5 Tips to Avoid the Hustle and Bustle of Holiday Hiring

(DGIwire) — With the holidays here again, ’tis the season for retail shopping! Holiday teams are vital for merchandising success and now is the time for hiring. This season, online sales are expected to hit $124 billion, a 15 percent increase year-over-year according to U.S. 2018 predictions. Despite recent trends of amplified e-shopping, brick-and-mortar stores are expecting a two percent rise in sales. This anticipated increase is great news for retailers and even better for those seeking seasonal work.

Having the right team is a powerful way for a company to differentiate itself this time of year. Atrium, a staffing and contingent workforce solutions firm, offers these five recommendations for hiring and onboarding a seasonal team:

  • Be Selective. Ensuring that only the most qualified and professional associates join the team this season can be achieved by thoroughly screening candidates. Save time by scheduling phone introductions prior to in-person interviews. Outsourcing this step may even be considered if the call volume is significant. When aptitude assessments, data profiles and diverse skill screening strategies are utilized, a team can be selected that will get up to speed more quickly and efficiently. Taking time to prescreen is a crucial step when selecting the right pool of candidates to represent a brand.
  • Require Face Time. Personality, dependability and trust are key when hiring seasonal employees. Make time to interview candidates in-person or by video to ensure these core qualities shine through. With limited time to nurture holiday hires, their knowledge of the business will most likely be limited. Therefore, likeability matters! Respect, enthusiasm, confidence and poise are attributes hiring personnel need to see and assess for themselves. If hiring for multiple positions, consider hosting group interviews or utilizing video interview technology to save valuable time. When interviewing this season, remember that face time is always the best way to yield the desired hiring outcome. 
  • Ask the Experts. It’s important to understand the full scope of employment laws and how they apply to a workforce when employment is short-term. Company policies apply to seasonal and full-time hires alike, so providing a company handbook and hosting an orientation is essential to proper onboarding practices. State and local guidelines differ regarding sick time, overtime and minimum wage. The variance between all the employment regulations can be confusing. Working with a talent management firm can provide the compliance assurance and help to avoid unnecessary penalties or fees. Don’t risk it; ask the experts!
  • Be Inclusive. Every employee, seasonal or not, is a representation of the brand. When an inspiring work culture is created by building positive relationships, it helps shape effective brand ambassadors. Be sure to build a positive relationship between the business and the holiday hires. Invite them to company events, staff meetings and team building exercises. Being inclusive can go a long way when meeting or exceeding talent goals this season.
  • Think Bigger. Re-engaging proven performers on a periodic basis can save time and money when it comes to hiring holiday talent for the following season. Establish a pre-screened pipeline of talent to enhance brand authenticity and optimize sales goals. When a community of talent is curated, a holiday team can be onboarded with improved strategy and confidence.

The holiday hustle and bustle can be challenging for retailers. Consider obtaining the services of a talent management company that has a solid track record in the placement and management of seasonal employees.