As summer approaches, many businesses are preparing for longer hours and more customers. Business owners may consider using seasonal employees to fill this need. Season employees aren’t “temps” in the traditional sense, and they aren’t necessarily part-time either. They are there to meet a specific need during an active time of the year, and they can be a life-saver.
Finding the right people for such a position is essential. Before you decide to hire seasonal employees, there are things to keep in mind.
If your business is not hiring a few months in advance, you’re giving your competitors a lead on you. You should start screening applicants early to gauge how well the person gels with the team. You wouldn’t want a new employee’s first day on the job to be during the busiest time of the year. It’ll take a few weeks for them to get acclimated.
High unemployment doesn’t mean the hiring process will be easy
Despite a high jobless rate across the country, it doesn’t necessarily mean people will be lining up for your open position. Extensions of Federal jobless benefits have made many people eligible to collect for a longer period of time, reducing for some the motivation to find work. Just like with a regular full-time employee, it will take some work to find the right people.
Look for high-yield channels, find seasonal employees who want to be seasonal employees
Typically, students make ideal seasonal employees due to the seasonal nature of their own school schedule. During the summer and winter breaks, many aren’t in class, and are looking for a short-term job.
Spend some time to onboard new employees
“One of the most common mistakes is throwing seasonal hires on a sales floor with minimal training or onboarding, viewing them as a way to fill a schedule rather than as company representatives to serve your customers,” says Nels Wroe, partner and product director at SHL Group, a vendor of talent-assessment tools.
Customer service should be one of your greatest distinctions. It’s one area where you can outpace big box retailers that make huge price slashes and feature wide varieties. As a result, you need to spend more time working with new employees than a big box retailer would–who anticipate high employee turnover.
Check that your job descriptions are accurate and up-to-date
Job descriptions can gather dust. Take a moment to see if the description still accurately reflects your expectations. It’s a good idea to make sure seasonal workers know what they’re getting into.
Hire for Aptitude and Attitude
Skills can be taught. But attitude can go right to the bone. Hire people who are genuinely enthusiastic about the work your company does. Nothing can bring down the work culture like an employee who complains every time you turn your back. Seasonal employees don’t have the same long-term stake in your company’s success, and so they can be prone to negativity.
Keep track of your former seasonal employees for rehire opportunities
When you find a great seasonal employee, let him or her know that you will have a spot available for this person next year. It will make seasonal hiring easier, if you already have your team ready and enthusiastic for next time.
Don’t treat your seasonal workers as “second class” employees
Many of your seasonal workers will never be candidates for permanent positions, but some of them may be. These workers will be more likely to accept your offer for full-time employment if they’re already treated like a part of the company and not merely a disposable hire.