Embrace the Pros of Holiday Hiring, Avoid the Cons

ThinkstockPhotos-485611890Here come the holidays, with all their cheer – along with the extra meals out and hotel stays,not to mention gifts. Talk about added stressors. For you? Yes. But also for the companies that hire seasonal employees to keep up with the holiday demand.

Most companies deal with these extra demands by hiring workers for the holidays.In fact, holiday hiring accounts for about half of the jobs in the fourth quarter as companies staff up for that magical profit-making period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

While some offices hire temps during this time to cover for employees who will be out, holiday recruiting mostly impacts lower-wage earners in industries like retail, toys and games and hospitality.

According to one study, 82 percent of hiring managers plan to hire for the 2015 holiday season. But despite that large-sounding number the actual number of hires is predicted to remain flat over 2014 – and many companies plan to pay seasonal employees less.

This year, Amazon is hiring 100,000 holiday workers – up 25 percent over last year – more than Wal-Mart and JC Penney combined. This heralds a shift in the way we shop, as more people hit that Amazon Prime button from their mobile devices.

And while most hiring managers plan to place ads on online job boards, approximately 30 percent plan to use a staffing agency.

So how can your company make the most of this seasonal job market?

PREMIUM CONTENT: North America Contingent Buyers Survey: 2015 Full Report

The Coal-in-the-Sock Aspects of Holiday Hiring

Holiday recruiting comes with its own set of cons. A big one is having to hire, train and onboard seasonal employees, a process which begins in October with 94 percent of seasonal jobs filled by the end of November. You can help make this process more efficient by telling your frontline managers what you expect of them.

Give them a checklist of onboarding tasks, but also give them a checklist for the new employee. What are their learning objectives, their goals and their deadlines? If there are incentives, what are they, and how can employees meet them?

It’s also helpful to make sure that new hires have everything they need to succeed on their first day. Do they need name tags, company badges (or other security items) and a rundown of the company’s mission statement and core values? Do this first so they have the tools to get ahead the minute they walk in the door.

Holiday employees know they’re not going to be around long. In addition, they’re probably working in lower-wage industries, and since about 67 percent of companies rehire from the previous year, the same employees you hired last year may be making less this year.

Does this breed loyalty and motivation? Usually not. But that doesn’t mean you can’t build those qualities in your staff.

While cash incentives are always appreciated, non-cash perks are great motivators, too. And they’re a great way to team-build. For example, cater breakfast or lunch, create a wall of fame for all employees who meet or exceed goals or embody the core values, or even take time out for your team to support a charity together.

The fact that they’re temporary shouldn’t make the perception of their position throwaway – and remember, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll rehire the same folks next year. So building loyalty can pay off in the long run.

The Gifts of Holiday Recruiting

Holiday hiring isn’t just about the cons; there are also several pros. First is the added support of extra help. Your long-term employees will appreciate not being stretched thin. Having enough people is a real morale booster.

It’s also a great way to develop a relationship with a staffing agency who can give you qualified leads. They’ll do the legwork of weeding out the candidates who aren’t a good fit, and they can also handle much of the onboarding for you, including training.

Finally, holiday recruiting is a great way to see if an employee is a good fit for a longer term position. You know you’ll have jobs to fill in the future. Why not take a test drive and find out if your short-term employee could become a long-term team player?

While there are some cons to holiday hiring – sourcing and training seasonal employees, potential lack of motivation and loyalty and the temporary nature of the job – it doesn’t have to be a drain on your time and resources.

In fact, holiday recruiting gives you the opportunity to work with a staffing agency who can help you place qualified candidates. It expands staff to help you meet your holiday goals and it could even lead you to a star employee for the next full-time position.

Staffing agencies like the AtWork Group have the experience and focus to help your company succeed. Let a trusted staffing agency place qualified candidates who can help keep that cash drawer jingling, at the holidays and beyond.

MORE: Does cold calling really work?

Jason Leverant

Jason Leverant
Jason Leverant is CEO of AtWork Group, a national staffing franchisor.

Jason Leverant

Share This Post


Related Articles

Powered by staffingindustry.com ·