5 Tips to Simplify Seasonal Hiring

Jul 24, 2012 10:17 PM  By

It’s that time of year when seasonal businesses begin gearing up for the fourth-quarter peak. It can sometimes be difficult to find the right people to fill the numerous temporary positions that so many seasonal businesses have available, and for such short periods of time. Here are five tips to help simplify the hiring process.

Rehire, rehire, rehire
The best resources for seasonal team members are the people who have worked with you before. They are familiar with your business and know your season, and they are typically ready when the time comes to begin work again. This enables you to cut way down on your training time, which in turn saves money. Offer incentives, like an increase in pay or a returning bonus, to help motivate them.

Be proactive
Even if they have not applied yet, begin contacting previous eligible team members in advance to determine if they are available to return for season. It’s never too early to put the word out, which typically prompts others to begin applying.

Use returning team members
Many seasonal businesses do not normally have enough regular staff on board to help supervise the additional shifts typically implemented during peak season. With regular team members already spread thin due to heavier workloads, you can use your most senior seasonal team members as leads for additional shifts. Be sure they understand the additional responsibilities and receive the necessary training, and be sure to compensate them accordingly.

Offer referral bonuses
Existing team members can be the best resource for getting new team members on board, especially if you’re on a tight timeline. Offer a referral bonus, but have guidelines in place so that you aren’t paying out bonuses for team members who don’t perform, or who do not complete the season.

Ensure top performers return
It can sometimes be difficult to remember who the top performers were from previous seasons, especially with all the other planning that must take place. To help with this process, have your department supervisors fill out a short, one-page review of seasonal team members when the season is over. This is extremely helpful when the time comes to begin hiring again.

For seasonal businesses the fourth-quarter peak can make or break a business, so it’s imperative to have the right team members on board to help ensure your season is a success.

Kim Silva is operations team leader for Fairytale Brownies.