Does your 2014 business plan include supplementing your full-time staff during the summer or other busy seasons? This should be part of your overall hiring strategy: knowing exactly which employees you need and when, with a talent pipeline in place for the unexpected needs that will inevitably occur.

The Power is in the Planning

Your search for right-fitting talent should be ongoing throughout the year. Success is based on continuously assessing needs and anticipating when you’ll have to make changes.

  • Look at your sales plans and current coverage. Then you can statistically forecast your staffing requirements. Create a roadmap and from there, fill in the blanks. For instance, when will you need more sales strength? What about extra help in the stockroom? Are there specific time slots that will need fleshing out?
  • Always be recruiting. Use your contacts, professional networks and a staffing agency partner to build a pool of qualified candidates who can hit the ground running when the need arises.
  • Make sure job descriptions are correct, complete and current. Consider asking the author of each JD to spend a few hours shadowing an employee in the relevant position.
  • Provide adequate resources for onboarding seasonal staff. You can’t just throw them onto the factory or sales floor and expect them to flourish. Don’t view them merely as a way to fill your schedule, but rather as the company representatives they are. Customers won’t forgive poor service, regardless of who provides it.
  • Think ahead. Give preference to candidates who are likely to return for another season. This will streamline your hiring in the years ahead.

No Shortcuts or Assumptions

Seasonal workers can be a valuable repository of talent for your company’s future. You have the opportunity to make employment decisions based on hard performance data built up over the length of their assignments. Industry experts have noted that “in an ideal world, all our full-time people would have started out as part-timers.”

  • Hire for attitude as well as aptitude. The best seasonal workers are flexible and can get up to speed quickly. At the same time, they are highly dependable, support your mission, and place a high emphasis on safety and customer focus.
  • Don’t shortchange HR processes. It may be tempting to bypass certain procedures to save time and money, but this can lead to longer-term problems. Keep seasonal workers on you regular HR platform. Disseminate related information – such as interview and hiring procedures, orientation and training instructions and relevant paperwork – to satellite sites or branch offices that utilize seasonal employees.
  • Provide incentives for workers to stick out the season. Consider structuring compensation to reward those who stay as long as you need them. This avoids having to “replace your replacements.”

Partnering with a recruitment firm that specializes in your industry can yield excellent strategic results to meet all your hiring needs. To learn more, contact the experienced Charleston, SC recruiters at Alternative Staffing today.

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