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Why Now is the Time to Begin Your 2015 Holiday Hiring

Why Now is the Time to Begin Your 2015 Holiday Hiring

By: Roberta Matuson

The 2015 holiday hiring season is heating up even though the weather hasn’t quite cooled down. Predictions of a strong holiday buying season, along with low unemployment rates, make this year’s seasonal hiring period unlike any other. 

Labor experts warn that a tightening labor market may put extreme pressure on employers that will be hiring seasonal workers this year. In particular, companies that hire warehouse workers to support their retail operations will find themselves competing heavily for the talent needed to deliver the goods to their customers. 

A recent Monster article on New Trends in Transportation and Logistics Recruitment provides insight as to what lies on the road ahead for those looking to fill these key positions, as well as what employers can do today to drive talent to their organizations.

Small business owners can take a play out of the big business playbook on holiday hiring by following these strategies:

Begin now. The big guys aren’t sitting around thinking about seasonal hiring. They are actually doing it. You should begin now as well. Here’s how to get a running start.

  • Look at your revenue projections for the holiday season. 
  • Make a list of those “must fill” positions that need to be fully staffed the moment the holiday season begins. 
  • Create brief job descriptions.
  • Write enticing job posts that will appeal to the people you are seeking to hire. 
  • Post job openings and alert your network that you are hiring.

The past is the key to filling your present hiring needs. Pull together a list of former employees who you’d be willing to hire again. Pick up the phone and call these people and ask them if they or anyone else they know would be interested in a seasonal job this holiday season. 

Here’s where specificity can really help. When reaching out to people, tell them specifically what types of positions you are seeking to fill, so they can refer the right people to you.

Look for talent where others may not be looking. In a recent Monster article on How to Source and Interview Local Truck Drivers, author Joanne Cleaver offers up some great non-traditional sources for talent. Included are women who are re-entering the workforce after being at home with their kids, as well as Veterans. These candidate pools are great resources for seasonal hiring as well. 

Hiring college students who are taking a semester off to help fund their college education are another great source for help this 2015 holiday season. In addition, don’t overlook the retirees, who may be looking to get out of the house and earn additional money for the holidays. They are dependable and enthusiastic and certainly worth consideration this holiday hiring season.

Partner with temp agencies. It can feel like an overwhelming task for a small business owner to conduct holiday hiring while running the business. That’s where a good relationship with a temp agency can really come in handy. 

While it may seem more costly to use temporary agencies to staff your seasonal job openings, this approach will allow you to focus on making this holiday season a great one for your clients and customers. The money you will earn in repeat business should certainly help to offset this cost. Ask people who you trust in your network for recommendations regarding which firm to use.

Look inside your company. Who doesn’t need extra cash during the holidays? That’s right. Just about everyone could use more money to treat a loved one to a holiday vacation or dinner out during the hectic holiday season. 

Most likely, it’s going to cost you more to hire this year’s batch of seasonal hires than in years past due to the trend in hourly wages. If that’s the case, then why not give your own employees an opportunity to earn some holiday spending money during the 2015 holiday season? 

By doing so, you’ll avoid investing time and money in training people who may depart at the peak of the holiday season.

Find a company whose peak season is different than yours. There are a number of businesses, such as ice cream shops, amusement parks and lawn care companies that slow down or come to a screeching halt the moment the temperature drops. Reach out to the owners of those businesses to see if they have employees in need of temporary jobs. 

Work towards establishing a long-term relationship with these businesses so that you can continue to feed one another candidates for years to come.

Fine-tune your interview skills so you can make better hiring decisions more rapidly. In her article on How to Source and Interview Fork Lift Operators, author Joanne Cleaver offers up helpful interview questions that can be used when interviewing candidates for most positions.

Having a well-prepared set of interview questions can be quite helpful when hiring in a tight labor market, as this will allow you to make better hiring decisions more rapidly. 

The best gift you can give yourself this hiring season is the gift of time. Begin your 2015 holiday hiring now and you may very well make it home in time to celebrate this holiday season with friends and family. 

Get started with your holiday hiring — download our free Retail Holiday Hiring Guide