Does your small business need additional help around the holidays? Employing temporary or seasonal workers can be a great way for small businesses to prosper during the holiday months. However, appointing temporary seasonal workers is different from hiring permanent workers. Temporary employees must possess the skills and knowledge to learn quickly because there’s no time for intensive training. Also, the interview process doesn’t have to be as in-depth as it typically is when enlisting permanent employees. While you want capable and eager candidates, some aspects of the interview may not be as important if they will only be with your business for a few months. However, if you are thinking of hiring seasonal employees on full-time in the future, you should complete in-depth interviews with them before the hiring process is complete. Whether the employees you bring on will be temporary staff or if there’s a chance you’ll hire them on permanently, there are some essential facts you should keep in mind when hiring temporary holiday help.
Essential Advice for Hiring Seasonal Employees for the Holidays and Beyond
Post job opportunities early
Applicants start their holiday job search as early as September, so you want to know which positions you’ll be hiring for around this time. Depending on the job specifics and the number of people you’ll be selecting, the application and interview process can take a few weeks. It’s best to be prepared and have all available jobs posted on your website well before the holidays start. Some places to post seasonal job opportunities include sites like Indeed, Snagajob and even Craigslist.
Use social media to find candidates
In addition to job boards, social media can be an exceptional place to find candidates. If your small business has social media profiles, you should share your job opportunities there. Social media contains many communities centered around job postings. It’s not difficult to find and become a part of these groups. Within the groups are people who are looking for jobs as well as recruiters and executives looking to fill positions. Social media is a great way to show off your business’s culture and reveal why it’d be a tremendous place to work.
Hire enthusiastic employees
Just because this may be a temporary job doesn’t mean you should slack on the quality of your employees. You’ll want to employ smart and ready-to-work individuals. Before interviews begin, come up with questions to ask candidates and think about who within your company they’ll talk to during the interview process. Always remember to be organized and professional, the seasonal job market is competitive and if you don’t hire the right candidates, your competitors will.
Select flexible employees
Depending on your industry, most seasonal jobs require long hours. You likely need extra holiday help because you’re extremely busy. During the interview process, be sure to ask potential employees about working long hours and their availability. If a candidate says they can only work certain hours, they may not be right for the job. Be clear from the beginning about how many hours employees are expected to work per week and how long the job will last.
Modify seasonal interview questions
Before you begin interviews, create a standard prompt to present to seasonal applicants containing questions they’ll be asked. These questions and requirements should be different than the ones asked to permanent employees. Consider the day-to-day tasks as well as the challenges and goals of the positions. Since you are planning on being quite busy during the holidays, make sure employees can work under pressure and conduct themselves professionally in stressful situations. Below are some interview question examples from hiring guru, Monster:
- Tell me about a time when you were under pressure, but a customer just wasn’t letting you resolve the issue.
- Do you like or dislike high-pressure situations?
- What was the most stressful part of your last position?
- Do you enjoy being pulled into different things, or do you prefer routine?
- How did you handle the last customer who yelled at you? What did you say to them?
- What is it about our product and company that makes you want to work here?
- What do you like the least about working with customers?
Interview candidates using panels
To save yourself and candidates time it’s a good idea to use panel interviews. When interviewing for temp jobs, applicants are likely not going to want to come in for more than one interview because time is limited and long interview processes are unnecessary. To do panel interviews, choose a few people from your business who will have a say in which candidates get hired. Too many interviewers may cause the candidate to get nervous so try not to have more than four. If you take advantage of this interview method, make sure to have a solid strategy in place so that interviews are equally fair for all candidates. Another time-saving interview method is a phone interview. Phone interviews easily weed out applicants who wouldn’t be a good fit for the job based on personality, experience and other traits. Phone interviews are short, sometimes taking as little as 10 minutes.
Ask your employees for referrals
Who knows your business better than your employees? If they refer a candidate, the candidate will likely already know about what you do and how your business works. Contenders will know what to expect and a little bit about your customer base. This is an exceptional way to bring qualified candidates into your company, especially if there’s potential to bring them on permanently after the holiday season ends.
Naturally, you’re very busy as the holiday season approaches but hiring seasonal help is essential. These tips can be beneficial when looking for qualified candidates, which isn’t always an easy task. As long as your employees are motivated, flexible and have appropriate experience, they should fit in well. Employees are the face of your business during the busiest times of the year, so be sure to give seasonal hiring the attention it warrants.