Talent Circles

Friday, May 31, 2013

Seasonal Hiring Best Practices in Retail

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The holiday shopping season is one of the busiest of the entire year. Black Friday, the official start to the mayhem and madness of shoppers flocking to reduced prices while wanting to get their shopping done early. By this time recruiters have slaved for months, like they do every year, to make sure positions are filled and season hires have passed all the necessary tests to start working. In order to be successful at seasonal hiring here are a things that every recruiter needs to follow:

Start early. When hiring a mass influx of staff it’s important that recruiters allow themselves enough time to hire effectively. You’ll want to make sure new employees are ready to start working right when the peak season hits.

Train. One of the most important things you can do is make sure all the employees you hire are trained efficiently. I’m not sure what’s worse, waiting in line for an hour or getting to the register and your cashier not knowing a single thing. Ensuring proper training about your company, procedures and culture will keep everyone from bickering and destroying the culture by gossip and childish behaviors.

Recruit former employees. In order to save money on time and recruitment opportunities take a few and call past seasonal employees and see if they are interested in working again. You save money in training, time during the interview process, and less applications to wade through.

Don’t compromise your standards. During the holiday seasons a customer expects nothing but exceptional service. 99% of the time they’re not going to know that an employee isn’t a permanent employee. The quality of service the receive will dictate if they finish shopping and complete a purchase within your store. When hiring temporary employees it’s important to never compromise your standards because even temporary employees can ruin your brand image.

Plan the interview process. With massive staff increases the interviews can get a little hectic and scheduling that mean interviews can be overwhelming. Develop a plan to handle the increased number by asking for other managers in your department to conduct some of the interviews. Before doing so make sure to develop a standardize list of questions so they avoid any type of possible legal problems.

Every one of these suggestions will help recruiters gain the upper hand on their competition when it comes to seasonal hiring. It’s important to keep your standards as high as they are despite hiring temporary workers. When training leave enough time to explain everything important to your company so that they’re able to carry on your values.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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