You thought your current staffing would see you through the holidays with no problems. However, you weren’t counting on the volume of shoppers you’re getting in the door. While too many customers is a very good problem to have, not having enough bodies to serve them in a timely manner is not. Never fear - you can still get the seasonal help you need in no time.
Check the Social Scene
Most cities and towns have local Facebook pages dedicated to job-hunting, where you can interact with candidates directly and post your help wanted ad. The benefit to getting involved with these pages is that you build relationships directly with the talent pool in your area. If this year’s seasonal employees like working for you, you can bet it’ll make the process easier next year. Just make sure you’re posting to the right employment page - some pages can be dedicated to specific kinds of jobs. See if you can find one for gigs or temporary employment.
Employee Referrals Rule
What better source for new employees than your existing ones? 88% of business owners say that their highest quality new hires come from referrals. It just makes sense: who better to bring you the right candidates than your top performers? They’re willing to stake their reputations on their recommendations, so you know they’re serious about who they’re willing to refer. Consider some sort of bonus structure so that your employees are compensated if they bring in a great new hire. That should get them moving quickly to fill your vacancies!
Retirees represent a huge pool of untapped talent just waiting to join your team. Often, they are looking to make extra money for the holidays, and they have a wealth of experience and work ethic to bring to the table. You can post job openings on sites like Workforce 50 or Retirement Jobs to find the right candidates for your business.
Students Have a Lot to Offer
Students have tons of enthusiasm to share, and they generally have lots of spare time around the holidays and are always in need of extra money. With college students, you may want to try going old-school. Put up flyers where they hang out, like coffee shops and student unions. If you’re willing to give high schoolers a try, you can contact the career counselor at the school to try and find a match.
Success in Hiring
Just because you have to hire fast doesn’t mean you can afford to hire badly. The holiday shopping season is often hectic and stressful, both for shoppers and employees. Find your ideal fit by:
- Learning to read people quickly - You don’t have the luxury of a leisurely hiring process where you interview candidates at least twice. So learn how to tell if they’re good under pressure, sales savvy and customer service focused in just one quick meeting.
- Scan applications for applicable experience - Don’t toss an application out because they don’t have the exact experience you’re looking for. That’s totally acceptable when you have time, but you’re in a hurry. Look for indicators that they would be good with customers and quick on their feet. For a college student, working as a teaching assistant might fit the bill. For a retiree, working in customer support for the phone company for 30 years would qualify. Just be flexible.
- Check references - If you don’t have long to make a decision, three quick phone calls to references can be extremely valuable. It’s a fast way to check character and overall fitness for the job.
Find the right group of seasonal employees and they might just come back year after year, building a stable workforce and avoiding any last minute personnel crunches. Start planning your holiday hires around September or October to avoid the last minute rush, and keep in touch with any seasonal hires you find this year that work out well.
Hiring seasonal employees in a hurry doesn’t have to be stressful as long as you’re willing to get creative. If you have an opening, chances are there’s someone out there who’s willing to fill it.