Maybe the holiday season snuck up on you this year, or perhaps your initial prediction for end-of-the-year business turned out to fall a little short of reality. Whatever the reason, seasonal demand is beginning to trend upwards and you need to find some extra helping hands in order to keep pace – fast.
Although it’s always a good idea to take care of your holiday hiring needs well in advance, sometimes circumstances prevent that from happening. If you find yourself in a staffing bind as the holidays approach, don’t panic. It’s still possible to shore up your staff with as many helpful, enthusiastic temporary employees as you will need to handle the holiday rush.
The secret to sailing through the holiday hiring process with no major hitches or hiccups? According to Lynda MacDonald, management expert and author of A Practical Guide to Employing Temporary and Part-Time Staff, it all hinges on your ability to develop – and stick to – a strict set of hiring guidelines and processes. On the other hand, if you approach last-minute holiday hiring in a disorganized, scattershot manner, your chances of success will be slim to none.
Ready to dive into holiday hiring? These how-to tips will help you get a handle on the best way to make speedy, efficient, and effective hiring decisions, even at the last minute.
The best way to streamline the holiday hiring process is to call upon resources that have proven to be beneficial in the past. Do you have a stable of temporary workers who have signed on for holiday stints in years past? Have you had luck advertising in particular local or regional publications? Use your past experiences to hone in on what works – and stick with it. Ask your colleagues if they have any pertinent tips or recommendations.
Due to the time-intensive nature of this task, some managers prefer to skip reference checks for temporary employees. However, unless your prospective hire is someone who has worked for you in the past or for whom one of your current employees can vouch, this oversight could wind up causing major problems down the road. When the pressure’s on during the busy holiday season, you need to be able to count on your temporary employees to show up, be on time, do a good job, and stick around. Reference checks are a great way to hedge your holiday hiring bets.
If you’re going to be busy with the tasks of hiring temporary staff members, call on a knowledgeable team member to process the employment paperwork and new hire documentation if possible. Be sure to double-check all applicable immigration documents and any special paperwork that may be required for minor employees.
Experts say it is best to put the parameters of your seasonal employment in writing – and ask candidates to sign the document to indicate their understanding and acceptance of these terms. This will eliminate possible miscommunications about the length of employment, the pay and benefits for temporary workers, and other vital issues.
Although you won’t need to walk your seasonal hires through the full array of orientation and training sessions that your permanent employees must attend, it’s a good idea to develop a streamlined, tightly focused version that hits all of the important points your seasonal workers will need to know in order to succeed. Emphasize safety procedures, applicable policies and procedures, and basic operational do’s and don’ts.
Now that you’ve got the basics of your holiday hiring checklist in place, it’s time to take action. Ready, aim, hire!