How to Prepare Your Seasonal Staffing Strategy
Please note that this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be deemed to be or used as legal, employment, or health & safety advice. For guidance or advice specific to your business, consult with a qualified professional.
Christmas and New Year are the busiest times of the year for many businesses, especially those in the retail and hospitality sectors. Seasonal sales, product pushes, and ramping up end-of-year revenue are all fuelled by (extra) people power. So, you need all hands on deck as soon as you hear the first chiming of Christmas tunes ringing in the air.
But how do you go about finding seasonal staff?
The Importance of a Seasonal Staffing Strategy in 2021
Small businesses in particular have borne the brunt of the pandemic since early 2020. So grabbing Christmas by the party hat with seasonal staff has become even more of a necessity to give your yearly revenue one last push. With staff shortages and a risk of another ‘pingdemic’, there’s a clear need for seasonal staff plans.
The beauty of seasonal hiring is that both parties get something out of it. As a business owner, you get more helping hands and better customer and client service. Meanwhile, your new temporary employees get a little bit of extra seasonal income to spend.
However, you’ll need to make sure you can cover your costs. It’s always worth evaluating your business’ need for this extra source of people power before you make a commitment.
How to attract seasonal staff
One of the most important things when hiring seasonal staff is to start the process early. Seasonal hiring is very competitive, with business across your industry, both big and small, reaching out for the exact same thing, at the exact same time.
Make sure your brand and your offer are attractive – you want to stand out from larger companies who tend to dominate the hiring market around this time of year. What can you offer temporary workers that the big business can’t?
Once you’ve come up with a plan, you need to get the ball rolling in order to hire quickly. Knowing who you want to target is vital here – if it’s hands-on retail work, for example, you might want to hire young workers. Whereas other industries may be more suited to hire more experienced staff. Have a think about what you will be asking of your staff and go from there.
As an example, if you want to hire younger generations or students, it might be best to advertise online – perhaps even dedicating some revenue to social media ads. This provides you with an excellent opportunity to play to your strengths and bring your brand directly to your audience.
Before advertising online, however, it’s best to check the availability of former employees first, as they require less training. Similarly, you should also speak with current staff members to see if they have any referrals or recommendations.
How to schedule your team during the holidays
When you hire seasonal staff, if you don’t have the right scheduling processes in place, it can often feel like juggling resources and solving the impossible spreadsheet puzzle. Firstly, so you don’t run into too many problems with availability issues, it’s important that staff are engaged and motivated in their job.
However, there are now systems that can help you manage your staff without all the fuss, all in one place. Square’s point of sale (POS) system allows you to manage your business all on one interface – from stock, sales, and staff. Keep on top of team management, rotas, and the general hubbub of the busy seasonal staff period to keep everything well-oiled and running smoothly.
Your own workload as owner and manager is also important, and extra add-on features, such as shift scheduling, means you can create automated rotas in a matter of minutes. This leaves you with more vital time to get hands-on and manage your staff in-person, helping to create that all-important business loyalty and motivation.
You may feel tempted to simply reach out in random directions in order to hire quickly and get started on the seasonal period. However, it’s worth taking the time to consider the position of your business, and who exactly you would like to welcome into it. Once you’ve got your dream Christmas team on board, Square is there to help with the management details. From online systems to our all-in-one POS registers, we’re here to help you manage your team so you can help them spread the festive spirit and build brand loyalty to take you into the next year.