As the holidays approach, the need to hire additional help becomes a key concern with many business owners. Yet, despite the importance, it’s just as vital to take your time to find qualified, reliable employees. Many businesses rush hiring and end up regretting their haste. How can you find the best seasonal employees when you need help in a hurry? Here are tips from experts in seasonal hiring.
Ask Current Employees or Customers for Recommendations
Ask your current employees if they know anyone looking for part-time seasonal work. Employees often have friends or family members who they’ll happily refer. Another good way to find employees is by asking your repeat customers if they’re interested in working part-time. They already know your business and merchandise or service requirements. Many will be thrilled at the chance of gaining an employee discount, if your business offers one.
Once you have names, you can interview them to see if you feel they’re a good fit. While asking around, you may also find some of your part-time employees who are happy to take on additional hours to earn more for their own holiday spending.
Start the Process Early
It is essential for stores, restaurants and companies in need of additional workers to start early. Experts recommend starting your search for seasonal employees in September. Still, you should always be on the lookout for new hires —especially in businesses where employee turnover is high.
As you find quality staff members, keep a list of them when you have to release them due to seasonal employment fluctuations. By keeping a list of temporary workers you can call on to fill in spots during your busy season, you’ll always have qualified workers in mind. Having workers who are already trained saves you time as well.
Hold Prescreenings Before Scheduling Interviews
The number of applications you receive may seem overwhelming, but you can narrow the selection down with prescreening questionnaires. Some internet hiring sites allow you to set up quick questionnaires to help weed out undesirable or unskilled applicants. If you specifically need staff with experience or a specific level of education, ask prescreening questions about their experience, past work history and educational background.
As you narrow down potential employees, start the interview process. Remember that interviewees are nervous. If you take time and build a rapport before diving into interview questions, you’ll get a better feel for the applicant’s personality.
Eye Retirees and College Students
College students tend to get their winter break from Thanksgiving through mid-January. They’re looking for work when they return home for the holidays. Look to college students who are moving back to town for the two-month period. They’re often exceptional seasonal employees, as they simply want the short-term job and don’t have expectations beyond that. If they work out, you can always add them to a list for summer employment or fill-in opportunities.
The same is true of retirees. Many want to get out of the house and earn a little extra income, but they don’t want to be tied down to a permanent work schedule. Look for retirees who spend winters in one state and summers in another for great opportunities at finding workers who do not expect the job to extend past the holiday season.
Don’t Think in Terms of Seasonal
Find the best seasonal workers by applying the same hiring criteria you use for full-time employees. Your company needs great representatives, and not those who are simply there for a paycheck. If you look for the same qualities your full-time staff have, you’ll get workers who draw sales, attract repeat customers and make regulars feel appreciated.
As long as you start early and take time to get to know applicants, you’ll find great workers for your seasonal employment opportunities. When you find great employees, keep a list for the months to come. That handy list becomes a goldmine for avoiding employment searches in the future.