Seasonal hiring is both exciting and stressful for many businesses.
Busy seasons such as holiday shopping and back to school are a welcome uptick in profits. But, these busy times of the year can also be worrisome as you struggle to find enough employees to meet customer demands.
With elevated customer expectations, thanks to a shopping mindset shift that occurred during the pandemic, providing a high-quality, personalized experience during the holiday season is critical.
Finding reliable, seasonal employees has its own set of challenges during the best of times. Add in a nationwide labor shortage, and it's time to get inventive.
The Struggle to Find Seasonal Workers is RealAccording to the U.S Labor Department, as of August 2022, there were 10.1 million job openings and only 5.7 million unemployed workers to fill them.
While the number of job openings has decreased slightly this year, Julia Pollak, chief economist for ZipRecruiter, says, "this is the best job seekers market of all times."
This nationwide labor shortage is causing organizations to get more strategic about their hiring, onboarding, and training process as the busy season approaches.
And since many seasonal hires are customer-facing positions, employers must ensure everyone is on their A-game. Consumers are stressed out during the holidays and have lowered tolerance for poor customer service.
To combat this, employers are offering everything from sign-on bonuses to increased hourly pay and tuition fees to attract quality frontline workers in the current competitive climate.
Consider the most recent announcements from these large retail chains:
- Michaels is hiring fewer seasonal workers this year with the promise of more hours
- Target is looking to hire 100,000 seasonal workers, has increased hourly pay, and is offering free flu vaccinations to all employees regardless of insurance coverage.
- UPS is hiring over 100,000 essential seasonal workers and has decreased the hiring process time by 50% to ensure job offers are accepted quickly.
- Amazon says it plans to hire 150,000 workers ahead of the holidays and will offer $3,000 sign-on bonuses with the potential for full-time work following the busy season.
When large organizations make lucrative offers like signing bonuses and guaranteed hours to remain competitive, you know your work is cut out.
You may not need 20,000 seasonal workers, but if you need to hire additional staff to get you through the holiday season — or any busy season — you need a plan.
4 Tips to Hire Qualified Seasonal Employees Fast
Before the busy season hits, and you find yourself overwhelmed with an influx of consumers, use these quick tips to help you hire qualified seasonal applicants fast.
Text Your Eligible Rehires
Hopefully, you've got an ongoing list of top performers from previous years that you can reach out to again. If not, it's never too late!
Grab that list and get in touch before you lose them to the competition. Rather than call them individually, or send out a group email that may never get seen, get in touch quickly with a text message blast.
Texting eligible rehires will ensure you reach all potential candidates, whether they have a smartphone, a flip phone, or a prepaid phone.
The biggest bonus?
It's fast and easy, especially with a texting tool like goHappy where you can send personalized group text messages that don't look templated. Set this group text up once and save yourself time every busy season with a simple mouse click.
Go Back to Previous Candidates in Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
If you're like most employers, you have several candidates from months/years past who were hirable candidates but did not accept the job for whatever reason.
A tool like the goHappyFrontline Messaging Module allows you to text previous candidates to make them aware of openings, new opportunities, signing bonuses, new hourly pay, and more.
And remember, even if they aren't looking for work, they may know someone who is.
Tap Into Your Existing Employees for Referrals
One of the best ways to find a new employee is to ask existing full-time and part-time employees for referrals. You never know who has a friend or relative who just lost their job or needs some extra cash over the holidays.
Referral hires are four times more likely to be offered a job than those who apply from a job board. It's also an excellent way to find employees who will stick around, as 45% stay longer than non-referral hires.
Asking existing employees for referrals shows you trust their judgment. And those who make referrals remain in their jobs 20% longer than those who don't.
Text your existing employees with the link to your job openings and ask them to share it with their contacts — don't forget to mention that referral bonus!
Utilize Hourly Work Marketplaces
Make sure you're tapping into the online marketplaces specializing in hourly work. Using a hiring platform like Snagajob can make the hiring process more efficient by pre-screening applicants.
Be sure to write a compelling job description with as much transparency as possible. Be clear about job requirements — will they spend long hours on their feet? — hours available, and length of employment. If there's no opportunity to remain on staff once the busy season ends, don't say that in the posting.
And don't forget to include the good stuff like signing bonuses, temporary benefits, or store discounts.
Follow Labor Laws for Seasonal Workers
Although some of your seasonal workers may be on-call, part-time, or contract workers, it is still essential to follow employment laws.
Employment labor laws for seasonal workers will vary by region. The Fair Labor Standards Act is an excellent resource for determining the federal minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, and recordkeeping responsibilities.
Get to know these rules before you end up in the thick of things and barely have time to enjoy a glass of eggnog!
Use a Texting Tool to Rehire Holiday and Seasonal Workers
Seasonal hiring doesn’t need to be stressful. Utilizing technology to fill the gaps and connect with rehires will make the entire process easier and help you get a jump on competitors.
And communicating with potential rehires via the goHappy texting tool is a straightforward way to get your hiring message out fast.
Check out our frontline messaging tool to help you activate your seasonal workforce in minutes, not months.