‘Tis the season for seasonal hires. Whether you’re in retail, food service / catering or any other operation that gets a bump in business during the traditional holiday season, it’s likely you’re looking for additional staff to get you through the busy period.
Here are five quick reminders about hiring and working with temporary, seasonal staff.
Project your needs. To prevent over-hiring or under-hiring, spend some time planning and projecting your business and staffing needs during the holiday season. Make sure the job description of temp workers is clear and they understand your expectations. For example, if you plan to be open late on Christmas Eve and early the day after Christmas, make sure they know these are times they will be scheduled to work.
Start early. If you haven’t started already, do it now. There’s a lot of competition for hiring for the holidays. And like a regular, direct employee, you need time to do reference / background checks and train your temp workers.
Take advantage of pre-screened employee sources. How many times have you filled a position by placing an advertisement in the newspaper, only to have the employee not work out? This wastes time and money spent on interviewing, training and losing the employee. With seasonal workers, you don’t have time to gamble on any unknowns. Consider referrals from current employees as a first choice for temporary help; in a way, they’ve already been screened. You also should consider staffing agencies, such as The Lee Group, as a source for seasonal workers. We screen potential staff with the specific job and company in mind, and make the best match possible.
Ask the “right” questions early to avoid problems down the road. Seasonal business periods leave no room for trial periods to see if a worker is a “fit” for the business. This makes it all the more important to get the right employees on board the first try. Using employee referrals and a staffing agency can help with that, but you also can specifically listen for voluntary information in the interview and ask specific questions to see if an individual is right for your temp position. Potential questions include:
- Have you ever worked during the holidays in the past?
- Tell me how you’ve handled difficult customer situations?
- Why do you think you’re the right person for this job?
Know the law. As with any hire, make sure you know the legal requirements around seasonal, temporary workers at both the state and federal level.
The holidays are around the corner. Happy hiring!