Dealing with the Ups and Downs of Seasonal Hiring

Dealing with the Ups and Downs of Seasonal Hiring

Seasonal hiring! It’s that time of year again – the time when businesses all around start staffing up for their busy seasons. And while this is great for the economy and those looking for seasonal work, it can be tough on employers.

Like most business owners, you’re wondering what to do with your new hires. Should you let them go? That can be costly and time-consuming. Instead, let’s look at options – flex time and staffing firms. Read on to see what we recommend to help with your hiring flow.

Seasonal hiring can be a tricky business.

On the one hand, you need to make sure that you have enough staff on hand to handle the influx of customers or clients. On the other hand, you don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of employees who are only needed for a few months out of the year. So what’s a business owner to do?

  1. What can you do during slow periods to make good use of new talent? You may consider adding seasonal employees to your permanent staff to save on training costs and reduce turnover. It’s easier to train someone already familiar with your business than to start from scratch.
  2. Plan through the cycles on an upward trajectory. As the business grows, you’ll need more people in your down cycles. That means it’s possible to keep some people who come to work temporarily during a busy season.
  3. Figure out how many people you’ll need a year from now, assuming sales goals are hit. Seasonal hiring can give you a larger pool of people to choose from when you’re ready to make offers. Look for ambition, drive, and learning new things. Approach people individually. Offer part-time hours to those who can’t work a full schedule.
  4. Once past the busy season, if things slow down more than expected, ask who is interested in part-time. One thing millennials prize is their free time. Some workers may have flexibility in allowing them to cut back. For some, a 20-30 hour workweek until things pick up might be preferable to losing the job altogether. Flex time can also help seasonal employees stay employed while giving them the free time they crave. Work through stay versus termination based on the quality of work, volunteers, and then last in, first out.
  5. When it’s time to staff up, look at other hiring cycles. Accounting firms hire temporary staff from January to April for tax time. Know who you compete with for your temporary workforce, and engage early.

Seasonal employees for the holiday peak

Here are some of our best tips for what you can do during peak holiday staffing seasons.

  1. Layout a recruiting schedule anyone can follow next year. When to place ads, when to start interviews, when to check on the number of candidates hired vs. the number needed. Know when it’s time to ramp up things if you’re behind.
  2. Consider working with a staffing company that can do a lot of the leg work for you. Notify them of your needs and let them get to work lining up candidates. They handle all the paperwork and the payroll for a fee. When it’s time to cut back, make a call to say the season’s over. The staffing firm takes over helping workers find other jobs. These companies specialize in seasonal hiring and can be an excellent resource for your business. They can help with everything from processing paperwork to training new employees.
  3. Consider holding job fairs. Publish the date, time, and location in the local paper and online. On the day of the fair, get attendees to hand in resumes, fill out applications, go through interviews, complete paperwork for background checks, etc. Have your staff on hand to promote the company, conduct interviews, and make offers pending the final review of all paperwork. Ask the best candidates to fill out hiring paperwork before they leave. Move people you hire immediately into training so they don’t lose interest.
  4. While things are at their busiest, ensure your salespeople keep working on the next round of growth. Consider moving some of your temporary workers into sales and customer service support positions when things slow down. Do everything possible to ensure the company has a steady growth track.
  5. Another option is to consider flex-time for your seasonal employees. This can be a great way to help with the peaks and valleys of your business, and having employees who are only working during busy times can free up some much-needed time and resources. Flex-time can also be a great way to keep your seasonal employees engaged, and having them work only when things are busy allows them to feel like they are part of the team. And by offering flex-time, you can keep your seasonal employees for more extended periods.

When it comes to seasonal hiring, there are many things to consider.

So don’t wait; start planning your seasonal hiring needs today. Contact us today if you need help creating a plan that fits your business. We’d be happy to chat with you about your unique needs and how we can help.

What are some of the things you consider when seasonal hiring? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy seasonal hiring! 🙂