The holiday season brings with it a surge of customers and increased demand, putting your retail team to the test. To ensure a seamless operation during this busy time, consider these strategies for holiday staffing.
Diversify Your Candidate Pool
In normal circumstances, you may have specific criteria for hiring employees, such as technical skills and a fast-paced attitude. However, during the holidays, shopper behaviors change. Consider looking beyond your typical candidate pool and consider entry-level candidates and retirees. Entry-level employees may be eager for experience and extra shifts, while retirees often possess a more laid-back service mindset, which can help alleviate shopper stress.
Launch an Employee Referral Program
The holiday season can strain your existing team. To provide them with the support they need and improve customer service, consider implementing an employee referral program. These programs encourage your current employees to recommend like-minded individuals with similar work ethics. Working with people they know and trust can reduce tension and improve service quality during the holiday rush.
Seek Long-Term Hires
While hiring seasonal employees can be challenging, some individuals may be interested in long-term employment. Let your new hires know that you value long-term commitment and that the holiday season is an opportunity for them to demonstrate their potential. This motivation can lead to better performance and fewer scheduling conflicts.
Utilize In-Store and Online Job Postings
If you’re struggling to attract applicants, consider reaching out to your loyal customer base. Post job notices in-store and on your social media profiles. College students, in particular, may be interested in seasonal employment, especially if they are only in town for a few weeks.
Plan Ahead for Holiday Staffing
To secure the best seasonal talent, start planning your holiday staffing needs early in the year. Begin the hiring process when the applicant pool is large to ensure you don’t miss out on top talent.
Evaluate your recruitment strategy and utilize various channels to find seasonal workers. Use industry job boards, maintain accurate job postings, and leverage your social media channels. Posting job opportunities on popular platforms can help tap into your customer base as a potential source of talent.
Harness the power of your current employees by asking them to refer candidates for open positions. Implementing employee referral programs can be a valuable tool for finding quality applicants.
During interviews, be clear about job expectations and responsibilities, especially if the role involves working late nights or during holidays. However, avoid asking questions that could discriminate against applicants with personal responsibilities.
Invest time in training your seasonal staff. Effective training can significantly impact your operations and bottom line. Collaborate with full-time and star seasonal employees to develop training programs tailored to specific positions. Incorporate this training into your onboarding process for a smoother transition.
Know the Legalities
Familiarize yourself with the legal regulations pertaining to temporary workers. Understanding local laws can guide your hiring decisions and help you avoid potential legal issues.
In conclusion, thoughtful planning, effective hiring practices, and thorough training are key to preparing your business for the holiday season. Managing your seasonal team efficiently can lead to improved shipping operations, faster fulfillment times, and ultimately, happier customers and higher year-end sales.