It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for some businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors, the Christmas period can be more like a Halloween horror story than a heartwarming seasonal tale.
Hiring Seasonal Employees
Finding the right gifts to make the perfect Christmas can be a struggle, especially when you have to buy for fussy teenagers! But as a hiring manager in the retail or hospitality sectors, the Christmas period represents a different kind of challenge, and I’m not just talking about the novelty Christmas songs you’ll be hearing on repeat for the next two months!
With the Christmas rush nearly upon us, businesses up and down the country are preparing for the increase in footfall and that means hiring seasonal workers to cover the extra workload. Sainsbury’s and Argos alone are looking to recruit 11,500 temporary workers to cover 2018’s busy Christmas Season!
While there is no shortage of applicants looking for jobs, hiring managers are finding it increasingly difficult to find the staff that they need for the busy Christmas period.
Imagine hiring a group of temporary workers just as the Christmas shoppers start to come out in droves, only to find out that the employees you’ve recruited are not up to scratch.
Not only could they struggle with the heavy footfall, but they could also fail to make a good impression on the customers, and no-one likes bad customer service!
If you recruit the wrong people, your business could end up with you having a nightmare before Christmas.
Would you want to go back to a store or restaurant if you received a substandard customer experience? Or would you leave a negative review of your experience on social media or review sites such as Google?
The need for quality seasonal hires
The Christmas period is a fantastic opportunity for shoppers to add a bit of magic into their lives whilst out doing their Christmas shopping, even with online shopping taking over the world
From beautifully crafted displays and decorations to choirs singing carols, who doesn't love walking around the high street at Christmas?
The challenges in finding quality staff
Just like Santa and his elves, your business has to operate like a well-oiled machine to make sure that you’re delivering a fantastic customer experience this Christmas. If one elf is not doing his or her job properly, Santa might not be able to deliver all the toys, disappointing lots of boys and girls in the process. It’s the same in business, if an employee does not have the right customer service skills, they might end up offering a less than satisfactory experience which could disappoint lots of customers.
As a business, it's essential to get the right people but, for the retail and hospitality sectors, finding the right people in the busiest time of the year can be as challenging as eating a bucket load of raw brussels sprouts.
Having multiple entry-level positions attracts, on average, twice the number of applicants than any other sector in the UK, even more so during the Christmas recruitment period, but not everyone is suitable for the job.
Sorting through multiple applications can take a long time so it’s no surprise that businesses are turning to recruitment agencies to find their seasonal staff. Whilst this can bring in some fantastic talent, the costs alone could soon impact your business's bottom line, meaning it could be a very cheap Christmas party for your staff this year.
What's worse is that these hires could be at risk of leaving just days into the busy Christmas period; leaving you scrambling around like a last-minute shopper to find another replacement.
Luckily, it does not require a Christmas miracle to attract, recruit, or retain the best seasonal hires.
Five tips on how to recruit quality seasonal hires
1. Say exactly what you want
Make sure that you are letting prospective candidates know exactly what the job involves and what requirements are needed.
2. Show that you’re a great place to work
Have a fully branded and visually pleasing careers page that has lots of useful information, videos and employee testimonials to really showcase your business.
3. Make it easy for your hiring managers
An effective Applicant Tracking System can help you to manage multiple applications in a timely and cost-effective manner.
4. Let your candidates decide
Allow candidates to self-select, rearrange and cancel their own interview time, you show a level of flexibility that many other companies do not.
5. Show them that you care
With an effective onboarding and induction process in place, you can communicate effectively with your seasonal hires to set expectations, train them, and give them more exposure to your company.
Hiring the best seasonal talent doesn’t have to be complicated. By simplifying your recruitment process, you can attract quality talent that will help to impress your customers during a busy shopping period.
Vacancy Filler can't help you with your festive music decisions, but we can help you with your seasonal recruitment strategies, click here to find out more.