5 Tips to Address the Challenges of Seasonal Hiring

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Organizations that depend on seasonal hiring to help address fluctuations in their business cycles are likely used to fighting the inherent challenges that come with finding new employees at certain times during the year.

Compressed timeframes, high-pressure environments, and a lack of support are just some of the issues with which you must grapple as you engage in their seasonal hiring efforts.

The good news is that careful planning and preparation can work to overcome most of the challenges you may be experiencing with your seasonal staffing programs.

In fact, some of these strategies can also help you optimize your overall effort and better ensure that you’re bringing on board the best employees:

  1. Audit the previous season.
    What worked last year? What didn’t? Having a full understanding of where your program is working and where it’s falling short means you can maintain strengths and address weaknesses in a proactive, thoughtful way.

  2. Start the process early.
    Consider starting months in advance, if possible. For example, if you’re hiring for the winter holiday season, late summer or early fall may be the best time to start looking for new workers.

    Many applicants are likewise already planning for the season and may be willing to make an employment commitment even in an early time period.

  3. Tap your existing labor pools.
    You may already have existing sources of seasonal labor: workers from previous years, friends and family members of current employees, regular customers, and even retired or former employees, etc.

  4. Dedicate the right resources.
    Hiring managers can easily get overwhelmed, so consider allocating additional personnel to help with the effort. The hiring and on-boarding process can be divvied up, so it’s more manageable for everyone.

    Additionally, hiring managers sometimes complain that they’re making staffing decisions in a vacuum–adding in just one more person’s opinion on an applicant’s suitability can help immensely.

  5. Don’t abandon standard practices.
    Don’t circumvent or omit your normal processes and procedures just because timelines are tight and pressure is high. Doing so could lead to unnecessary risk.

    So, try to maintain your standards–for example, safeguard applicant information, apply the same background screening methodology, and properly interview applicants just as you would in less stressful periods.

Keep in mind that successful seasonal hiring programs can actually be a great vehicle for finding permanent staff. In a recent survey of the retail industry, 80 percent of hiring managers reported that seasonal hiring was, in fact, the best way to find full-time employees.

Moreover, 28 percent of the respondents indicated that they intended to hire half or more of their seasonal workforce into permanent positions once the initial tide had subsided.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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