It's the most wonderful time of the year- the holly, jolly, season where businesses push to reach their annual sales and revenue goals. If you're a recruiter who focuses on high-volume seasonal or cyclical recruiting, you know the challenges that come during the busy season.
The usual tech stack that you rely on the rest of the year might not be optimized for high-volume hiring. If you’re an in-house hiring manager with a small team, you may lack the right tools to promote several vacancies and streamline the hiring and onboarding process for several new hires simultaneously. If you’re not working on hiring en masse, and you’re usually more focused on filling specialized positions, you’re likely to find it more challenging to connect with the right candidates during the busy hiring season.’Tis the season for #HolidayHiring challenges. Test these tips from @IQTalent Partners to get ahead of the competition:Click to Tweet
You might experience low applicant flow. Or, perhaps your applicants don’t have the experience you’re looking for, and when you finally reach out to a candidate, he or she is not as interested as you had hoped. Maybe a competitor already snagged your top candidate. Regardless of where you are in your recruiting needs, the holiday season can be a great time to build your talent pipeline and go into the new year with a strong team, whether they remain seasonal or become long-term employees!
Plan Ahead. Way Ahead.
Many companies start planning for their hiring needs in the late summer and begin the onboarding process in early fall. With this strategy, companies can hire the appropriate number of workers and provide adequate training. But don’t fret: a late start is still okay.
Check with others in the organization - at every level - to assess current needs and predict headcount needs going into the new year. Get a clear hiring budget and connect with everyone involved to understand fully the workforce you’ll need and the skills you need to seek. Create an action plan outlining when you’d like to get these positions filled. Decide where your organization is suffering and prioritize the most needed positions.
After you’ve assessed your organizational needs, it’s time to move forward! Don’t wait until the job listing is live before you spread the word. Let your internal team know that you’ve decided to pursue candidates actively. Announce the hiring surge on professional and personal social media accounts and newsletters. Then, use these ‘teaser’ announcements as a foundation to start connecting with talent and interested applicants that reach out to you.
Consider these quick stats:
- The average time to fill is 42 days.
- As of September 9th, there are 755,208 retail job openings.
- Retail job openings this year are up 4% compared to 2018.
Leverage Your Job Listings
Competition is high, and clear and concise job descriptions are always a good idea. But when it comes to seasonal or cyclical hiring, this is even more crucial. These candidates likely aren’t looking for a long-term commitment, and they need to know precisely what the job entails and what the commitment is.
When creating these job descriptions, clearly explain the role and responsibilities, the hours and days needed, and pay range. Many seasonal workers may be college students or candidates who freelance and have other “gig” employment. So, by providing this information upfront, you ensure that only people who can meet these requirements apply — saving time for both you and your candidates.
Employers need to take advantage of all possible opportunities to win talent during the holiday season. The recruiting and hiring process is increasingly moving toward mobilization, and texting and social media have become top sources for finding jobs. In fact, 89% of job seekers think mobile devices play a critical role in the job-hunting process. Engaging with potential candidates close to the holidays (and really, all the time) through online accounts and text messages can improve candidate experience and overall communication.Overcome your #recruiting challenges with a carefully crafted #SeasonalHiring plan. @IQTalent has the tips to get you there.Click to Tweet
Offer In-demand Incentives
People need extra cash during the holiday season, but an incentive that will make this time of year easier for them will sweeten the deal and make you stand out from the crowd. Considering the low unemployment rate and the sheer numbers of open seasonal positions, something extra is a good idea to win talent. If possible, offer seasonal perks that won’t break the bank, including:
- Casual dress code
- Employee discounts
- Signing bonus
- Catered lunches
- Professional growth initiatives
Involve Employees & Encourage Referrals
No one knows who would fit in better with your team than...your team! Encouraging employee referrals from your current team not only leads employees that match your culture but it also drastically decreases time to hire. Make an internal announcement that you’re starting your seasonal hiring process and give an easy method for referrals. You may even create an employee bonus program for referrals that lead to a hire!
In study after study, the majority of employers rate employee referrals as the best source for generating quality new hires, and doing it FAST – and the best return on investment, especially when considering the costs of posting jobs, sorting through the high volume of applicants, and time spent interviewing.
When done correctly, a seasonal employee referral program can boost engagement and productivity of existing team members take a stake in their organization when they feel their employer values their input on future hires.
Wrap it Up & Retain!
It’s a challenge to find top talent during the holiday season. Once you find a solid hire, you may not want to let him or her go. Don’t create a defined line between your long-term employees and your seasonal team, as seasonal hiring can be a great time to find successful long-term talent. Make them feel included! Plus, a focus on retention is a great way to make your hiring process less strenuous next year.
Tip: Let seasonal hires know that long-term employment is a possibility. Provide a plan to help seasonal hires see future opportunities with your company.
Have your holiday season hiring plan ready and start early! Follow your plan to keep track of candidates, keep them engaged throughout the process, and save yourself time with screening and selection. We know this is already a busy time of year, and holiday hiring can be an extra stressor for your team. Allowing someone outside your organization to consult on these decisions requires a serious level of trust. But, when done properly, the benefits greatly outweigh the cost. Consider an outsourced partnership with IQTalent Partners and get started today!