Monica Plaza

Monica Plaza

  • Temporary Holiday Workers

The 2021 holiday season is already proving to be a challenging one for businesses. 

According to a Wonolo survey, as of early November 2021, approximately 61% of responding businesses expected a slight or dramatic increase in staffing demands this holiday season. The national labor shortage is complicating the hiring process for about 67% of customers. Most are in the process of looking for workers for the holiday season now.

When asked what they plan to do differently to attract seasonal workers this season, the top answer is increasing pay (about 22%). Similarly, retailers, 3PLS, and more, including Target and FedEx, are raising rates to attract workers this holiday season.

Smaller businesses face several challenges with this strategy. First, larger businesses with a greater volume of sales are typically in a stronger position to afford increasing hourly rates than other types of businesses. In addition, it’s hard to compete with well-known businesses using the same tactic.

What’s a busy business owner to do to find workers this holiday season? In a nutshell, you’ll need to offer something other than increasing pay.

Here are some ideas:

Seek referrals from current workers and people in your network.

Workers you currently engage with can help you find additional workers this holiday season. 

In addition to pay rates, the workers you currently engage with can explain the work involved, as well as their overall experience, and will know if a friend or family member will be a good fit for a job. Remind workers that you are open to working with all demographics, including students, retirees, stay-at-home parents, or people simply looking to make some additional money for the holidays. Put up signage at your worksite saying you are looking for help, and mention this on your company’s website and through social media. This way everyone in your network, and even people you are not directly connected to, will know you are looking for workers and can refer anyone they know your way. It could also be a good idea to offer a discount off of a future service or product for referrals.

Be flexible.

According to a recent Wonolo survey of over 3,000 workers who are signed up on the Wonolo platform, flexible hours was the number one priority for those looking for a job, slightly ahead of higher pay.

Yet in a recent survey of businesses who use Wonolo, only a little over 12% were planning to increase their flexibility in order to find workers.

Offering flexible jobs during the busy holiday season may be challenging, but finding ways to offer these types of jobs may provide you with a leg up in finding workers. 

According to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey, 37% percent of part-time retail employees say they took a retail job specifically because of the flexibility they needed to work around their school schedules, 21% because they also had another job, and 11% wanted flexibility because they are stay-at-home parents.

This means that there are many reasons an individual may not only want, but need, a flexible schedule if they are going to work a job.  For example, students may only be able to work during certain parts of the day when they don’t have classes. Those working a full-time job may only be available to work nights or the days that they do not work their full-time job. And some stay-at-home parents may only be able to work weekends or certain times of the day, when they are able to obtain childcare coverage. Companies can attract these different groups of workers by offering flexibility in terms of when a job can be completed.

Write a compelling description of the job that needs to be completed. 

A successful job posting will pique the interest of the maximum number of workers as possible. 

A typical job description will have a list of bullet points for the job responsibilities and requirements. It is recommended to keep it short and simple and to lead with perks. 

For example, under job duties, you might say something like, “We are looking for individuals who are hard-working and ready to hit the ground running.We offer jobs with flexible start times, competitive pay, and a welcoming work environment. Below are the requirements for the job.”

Think carefully about which requirements to list. Remember, you want to get as many qualified workers as possible, so it is recommended to focus on the requirements that are truly essential to the completion of the job. 

Reach out to interested workers quickly.

Prior to this year, UPS job candidates had to wait up to two weeks to receive an offer, according to an MSN report. For the 2021 holiday season, UPS plans to hire more than 100,000 people for seasonal jobs, and many of them will have an offer within 30 minutes of applying.

In the recent Wonolo survey, over 30% of workers who responded said they felt very confident about finding a job. 

The bottom line: If someone is interested in one of your temporary jobs this holiday season, you can’t afford to wait. They will likely be searching for other jobs, and may end up choosing the one who provides an offer first. Streamline your process so you can reach out to interested workers quickly.

Get help.

If you still can’t fill all your jobs, and need workers now, Wonolo can help. With a few clicks, you can easily post a job on Wonolo that will be viewable within minutes to available and experienced workers in your area. Let us help you make this holiday less stressful, and more successful.