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Tips for Hiring Seasonal Workers

Kadence Edmonds
18 Dec 2020

The run up to Christmas is the busiest time of year for both retailers and hospitality businesses. There’s extended shopping hours, and more foot traffic to deal with as shoppers desperately search for suitable presents for their loved ones. But while the influx in customers provides a welcome boost in revenue, it can put additional strain on your operations, reducing your ability to provide an effective and efficient service to the growing crowds.

Many businesses will look to ease the load by hiring temporary staff. Taking on seasonal workers can be a quick and cost-effective way of reducing the burden on your business.  With the right planning and preparation, your business will be able to hire the perfect staff to get you through the holiday season. Keep reading for our tips for hiring seasonal workers.  

Assess your needs

Accurately assessing your business’ demands for additional staff is crucial. Staff are an expensive commodity, and hiring in excess can dramatically impact on your holiday revenue. So working out if you have enough work to justify a new hire is important.   

Examining the previous year’s figures will allow you to forecast demand with a higher level of accuracy. Reviewing reports like a time comparison report can identify a trend in your sales and hourly sales reports can help you work out the busier days and times. For more, check out Reports to help you prepare for Christmas. If this is your first Christmas trading, then you may be able to gauge an insight by speaking with neighbouring businesses.  

Hire Early 

Being prepared is key, so start your planning as soon as you hear the holiday music turn on in September. Doing so will give you plenty of time to work out the positions you need, advertise, interview and train the candidates. That way your new recruits will be ready to perform their roles with minimal disruption to your operation, which is essential as holiday shopping ramps up.  

Advertise your positions

If you’ve left it later, then utilising a hiring agency may be the perfect solution. The agency takes care of the whole process, vetting potential candidates and only assigning people who fulfil your skills requirements. This takes the time and effort out of hiring seasonal staff with many agencies specialising in retail and hospitality roles, but it does come at a price.

The cheaper option is to source the candidates yourself. However you choose to promote your vacancy, be aware you will have to sift through CV’s, interview, and train your candidates long before the Christmas rush gets underway.

Look Internally

While advertising the open roles can land you great workers, employee referrals can be an even better way to fill the positions. Your trusted employees will often be able to recommend good candidates who are looking for holiday work. The benefit is they can save you time by essentially screening the applicants for you.  

A way to encourage employees to make these referrals is to offer meaningful incentives. This could be by way of monetary bonus or even additional time off that can be redeemed at a later date when trading resumes normality.    

Highlight the learning potential

A lot of seasonal hires will be students or travellers who highly value learning new skills on the job. When advertising the positions, highlight the valuable skills they can learn from the experience of working at your business.  

Keep the process short

While the aim is to keep your standards high when hiring seasonal workers, it doesn't mean the hiring process needs to be a long drawn-out process. Make sure the recruitment process matches the requirements and skill level of the advertised position. If the position is for a shop floor cashier then it may not be necessary to put them through a lengthy round of interviews, tests and long written applications.  

To prevent this keep your application forms precise and to the point, and opt for a simple phone interview to screen applicants prior to a face-to-face meeting. This will prevent unsuitable applicants from wasting your time (and theirs) in an interview.  

Provide quality training 

Customer satisfaction is always important and around the holidays this can be challenging.  Longer lines and wait times can fuel a flurry of negativity surrounding your in store experience, so making sure you employees are prepared to handle any situation is crucial.  

While good training takes time, it pays off immediately. Informed workers are able to jump right in and be productive from the first day.  Once they know the basics about your business, pair them up with your more experienced staff members who can show them more practical elements. 

Prepare for the holidays with Epos Now

Your point of sale system is crucial to your business, and during the holidays you need a fast and intuitive solution that is powerful and easy to use.  With the Epos Now POS system, you can:

  • Train your staff to process transactions in as little as 15 minutes 
  • Connect with 100+ apps to help with items like marketing, customer loyalty, and accounting
  • Accept credit, debit, gift cards, and contactless payments
  • Manage your store from anywhere with 24/7 cloud access

Contact a consultant to learn more about Epos Now!