20 December 2023

10 Tips for Small Businesses to Hire Seasonal Workers During the Holidays

By Ronald Smith

Let’s talk about something important – hiring seasonal workers for your small business during the holidays. I’ve got some helpful tips to make the process easier for you. So, let’s dive in!

1. Plan ahead: To avoid last-minute stress, start planning your hiring strategy early. This will give you enough time to find the right candidates and make necessary arrangements for their onboarding.

2. Define your needs: Take some time to figure out exactly what skills and qualifications you require in your seasonal workers. This will help you attract the right talent and ensure they are a good fit for your business.

3. Spread the word: Use different channels to advertise your job openings, such as online job boards, social media, and local community groups. Be clear about the job requirements and the duration of the employment.

4. Make the application process simple: Allow candidates to apply easily by providing a clear and straightforward application form. Keep it short and only ask for essential information, like contact details and previous work experience.

5. Screen applicants efficiently: Consider using technology to streamline the initial screening process. Online assessments or phone interviews can help you quickly identify the most promising candidates.

6. Conduct thorough interviews: When interviewing candidates, ask specific questions about their past experience and how they handle certain situations. This will give you insights into their abilities and work ethic.

7. Consider referrals: Reach out to your network and ask for referrals. Your existing employees or trusted contacts may know someone who would be a great fit for your seasonal positions.

8. Provide proper training: Once you’ve hired seasonal workers, invest time in training them properly. Give them clear instructions, provide necessary resources, and communicate your expectations clearly.

9. Offer competitive compensation: Even though these positions may be temporary, offer fair and competitive wages. This will attract motivated candidates who are committed to delivering quality work.

10. Maintain communication: Keep an open line of communication with your seasonal workers throughout their employment. Address any concerns they have and recognize their hard work. A happy and motivated team will ensure a successful holiday season for your small business.

Remember, hiring seasonal workers can be challenging, but with these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to find the right candidates who will contribute to your business’s success during the holidays. Good luck!

10 Tips for Small Businesses to Hire Seasonal Workers During the Holidays

As we get closer to the holiday season, small businesses like mine are getting ready for a really busy time. It looks like we might have a lot of people shopping, with the National Retail Federation saying that holiday sales could be anywhere from $727.9 billion to $730.7 billion. That’s a lot of shopping!

So now, it’s time to think about hiring the right people to help us out during this hectic time. Having the right staff is super important if we want to make the most of all the people looking to buy gifts.

I want to share with you some valuable tips I’ve gathered specifically for small businesses like ours. These tips will not only help us find the right people for the holiday season, but also make sure our customers have a smooth and successful shopping experience.

Once you’re done reading, make sure to watch this awesome video by Business First AM. They’ve got some really helpful tips for HR departments and job seekers on holiday hiring.

Get Ready for the Holidays with These Hiring Tips!

Okay, here’s the deal. I’ve got 10 tips ready for you so that your small business can easily find the staff you need this holiday season.

Start with a Training Class

10 Tips for Small Businesses to Hire Seasonal Workers During the Holidays

How to Train Seasonal Employees Effectively

Hi there! I’m Tara Wolckenhauer, the DVP of Human Resources at ADP, and I have some great suggestions for training seasonal employees like you.

The first thing I recommend is on-the-job training led by strong leaders. If possible, you should join a team that is already doing the work. This way, you can quickly get educated and learn from experienced employees.

But we shouldn’t stop at basic training. To make sure you’re prepared for real-life situations, we should incorporate role-playing scenarios and customer service simulations. By practicing these scenarios, you’ll build up your confidence and competence.

Another helpful tip is to provide quick reference guides or cheat sheets for common tasks or queries. This way, you’ll have a handy resource to consult whenever you need a reminder.

The Power of Video

Oh, and let’s not forget about the power of video! Watching videos can be a great way to learn. To make the lessons more memorable, we can mix things up by including interactive activities alongside the videos.

Want to make training videos more fun and engaging? Try adding interactive quizzes or polls. This way, you can keep learners involved and interested throughout the process. Plus, why not showcase video testimonials from previous successful seasonal employees? Hearing from those who’ve been in their shoes can inspire and motivate new hires, making the training experience more relatable and effective.

Keep an Eye on the Little Things

According to Wolckenhauer, one way to ensure strong short-term performance is to have a clear job description that includes measurable tasks. This means setting clear objectives that can be objectively measured. For example, you can use benchmarks like knowledge retention to evaluate how well the seasonal help is doing.

Take it a step further by defining specific, measurable goals for each phase of the holiday season. Whether it’s managing inventory, interacting with customers, or achieving sales targets, set clear targets for your team. Make it a habit to regularly review these metrics together to track progress and make any necessary adjustments in your strategies.

Communication is Key

10 Tips for Small Businesses to Hire Seasonal Workers During the Holidays

Time is short when training seasonal workers. That’s why having frequent conversations and check-ins is so important. It allows me to see where they need improvement and helps boost their morale and engagement.

To create a culture of open communication, I schedule regular team meetings. I want to hear about the experiences, challenges, and suggestions from my seasonal staff. Not only does this help me identify areas for improvement, but it also shows my employees that I value their input.

Clear Job Descriptions

When creating job descriptions for seasonal workers, I make sure to include all the important details. I go beyond just listing the basic duties. I outline specific expectations for customer service, handling busy times, and dealing with difficult situations. This helps set clear expectations and reduces any confusion or misunderstanding.

