With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time for retailers to ramp up their recruiting. But it’s not enough to hire fast; it’s also important to hire well, and avoid making rash decisions. Your seasonal employees may be temporary, but the impression they leave on your customers—and, therefore, your brand—is not. Your customers are unlikely to forgive poor service just because it’s rendered by a seasonal worker.
In this article, we’ll consider ways to invigorate your retail recruitment efforts for this holiday season to attract and onboard great workers quickly and effectively.
Let’s consider some tactics for putting your 2023 seasonal recruitment strategy on track for success.
Historical data can provide valuable insights to help you determine which recruiting activities should be repeated and which should be scaled back or discontinued, based on their performance in previous seasons.
For example, discovering that traditional advertising methods like billboards have consistently underperformed might prompt you to shift towards digital media to boost applicant engagement this year.
Set time aside to ensure your seasonal hire job descriptions are accurate, complete, and current. Pay attention to the metadata: select job type categories related to seasonal or temporary employment and add appropriate seasonal or holiday hiring phrases as tags.
Also, consider asking the author of the job description to shadow one of your existing employees in the role to get a hands-on perspective before writing the posting. That way, you’ll be sure you’re communicating your expectations to candidates clearly at the outset, which will help reduce turnover later in the season.
Job boards generally produce a high quantity of applicants, but quality (in terms of desired skills, qualifications, and experience) can be lacking. Given that almost three-quarters (73%) of millennials found their last position through a social media site, it makes sense to tap into the power of social platforms.
Consider taking advantage of your stores’ point of sale stations to advertise job openings, and put signs throughout your store or QR codes on receipts to give customers quick, clear instructions on how to apply for seasonal roles via text message.
Did You Know?
Many seasonal workers are referred by word of mouth, so turning to existing team members to help spread the word can help you find great talent quickly. One of the best ways to do this is to ask your employees to post open seasonal roles on social media and to pass along the details of any interested, qualified prospects.
Consider offering referral bonuses to your employees to reward them for bringing in new talent and reducing your hiring costs.
Did You Know?
Don’t fall into the trap of cutting corners because seasonal workers are “just temporary.” Hire them as if you’re planning to keep them. Applicants (whether applying for seasonal or full-time jobs) consider prompt and frequent communication with potential employers to be a major positive factor in their overall candidate experience.
So, get back to people immediately after they apply and send regular updates as to where things stand in the process; it also sends a message to prospective employees that you’re committed to treating your people respectfully, whether they’re seasonal employees or full-time workers.
Did You Know?
Involving current employees from different departments and levels in the recruitment process—a hiring method also known as “collaborative recruitment”—is growing in popularity. The collaborative recruitment process can come into play in the initial application screening, interview, and selection processes.
Collaborative recruitment ensures that no single hiring manager is responsible for all critical decisions. It’s therefore an effective strategy for making accurate cultural fit assessments of potential hires while building team collaboration in decision-making.
This year, the competition for seasonal talent will be fiercer than ever, so take steps to ensure your retail outlet stands out from the sea of other open jobs. Even if you’re a smaller retailer unable to offer the same incentives as larger stores, you can catch job applicants’ attention with benefits that fit within your budget.
For example, at this time of year, perks like in-store discounts and earned wage access (EWA)—which allows people to access wages they’ve already earned but not yet been paid—can be hugely enticing.
Did You Know?
54% of people surveyed rate earned wage access as an “extremely important” benefit for employers to offer.
Onboarding new seasonal employees is just as important as making hires. Up to 28% of new employees quit within the first 90 days on the job, and some even quit after their first day!
Don’t just re-circulate last year’s onboarding materials among your new seasonal workers. Take the time upfront to review and, if necessary, update your training materials and safety guidance.
Seasonal retail recruitment should be seen as a year-round effort and not just something to think about once or twice a year. Paying regular attention to your seasonal hiring strategy during the year will ensure you don’t find yourself scrambling for staff during the season or allow great candidates to slip through the net.
For example, you can send text messages to previous seasonal employees to update them on your business developments and hiring needs throughout the year. This will help you establish and maintain relationships with key talent beyond last-minute hiring needs.
This holiday season doesn’t have to be a stressful time for your retail recruitment team. By preparing yourself in advance and focusing on the right channels and technologies, you can guarantee an enjoyable holiday for you, your seasonal retail staff, and your customers.
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