Tap into Tech to Get Ahead of Seasonal Hiring

Seasonal hiring can be a stressful time for employers. Not only are leaders focused on driving business results during a prime season, but they are also tasked with staffing the organization with the people required to deliver those results. One primary challenge for employers looking to hire seasonal talent is competing with other organizations who need the same talent during the same season. CBS reported that in December 2018 alone, estimates indicated that retailers were seeking to hire more than 700,000 seasonal workers for the holidays.

Smart employers who must fill seasonal jobs get a jump on hiring by starting the process as early as possible. Another key to securing the seasonal talent is maintaining a healthy seasonal pool all year. Technology can help do that by making it easy to maintain relationships, communicate regularly, source skillfully, and efficiently manage onboarding processes.

Maintain connections with talent. You may feel a sense of relief when a season ends, but that’s when your hiring strategy for the next season should be kicking off. As you offboard a team of seasonal employees, take note of and track potential rehires in your applicant tracking system. That information sets your strategy and will inform who to reach out to for your next seasonal hiring need. Maintain connections with top talent from prior seasons to keep a robust source of candidates who understand and appreciate what your organization offers.

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Stay top of mind with automated emails. One way to stay connected and top of mind with candidates is by sending meaningful emails, even if these former employees aren’t currently working for you full-time. College students are a prime example of potential candidates who will be looking for jobs when they return home for summer break. Several months before the season arrives, send automated emails to make it easy for them to contact you and apply for a job. However, don’t just reach out once—maintain that connection by sending a few relevant updates throughout the year. Let seasonal employees know you’re thinking of them and value what they have to offer.

Use AI-driven sourcing to identify candidates. Some candidates might be interested but not actively searching for a seasonal role. AI-driven sourcing offers a way to identify and vet candidates with whom a recruiter can follow-up personally. An ATS backed by the power of AI can help you find employees with the skills you need but who might not otherwise know about the opportunities you have to offer.

Manage the onboarding process online. Of course, you want to make sure it’s easy to apply for seasonal jobs, but you must also look for ways to streamline the post-hire process, too. There is a limited time frame in which you must hire, train and manage seasonal employees. Look for ways you can use online systems to complete tasks before the employee’s first day on the job. Empower employees to update their data (banking, emergency contact, etc.) through employee self-service. If possible, allow them to complete required training via online modules before they arrive. Regardless of the activity, be sure you’re meeting legal requirements around paying employees for the time spent on these onboarding tasks.

Whether you’re hiring five seasonal workers or thousands, make it a goal that your seasonal employees will want to return the following year. A seasonal hiring strategy doesn’t end when you’ve filled your open positions–cultivate loyalty by taking good care of your seasonal workers while they’re with you. Create a good experience, build strong relationships and stay in touch after the season is over. Those efforts will pay by supporting your seasonal hiring strategy with as many interested rehires as possible.

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Simon Oldham

Simon Oldham
Simon Oldham is the president at QJumpers, a recruitment platform.

Simon Oldham

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