued contributors to your success.
Want to learn more about assessing candidates to ensure a good fit? Check out our blog post.
6. Tackle hard-to-fill positions from every angle
Peak season is highly competitive, and hard-to-fill positions are even more challenging. Don’t go it alone!
It’s also important to think outside your own location. For example, with hard-to-fill positions, you may reach out to other store locations within your region. By combining resources, you’ll be able to develop larger promotions that draw talent to opportunities in multiple store locations — and feature messaging about benefits that speak directly to your market.
Want to learn more about social and content marketing? Check out our page here.
7. Keep the conversation going
You’ve met your peak season hiring goals. Your talent pool is full of qualified, engaged candidates. That’s great news, but it’s not time to kick your feet up just yet.
Your past peak season hires already know many of the ins and outs of working for your organization. If they found the experience positive, maintain the momentum by using automated technology to reach out regularly with personalized emails, text messages, and relevant job opportunities.
Even candidates you lost during the application process could become valuable employees during the next peak hiring season. Once a connection has been established, leverage automation to keep them engaged and updated about future opportunities.
It’s a wonderful — and basically effortless — way to build your pool of interested and engaged talent before your peak season is in full swing! Want to discover three steps to build and maintain your talent pool? Check out our blog post.
Ready to discover how your organization can elevate and automate your high-volume hiring strategy? Let’s talk!