The good news is that the employment market is the strongest it’s been since 2008. The poverty rate is down and median incomes are up, according to a recent report by the Census Bureau.
The bad news is that employers are going to face tough competition for hiring seasonal workers to fill peak times this holiday season. Government figures indicate that 2.5 million more Americans had jobs in August than a year earlier. That kind of growth would ordinarily suggest more consumer spending and more seasonal hiring by retailers.
The National Retail Federation expects a 3.4 percent increase in total retail sales this year — but a jump of 7 percent to 10 percent in online shopping. A tight labor market is pushing many employers to book seasonal workers earlier each year.
Whether you’re in the shipping, customer service or hospitality industry, here are seven tips to help you strengthen your holiday season recruiting.
- Start now. If you procrastinate and delay planning hiring for your busy holiday season, you will miss out on opportunities. By putting off your seasonal recruiting, you could miss out on finding the best people. And this could affect your bottom line.
- Update job descriptions. Make sure all job descriptions are current and accurate. By communicating your expectations clearly from the outset, you can more effectively reach the best candidates and reduce unnecessary turnover.
- Invest in the right technology. Figuring out what channels work best for you is crucial. Whether it’s listing a job description on a jobs board, college career center or via an on-demand job app, try to find the best solutions for your jobs locally.
- Offer competitive pay. Paying above-average is a great way to attract skilled workers. Research what those positions locally pay in your area through the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and competitors’ job listings.
- Don’t skirt the rules. It can be a hassle to add new people to the payrolls, especially for just short intervals. Costly, headache-inducing background checks can be a time suck. Consider on-demand staffing platforms like Wonolo to handle these important administrative requirements.
- Convert seasonal-worker rock stars into full-time hires. The best way to measure employment success is to have someone test the waters. If someone performs extremely well and has a great attitude, you may consider making that pinch hitter a permanent team player.
- Have a Plan B. Despite your best planning and recruiting ahead of a busy holiday season, it’s vital to have a backup plan. Your best seasonal workers can come down with the flu or find other gigs in this competitive labor market.
The holiday season doesn’t have to be a stressful time to hire for jobs locally. By preparing yourself in advance and focusing your efforts on the right channels, you can guarantee a brighter holiday for you, your seasonal staff and your customers.