Hiring for the Holidays?

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As snow begins to fall across much of the country, pine boughs and twinkle lights are making their appearance too. Holiday decorations tend to show up right after Halloween, and many companies in consumer-facing industries need extra help around the same time. However, there’s still plenty of room in the calendar to add employees for the holiday season. If you were sure your current team could carry you through the end of the year but find everyone’s already overwhelmed – not to mention sick of Christmas carols – it might be time to make a free job posting for seasonal help. Here are a few tips to help you get the best temporary employees you can:

Make Your Intentions Clear

There’s plenty of advice out there for seasonal workers looking to parlay their placements into a permanent position. While it’s all quite practical – along the lines of reminding seasonal help to behave professionally, work on networking and perform as well as possible – none of it will be useful to them if you’re really only hiring for the season. In your job ads, be sure to indicate there are no positions open after the season ends, if that’s the case.

However, if you’ve been considering adding staff for some time, the holiday season is a good opportunity to give someone an extended audition. As holiday staff are likely to perform the same tasks that are necessary the rest of the year, only in a busier environment, it’s easy to determine how well they work on staff – and under pressure.

Consider Your Audience

Holiday positions, especially part-time ones, can attract people with a lot of experience. From retirees to homemakers to people with other jobs looking for a little extra seasonal spending money, all kinds of people seek seasonal employment. As such, you shouldn’t worry about requiring certain levels of experience or expertise from your holiday staff if that’s necessary for your business. You never know who’s combing online job sites to find a job for the next couple of months – it’s not always unskilled and untested students on break from school.

Consider including a line in your free job posting noting the position as ideal for seniors and homemakers, for example. Both these demographics contain people who have plenty of work experience but don’t currently work. Skills that help make for great customer service tend not to age, unlike other workplace imperatives, so don’t worry if some of your applicants have been out of the workforce for quite some time.

If it appeals to you, it’s also very easy to find students to take on seasonal work. They may take direction more easily, or be willing to work odd shifts that work with their class schedules but aren’t necessarily convenient for other possible seasonal employees. When you’re interviewing someone who has little or no work experience, it’s important to keep your focus on what can’t be taught. A pleasant attitude and an interest in your business’ products are two very important traits seasonal workers should have, whether or not they’re up on the latest techniques and industry news.

Provide Unconventional Benefits

Seasonal workers will not qualify for any benefits you extend to the rest of your employees – though you must remember to put them on payroll and withhold taxes accordingly – but you are likely to want to reward them for their hard work in some way additional to their compensation.

Some typical benefits for seasonal employees include a discount on merchandise, higher pay for working holidays or extremely high-volume days like Black Friday and post-season celebration.

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