Whether you’re a retailer, a manufacturer or own a seasonal business such as a ski resort, now is the time you may need more hands to meet seasonal customer demand. For example, retail job openings typically start accelerating in early September and peak in mid-October, according to job search site Glassdoor.
Make your jobs more appealing
It’s a job seeker's market, and lots of companies are competing for seasonal workers. Thanks to a strong economy and optimistic holiday sales projections, Glassdoor expects seasonal holiday hiring to rise by about 4% compared to last year. Target, UPS, Amazon and Kohl’s are just a few of the big companies hiring seasonal employees, and they’re offering good pay and perks to attract workers.
Start by making sure your pay is competitive. If earning holiday pay and overtime are options for your seasonal workers, promote that too. Highlight any perks, such as performance bonuses, employee discounts or flexible hours. Are you looking for workers who can stay on after the holidays? Then promote the opportunity to transition to full-time work.
Ask your existing employees to spread the word
Desirable employees tend to have friends with similar habits and work ethics. Let your employees know that you’re looking for seasonal workers. Consider offering a referral bonus if an employee refers someone you end up hiring.
Reach out to previous seasonal employees
Go back to your employment records to find some of your top seasonal workers from years past. Contact them to see if they’re looking for work again.
Loyal customers can be great employees, so use your social media accounts and your website to let people know you’re hiring. Also spread the word on community-based social media sites such as NextDoor or your town’s Facebook group. People often turn to community sites for leads on jobs.
Give them a sign
It’s old fashioned, but it still works: Put up a sign to let people know you’re hiring. My local Target and Kohl’s both have big sandwich boards out front advertising seasonal jobs, with a number to text for more information. You can do the same. Do you have delivery vehicles or company cars? Put magnetic signage advertising you’re hiring on the vehicles.
Think outside the box
Teenagers and college students aren’t your only resource for seasonal workers. Stay-at-home moms and retirees often want to earn extra money around the holidays. Advertise on job sites that specialize in these markets such as RetireeWorkforce, Workforce50, Women’s Job List or FlexJobs. Snag is a popular job search site specializing in hourly workers. You can also contact local groups catering to those demographics, such as retiree groups, PTAs or parents’ groups, and let them know you’re looking for seasonal workers.
Consider a staffing agency
When your business is hitting its busy season, writing and placing job ads and scanning responses is the last thing you have time for. Outsourcing to a staffing agency specializing in temporary workers takes these headaches off your hands. You will pay more for these employees since the staffing agency will take a cut. However, you’ll save time and can rest assured the staffing agency has handled background checks, references and other steps involved in finding qualified candidates who can hit the ground running.
Finding qualified seasonal employees can be a big challenge for a small business. By taking these steps to widen your search, you’ll find the workers you need so you can benefit from all that the busy season has to offer.
About Rieva Lesonsky
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.
Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.
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