Ho! Ho! Ho! Tis the season for hiring temporary employees. There’s a temptation, around this time of year, to chuck all the time-consuming hiring process and take shortcuts. I mean, you’re only going to
have these people around for a short time, right? Oh, but what a lot of havoc can be wreaked on your customer loyalty and your profits in a short time.
Think about it. A retail business can make up to 40 percent of its annual profits during the last two months of the year, according to the National Retail Federation. Decisions you make now count more, not less, than decisions you make in, say, June. You need to plan strategically. How many employees are you going to need and for what shifts? How long is it going to take to hire these people and when do you want them to start? How many interviews or assessments are you going to go through to get to the right people and how long will that take? And then, how long will it take to train them? What are you going to pay them and who is going to manage them and handle their paperwork?
When your business is bustling and profit potential is high, you need people who are responsible, on top of it, know how to navigate your processes and can create a fun, smooth shopping experience for customers. Your managers are going to have to oversee these people when customers are flying in and out and items are being sold, returned, resold. Imagine what happens if you load your managers down with people who are unreliable, disinterested, unprofessional or clueless.
Seasonal employees require the same level of due diligence as long-term employees. Perform assessments, check references, do interviews as if you were going to keep this person on forever.
Figure out exactly how you’re going to pay them and reward them for excellent performance. We’ve seen situations where companies hired the first batch of seasonal employees at $10 an hour and on Black Friday, when they got desperate, hired others for $15 an hour. You can imagine how that went over.
Once you’re hired them, train them thoroughly in everything a long-term employee might need to know. Plan training time in the hiring calculation.
Finally, make sure all new hires understand the drill with respect to reporting income. They need to understand how you c
alculate pay and when checks come out. They need to know if they aren’t going to receive any benefits. And they need to know precisely how long you expect their employment to last.
Don’t think of them as temps. Consider them your Revenue Strike team. Now isn’t that a festive thought?
We can help you figure out your seasonal hiring strategy. We work with companies on a project basis or on retainer, providing a custom level of HR help designed for your business. Contact me at Caroline@valentinehr.com or call (512) 420-8267.