The holidays are the busiest time of year for many companies. With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday coming up this month, companies are now hiring seasonal workers to handle the additional sales. Hiring the right type of workers for your business during the holiday season is critical for maximizing sales and having customers return in the new year.
According to CareerBuilder, 39 percent of retail hiring managers plan to hire seasonal workers this year, up from 36 percent in 2012 and 29 percent in 2011. These are critical hires, according to Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “Nearly half of U.S. employers who are hiring seasonal workers plan to transition some into permanent staff," he says. "This is up 10 percent over last year and indicative of a growing trend where employers are test-driving candidates before committing to a long-term hire."
Because of the nature of the work, seasonal employees need to come on board quickly and be effective during a very stressful time. According to Susie Wang, co-founder of 100% Pure, a skincare and cosmetics company, this is a challenge, since some of the part-time employees don’t take the job seriously.
Which type of seasonal employees are the best fit to maximize your results?
Sky Zone has a large increase of visitors to its indoor trampoline parks during the holidays. For its 47 locations, it hires students who are off from school since the job requires a lot of movement and interaction with kids.
Hiring Tip: Try to hire students when they are 16 or 17 years old, so they can come back multiple years. Offer rewards to people who refer their friends and are successfully hired.
The advantage of this group is that they can get up to speed very quickly on any task and are technologically very literate. Tell them about the mission of the business and how they fit into the holiday rush. Set small goals and short deadlines.
Hiring Tip: Don't leave millennials with nothing to do since they get bored quickly and are used to multitasking. Also, don't expect them to return annually, since they're always looking for the next best opportunity.
To fulfill over 50,000 orders this holiday season, Bill Bauer at Royce Leather Gifts hires 75 to 100 part-time warehouse and quality control employees. He finds that for detail-oriented gift wrapping and packaging, baby boomer workers are the best. They continue to come back to the company every year.
Hiring Tip: Test detailed skills for the exact job that needs to get done before hiring them.
Moms and Dads
Carved Solutions has found a great resource in local school systems. Parents who have extra time during the day have become a great fit for their holiday workforce. Co-founder Dawn Lancaster finds that parents have a great work ethic and love to work in a business that's making a difference in the community.
Hiring Tip: Advertise work openings at the local PTA group or community center.
Art Koff at Retired Brains advises companies to look for "retired" holiday sales clerks. He believes that many temp firms are focusing on retirees since they're seen as very reliable. Susie Wang agrees, “We find hiring retirees to be especially delightful because they're not working just for money but are doing it to get out and socialize. Retirees are empathic with customers, which we highly value.”
Hiring Tip: Train patiently so workers have time to process all the details and can execute to the standard you're expecting.
Who do you hire for the holidays and why?
Read more articles on holiday sales.
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