Written by Kimberley Startup | September 14, 2015
Now may not be (quite) yet the season to be jolly, but it might as well be – after all, the most astute companies will have already begun to recruit staff for the Christmas season.
In September? Seriously? Yep – the festive season comes quicker than you think, and we aren’t just referring to the tendency for Christmas displays to go up earlier and earlier in retail stores. There are people planning their Christmas shopping right now, as well as companies considering what expenditure they can cope with in the final few months of the year. Indeed, according to many experts, July and August are when you should really start your seasonal hiring, although it’s thankfully not too late to start if your business hasn’t even thought about it yet.
But why should you start your search for seasonal recruits so early? In short, it’s precisely because of the increasingly greater constraints on your time as September becomes October and October becomes November. Remember that it’s not just a case of finding interesting candidates – you will also have to separate the good from the bad by analysing and interviewing them, and then there’s all of the onboarding and training that you will need to do in readiness for this most critical time of the year.
Don’t get trapped by starting your recruitment too late!
The later you begin your seasonal hiring, the more you will struggle to fit in all of the necessary searching, hiring, training and subsequent monitoring of your new team members’ performances. The situation is made even harder when your firm unwittingly wastes time through an inefficient hiring process. Why manually sift through CVs to assess suitability, when you could instead use the right recruitment software or undertake pre-hire assessments of candidates to determine which ones are suitable to interview?
The best assessments for pre-screening candidates are personality and skills-based ones that ascertain a candidate’s ability to learn and deal with problems quickly. After all, you will need to recruit staff who can bear all of the time, money and other pressures of the festive season, from placating angry customers to taking stock accurately and efficiently. Your new staff will certainly need to be able to learn as quickly as possible, so that the service they provide is on a par with that provided by your regular employees.
Be sure to look in all of the right places for seasonal staff – students, retirees and stay-at-home parents being just some of the types of individuals who are attracted to such work – and make the most of your network. While the latter may be especially advantageous to those companies that have recruited temporary staff before, all firms are likely to be able to find the right people by drawing upon the knowledge, experience and contacts of those that they already know.
Don’t allow the time of Yuletide to take you by surprise – start planning now for the best results when recruiting staff!