Holiday Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

Christmas is almost here, and with a slew of public holidays on the horizon now is the time to ensure that your team is ready for the most critical sales season of the year. In fact, Australian retailers saw over $63 billion in holiday sales between November 2015 and January 2016. That represents a 24-percent boost compared to the average monthly sales that retailers see across Australia.

Whether you’re selling gifts or clearing end-of-season stock in a retail store or a food and beverage business, you probably need some extra hands in place to ensure that business runs smoothly.

Here are four things you should be thinking about now to prepare for a busy holiday trading season:

Determine your hiring needs.

Before you kick off recruitment, spend some time analysing your previous year’s holiday sales data to determine your staffing needs. Using your point-of-sale and analytics software helps you pinpoint the best time to hire more people.

Look for employees who are ready to go.

Finding and attracting seasonal staff who don’t require a lot of training helps expedite onboarding and ensures that you’re not wasting time (and money!) on fruitless recruitment. Use effective interview questions to evaluate whether your candidate is prepared to hit the ground running.

Don’t skimp on training seasonal employees.

Once hiring is complete, review your training strategies and set customer service and sales expectations that your team can agree to. Consider elevating a more experienced, long-term employee to a team manager position — you’ll empower them with the additional responsibility of training new staff and give yourself an extra set of eyes to manage the group.

Know the holiday wage rules.

Be aware of public holiday wages and penalty rates and how they apply to your rostering. These charges vary between states; thankfully, the Fair Work Ombudsman offers a free, online penalty rate wages calculator, which you can use to determine the incremental cost of operating on public holidays.

Start now to ensure you’re prepared for a stress-free holiday season!

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