The final two months of the year are the busiest for businesses in the service industry. With families shopping, dining out and traveling to spend the holidays together, the service industry sees a lot of business in November and December. And you know what that means.
That’s right: seasonal hiring.
In order to continue functioning smoothly during the holidays, retail and other service-oriented organizations have to bolster their workforces with seasonal employees. But all that extra hiring and training can result in hiccups in service.
Here are some tips for tackling seasonal hiring without sacrificing service.
1. Don’t Wait — Start Now!
Don’t wait until you need help to go looking for it. Be proactive, and supplement your workforce with seasonal hires ahead of time. This gives you extra time so you can make better hiring decisions. You don’t want to be so desperate for employees that you can’t determine whether candidates have the behaviors and skills your organization requires.
Building extra time into the process also means seasonal hires can be trained before the rush starts. While nothing beats on-the-job training, immediately throwing a new hire into the fray might scare them away. And stressed-out employees are less likely to offer excellent service. Do yourself, your new hires, and your guests a favor and give your seasonal hires a chance to acclimate before you get too busy.
2. Simplify the Application Process
The phrase “holiday rush” is an apt way to describe the last two months of the year for the service industry. You will be pressed for time, but simplifying the hiring process can help. The less extraneous material you have to sort through, the better.
One great way to simplify the process is by leveraging talent assessments. Assessments are better predictors of employee behavior than resumes, cover letters and interviews are. And with a good assessment provider you don’t have to proctor anything — the candidate can take the test online or on a smartphone. This frees up your time while letting you select candidates based on the qualities of good service.
3. Delegate — and Automate
Planning a seasonal workforce is no easy task. If you have the resources, try to divide the work among other HR team members. This prevents burnout and diversifies your organization’s talent acquisition. Automation is another way to free up your time for higher-level tasks. A good applicant tracking system can make a major difference heading into the holiday rush.
Delegating and automating will help you make better overall hiring decisions. When you can be more intentional about who you put on the floor to interact with guests, you‘ll be well on your way to increasing your standards of service.
4. Get Feedback for Next Year
You’re going to have to do this all again next year, so don’t miss this chance to conduct some research. Survey your seasonal hires. Find out which parts of the process worked — and which parts you could stand to improve. Employees who have a smooth candidate experience will provide better service than frustrated candidates will.
Your goal is to provide stellar service to your guests and customers, but the way you treat your employees inevitably impacts your company's success during the "most wonderful time of the year."
From all of us at balanceTRAK, happy holidays and best wishes for your holiday hiring!