Seasonal Hiring Best Practices


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If you haven’t started or completed your seasonal hiring yet, it’s time to get moving!  Whether you’re already underway or starting today, here are some things to consider when hiring your seasonal team.

1. Hire a specialist. Unless someone is a former employee or at the very least has worked in a competitor’s store, the chance of a seasonal employee stepping in and doing the job as well as your permanent employees is rare.  And if they do, either you’ve hired an amazing seasonal employee or your standards for your staff are way too low.

The most valuable seasonal specialists are cashiers. They don’t require much product knowledge, the good ones already have the right skills and just need to learn your system, and a great one can make a huge difference when it counts the most.

2. Recruit your customers. Who better to work in your store this holiday than someone who already knows the products and people? Yes, I’ve heard a couple of horror stories about good customers who wash out as seasonal help and never come back, but those are the exception and not the rule. Send out a special newsletter to your community on the benefits of joining your holiday team.

3. Don’t compromise your standards. Most of your customers won’t know if an employee is a seasonal employee or not, but they will know if they want to return based on the quality of the help they received. A sub-standard employee will not only cost you sales, but customers, too. I’d rather be short staffed than compromise on this.

4. Reward your staff for recruiting your seasonal help. Some of my best seasonal hires were friends and acquaintances of my employees. One year an employee recruited his friend the pharmaceutical salesman to work in our store during the holidays. This guy was one of the best salespeople I’ve ever seen. He was unbelievable.  He would never have come to work for us during the holidays if his friend hadn’t recruited him.

I like to pay a two-step seasonal recruiting bonus. I’ll pay out the first bonus to the permanent employee when the person they’ve recruited is hired.  If the seasonal employee makes it through the holidays I’ll pay out a second bonus. This way the permanent employee has a vested interest in the success of the person they recruit.

5. Recruit former employees. It’s worth a phone call or email to see if a former employee, one who left in good standing, would like to make some extra money this holiday. You’ll be surprised how often someone will say they hadn’t considered it but, since you’ve asked, will give you a few hours a week. Everyone wins!

6. Hire early and start your seasonal employees sooner than later. We’re all tempted to delay hiring and starting seasonal staff to save money but that’s shortsighted. The amount of money you save is peanuts compared to the difference a more experienced employee makes during the holiday season.

So let me ask, are you well on your way to creating an extraordinary holiday team?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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