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Take the Surprise Out of Seasonal Staffing

February 8, 2016 | Staffing Blog

Seasonal Staffing presents a maddening conundrum. The peak hiring season in any business comes with a built-in urgency, one bordering on desperation. Yet, it’s a seasonal problem – therefore, perfectly predictable. Which means the urgent, somewhat harried approach we often see to seasonal hiring should never be the norm.

To put it bluntly, why would “seasonal” staffing needs take anyone by surprise? 

Checklist Approach to Sane Seasonal Hiring

In 2009, Atul Gawande’s first book, Checklist Manifesto, showed the world how lists – simple lists – could be used to reduce surgical errors, streamline package delivery, and improve FEMA’s distribution of emergency medical and other aid.

Yes, checklists. Have you tried applying this cutting-edge technology to your seasonal staffing problems? Here, we’ve put one together for you.

  • Review results from the prior season. This includes sales, seasonal hires, overtime figures, and any operational costs related to your hiring process. (Those costs should include accidents due to poor training or substance abuse, loss due to theft/security lapses, and perhaps others relevant to your particular business.)
  • Make a preliminary needs estimate based on this season’s projections. Will you need more full time employees than you had last year? Would having more part-time employees give you better schedule flexibility to meet uneven workflow or surges in traffic?
  • Recall good workers from previous seasons. (Yes, this sounds very obvious. It is. This is part of the beauty of a checklist.) Don’t assume, however, that last year’s good temps will be equally dependable this year. A lot may have changed. Repeat drug and other employment screenings to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • Ask current employees for referrals. If, like most businesses, referrals account for some of your best new hires, you may want to offer a bonus for good referrals.
  • Work with partners who understand your needs. While seasonal staffing needs are predictable, every season is different. Planning ahead is crucial – all of these items can be started at least six months ahead of time. That said, everything can’t be planned. Working with a professional staffing firm that understands your business and local trends in employment will ensure that can handle whatever surprises the season holds.

Take the Surprise Out of Seasonal Staffing

Contact us. With our 98% order fill rate, we have the experience to help you manage seasonal hiring “surprises” and prepare for upcoming seasonal staffing needs. Looking for seasonal work? Join Our Talent Network Today!