While Christmas is the time of goodwill, it’s often in short supply in the hiring departments of many Australian businesses at this time of year!
The build-up to Christmas can be a time of stress for those who need to find suitable workers to cover peak seasonal demand.
If you’re struggling with hiring during busy periods, here are seven tips to help you on your way.
- Plan ahead
Don’t leave it until the last minute to hire essential workers. Rushing can lead to errors of judgement and bad hiring choices.
Start planning now to give yourself plenty of time to find the right Christmas staff.
Thoughtful planning carried out as early as possible will prepare you for the anticipated increase in customers, phone traffic and service demand.
- Work out who you need
It can be tricky to estimate the number and type of workers you need to see you through periods of peak business demand.
Take a critical look at how your business coped last year, and whether you need to up your hiring rates this year.
Some employers find it useful to shift skilled and complex tasks to permanent staff over the Christmas season, allowing temporary workers unfamiliar with the company to tackle the less demanding roles.
- Schedule training
Your new recruits may need orientation or training to help them tackle their temporary jobs, so be sure to leave enough time for this to happen.
There’s nothing worse than having seasonal staff turn up at the start of the holiday season totally unprepared for their roles.
If you want staff working at maximum capacity from hiring day one, schedule a training program before they hit the shop floor.
Permanent staff may also need training if you are asking them to take on additional or more challenging work, ensuring they are well equipped to shoulder extra duties during peak season.
- Treat them well!
Seasonal workers deserve the same degree of care and respect as permanent employees. Canny employers understand that seasonal workers who feel respected and looked-after will be more productive, offering a higher level of customer service and fitting more comfortably into your workplace.
It’s worth making a special effort to show your appreciation of seasonal staff members, rewarding their effort and excellence.
They will be more likely to stay throughout the peak season – rather than abandoning you in the middle – and return next year if they are still available.
- Talent-spot your seasonal workers
It’s tempting not to pay too much attention to your temporary and casual employees – after all, they’re here today and gone tomorrow, having fulfilled their function.
If you look carefully, however, you may discover a gem or two within the ranks of your seasonal hires – workers who stand out from the crowd in terms of personality, performance and team-playing.
Don’t let these potential high-performers sail off into the sunset! Tell them you’ve been impressed with their work and ask if they’d be willing to become a regular part of your team.
Even if they have other immediate plans, leave the door open for them to return in the future. Great workers are too valuable to ignore!
- Keep in touch with seasonal staff
Don’t leave it to chance. Keep in touch with good temporary workers via social media, and encourage them to return to your company each year during the holiday rush.
Competent, trained employees familiar with your work practices are worth their weight in gold when it comes to hiring seasonal staff.
- Bring a specialist recruiter on board
Planning for peak season can be a fraught experience, so it’s worth remembering that help is at hand.
A specialist recruitment agency like JobFitts can take the hassle out of seasonal hires, taking care of the entire process for you.
A little thought, preparation and expert help can go a long way when it comes to seasonal hiring.