How to Find Seasonal Help Who Won't Take a Ton of Training

Hiring extra hands for your busy season can be a huge help—but only if you find people who don't take a ton of training

As a small business owner, now’s the time when you’re looking to speed up fourth-quarter sales. To do that, you need help. But you shouldn’t just hire the first person you interview. Yes, you’re stressed and short-staffed, but taking the time to find the right people really pays off. The key is zeroing in on seasonal hires who will help boost sales and take some of the weight off your shoulders. Follow these tips on how to quickly find the best candidates and you’ll be breezing through the holidays in no time.

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Ask your other employees.

Referrals are usually the best hires. Plus, the people who already work for you have a good idea of what you’re looking for and will be able to help with training. Sweeten the deal by offering employees some kind of referral bonus.

Bring back the best of last year’s help.

It’s much easier and more efficient to hire people who already know the ropes than to start from scratch. Always keep notes about seasonal helpers and let the good ones know you’ll keep them in mind for future holiday needs.

Tap the college crowd.

University students typically get time off around the holidays and are usually looking for ways to make a few extra bucks. Plus, students are often used to off hours and late nights — times less desirable to other hires. Reach out to nearby schools and ask them to share your job listing on their email lists.

Blast all your channels with “we’re hiring” messages.

Make sure it’s front and center on your website, post repeatedly on social media, and reach out to loyal customers on your email lists to see if they can refer you to anyone who’s looking for work.

Look into hiring customers.

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, put a “we’re hiring” sign in the window and leave a stack of applications near the entrance. Make sure this messaging is also on your website’s homepage. And you can even target top customers via email, as outlined above. Your best customers are already cheerleaders for your company, and they’re familiar with your merchandise and services (read: less training and more effective selling).

Differentiate between what you want and what you need.

You may want someone with tons of retail experience and a college degree, but you need someone who’s high energy, respectful, punctual, and a fast learner (and the latter may not always be the former). If you can, extend the interview to the sales floor and see how candidates perform on their feet before offering them the job.

Aim to have hourly hires in place, trained, and with a few days of work under their belts before Thanksgiving so that your extended team can hit the ground running by the time Black Friday mayhem begins.

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