Seasonal hiring can be chaotic, and unfortunately, it can lead to some major hiring regrets. Whether it’s starting too late in the process, not finding enough qualified candidates for open roles, or hiring the wrong people for your positions, seasonal hiring can often leave employers wanting more.
Even if you do have enough qualified applicants, without a plan, your hiring team could fail to find the right talent for your company’s busiest season. Recruiting top candidates for an influx of hiring activity shouldn’t leave talent teams burnt out, but instead, it should energize them, knowing they are supporting periods of peak demand for the business.
So rather than stressing about the seasonal hiring process, take a look at some insider secrets to hiring top talent for your seasonal hiring surges. But first, let’s define who seasonal workers are and get some of the basics, so you can be on your way to hiring well for your busiest season.
What Is a Seasonal Employee?
Seasonal workers are temporary or short-term employees hired in a company to help support during the organization’s busiest season. These types of workers are hired with the specific focus of helping the company during peak times as the typical workforce cannot keep up with the volume or demands placed on their business.
For example, a garden store or nursery may hire summer help to support the busy growing and planting season. Retail stores may seek extra hands during the holidays when the store’s volume drastically increases. Or during tax season, a tax office may bring on added accountants or assistants to support the deadline for state and federal tax returns. Whatever the situation, many companies can fluctuate in their demand for workers.
Seasonal employees can help businesses get through peak seasons, especially as hours are extended and demand picks up. Plus, adding employees during the busy season can really help bridge the gap between the sudden influx of customers and existing full-time staff. It’s important to understand that seasonal workers are defined by their purpose, and intended to supplement your existing workforce. Perhaps even more important, recognize when your peak seasons occur so you can plan your peak hiring efforts well in advance.
What does today’s seasonal candidate want from their next employer? According to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 27% of job seekers said that higher compensation is the biggest factor in looking for a new job. Click To Tweet
The Secrets to Seasonal Hiring Success
Qualified candidates are hard to find, especially when it comes to seasonal roles. The fast-paced recruiting process of filling high volumes of roles in a short time can often leave something to be desired from all sides. There’s a shortage of talent in today’s labor market and those participating have a growing list of expectations for their next employers. Seasonal hiring can be difficult to manage for recruiting teams of any size, but talent teams have found success by leveraging these strategies for hiring seasonal workers:
#1: Start Early
To identify the best time for hiring seasonal employees is, you should develop timelines based on previous experience. Try to get started two to three months before your busy season to ensure you have top talent lined up. This affords you time to review resumes, conduct interviews, and train your new employees.
Another way to think of your seasonal hiring strategy is to work backwards from the peak season. Let’s say your company experiences the highest demand in mid-November. If it takes two weeks to effectively train workers, you’ll want to ensure that all of the new seasonal workers have filled out their paperwork by that point. Then, you can use your hiring analytics to see how long it takes to source talent, on average. If it typically takes a month to fill a position, you’d want to start hiring around the beginning of October.
#2: Be the Employer That Stands Out
Whether you offer better compensation, scheduling, or simply have a better company culture, you want to be sure you have some qualities that distinguish you from the competition. Your temporary employees will likely feel proud when discussing and comparing their jobs to that of their peers, helping to enhance your employer brand and employee loyalty.
#3: Don’t Wait for Them to Apply
Contact seasonal hires early and ask them if they’ll come back. Many times, previous employees will be pleased you remembered them. Use leading talent acquisition technology to keep this talent group warm, and connect with them before the busy season. This gives them the chance to plan on returning to work for you before committing elsewhere.
#4: Develop Incentives for Learning and Training
Seasonal employees aren’t around for the long haul. They know their time at your company is limited, so their goal is to maximize their earning potential. Creating short-term incentives for learning and training objectives can motivate seasonal workers to give their full attention to their roles. In addition to monetary bonuses, consider offering flexible hours, gift cards, or free meals. Also, if possible, consider offering end-of-season bonuses to make sure you are remembered.
Remember, It’s All About Exceeding Seasonal Candidate Expectations
In this highly competitive market for recruiting teams, it takes a lot for an employer or role to stand out. So, what exactly does today’s seasonal candidate want from their next employer? While there are a few essentials on the list, employees overall are looking for better compensation. According to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 27% of job seekers said that higher compensation is the biggest factor in looking for a new job.
These expectations are also high on a seasonal job seeker’s list:
- An easy, intuitive application process that can be completed from a smart phone and doesn’t require creating an account to apply
- A company culture that prioritizes employee wellness, safety, and DEI
- Quick responses from recruiters and short periods between steps of the interview process; this is especially true for seasonal roles
- Flexible work hours that accommodate their desired work-life balance
- Easy scheduling and interviewing processes that are informative and manage expectations about the company and role
Are You Ready for Your Peak Hiring Season?
Preparing for an influx in hiring activity for an upcoming busy season? Top recruiting teams are adopting automation and AI tools to improve outcomes for seasonal hiring. Read more on preparing for peak recruiting seasons by subscribing to the Jobvite blog or visiting our resource library.