When it comes to achieving good results quickly, it all starts with having a straightforward job description. This description should include specific tasks that can be easily measured. It’s important for employers to clearly communicate what the job entails so that both the employer and the employee have a shared understanding of what needs to be done.

Find the Right Place

10 Tips for Small Businesses to Hire Seasonal Workers During the Holidays

When it comes to finding new team members, I have a few ideas for you. First, I suggest exploring local community centers, vocational schools, and universities. These places can be great sources for recruiting enthusiastic individuals who are looking for short-term opportunities. It’s always good to tap into their pool of talent!

Another option is to work with recruiting agencies. These agencies are particularly helpful if you’re starting your search early. I recommend reaching out to them a few months in advance so they have enough time to find the perfect candidates for you. You can also try posting your job openings on platforms like Indeed.com, which has a good track record of delivering great results.

If you’re open to more options, you might consider working with staffing agencies. They specialize in finding temporary staff and can provide you with qualified candidates.

But don’t forget about your existing staff!

One brilliant idea from Wolckenhauer is to leverage your current team. You can appoint strong leaders within your organization to help train and mentor the new hires. This will not only ensure that your new staff members are well-prepared but also drive better results for your team as a whole.

Are you ready to hear some cool ideas to make your team even better? Well, here’s one: why not encourage your experienced staff to become mentors? Pairing them up with new hires will help everyone get along smoothly. And guess what? It’s not just great for the newbies, it’s also an awesome chance for your seasoned employees to develop their leadership skills!

Time to Connect with Retirees

Did you know that retirees are often looking for ways to make a little extra cash during the holiday season? Pretty cool, right? So here’s a tip: put up a notice at your local Seniors’ Center. You might just snag some retired folks who used to work in your industry! That would give you some holiday helpers who already know the ropes.

When you reach out to retirees, make sure to mention flexible work hours and the chance for them to share all their awesome expertise. These retirees have tons of experience and a whole different way of looking at things. Trust me, that kind of knowledge is absolutely priceless during the busy holiday season!

Be All About Flexibility

When you’re hiring for positions that require non-regular hours, it’s important to remember that you’re looking for people who are available during unique times. Retailers, for example, might need help during the holiday season for the overnight shift, specifically to restock shelves.

One way to make your holiday sales period easier is by hiring individuals who can switch shifts at a moment’s notice. This flexibility in scheduling can greatly benefit your business.

When you’re in the process of hiring, it is crucial to clearly communicate the need for flexible scheduling to potential candidates. By being upfront about the requirements, you can attract individuals who are willing and able to work non-traditional hours. To incentivize filling shifts that are typically hard to fill, you might consider offering additional perks or benefits.

Don’t delay your holiday hiring

10 Tips for Small Businesses to Hire Seasonal Workers During the Holidays

As soon as one holiday season ends, some experts say you should start planning for the next one. They believe that it’s important to be prepared ahead of time. When hiring seasonal employees, it’s crucial to consider both their work ethic and their personality. Your customers want to have a great experience, and that’s why it’s important to hire frontline staff who can provide excellent service.

It’s a good idea to develop a recruitment strategy that works all year round. This way, you can build a pool of potential candidates before the holiday season arrives. It’s also beneficial to reach out to past seasonal workers who did well. They already know your business and require less training.

To help you navigate the holiday hiring process, I’ve compiled a table with the top 10 tips from experts. This table provides a quick summary of actionable strategies that can make your seasonal staffing process smooth and successful.

Tackling Common Challenges in Holiday Hiring

When it comes to hiring for the holidays, there are both benefits and challenges for small businesses like ours. To make sure we succeed, it’s important to be aware of and address these challenges head-on.

1. Not Hiring Enough Staff

One mistake that’s easy to make is not hiring enough staff to handle the busy holiday season. If we don’t have enough people, our employees will feel overwhelmed and our customers will be unhappy. To avoid this, we need to look at past data and sales predictions to figure out how many people we really need.

2. Forgetting to Train New Hires Properly

3. Overlooking Cultural Fit

It’s really important to find people who fit well with your company culture. Just looking at their skills and not considering whether they align with your values can cause conflicts and make the team less cohesive. When hiring, make sure to assess candidates not only for their qualifications but also for how well they fit within your business’s way of doing things.

4. Failing to Communicate Expectations

Being clear about what you expect is crucial, especially when hiring temporary workers who may not be familiar with your business. If you don’t communicate expectations regarding performance, behavior, and scheduling, you can end up with misunderstandings and frustration.

5. Delaying Recruitment

Once again, if you wait until the last minute to hire people for the holidays, you won’t have many choices and might end up with employees who aren’t very good. But if you start the hiring process early, you’ll have enough time to carefully consider all the applicants and choose the ones who are perfect for your business.

6. Not Listening to What Seasonal Employees Have to Say

10 Tips for Small Businesses to Hire Seasonal Workers During the Holidays

I think it’s really important to listen to what seasonal staff have to say. They have valuable insights that can help us figure out what’s working well and what needs improvement during the holidays. If we ignore their feedback, it not only brings down morale, but also stops us from making the necessary changes to provide better customer service and make things more efficient.

7. Not Following the Rules

Temporary workers have rights too. It’s really important to follow the laws and regulations when hiring them. If we don’t, we could get into legal trouble and it could hurt our reputation. We need to make sure we understand the rules and follow them completely.

8. Not Being Prepared for the Future