Although it’s still months away, preparations for the holidays is already starting – and that includes hiring for seasonal job candidates. These temporary employees will come in and help during the holiday rush – from the initial holiday shopping sprees to the post-holiday returns and exchanges. Though they’ll only be with your organization for a little while, there’s going to be a great deal of expectations on these candidates to succeed – and that means it’s on you to identify the skills that are essential to holiday success in these candidates.
The Struggle of Seasonal Staffing
One of the biggest challenges that seasonal hiring faces is that a lot needs to happen in a very quick period of time. Job candidates need to be found, reviewed, hired, trained, and fully on-boarded before the flood of holiday customers start to pour into the stores and overwhelm your employees. In fact, most companies don’t know how to handle this part. This is because most companies will underestimate just how long it takes to hire someone for the holiday season, as well as the resources it takes to get this accomplished.
This can lead to companies trying to cut corners, which can be disastrous for the company, the employee, and the customer.
Hiring Seasonal Workers for A+ Customer Experiences
Seasonal jobs are difficult to staff, but if you have the right strategy you’ll gain a competitive edge when it comes to hiring seasonal workers.
Before doing anything else, you should know exactly what qualities you should be looking for in seasonal job candidates. Target seasonal workers that have these qualities below:
- Fast Learning: You’ll need employees who can learn the ropes of whatever they’ll be thrust into quickly – be it operating a cash register, managing stock on the floor, answering customer questions, or something else entirely.
- Look for: A seasonal candidate’s ability to learn information quickly to make sure they can handle the demands of learning on the job. Personality traits and essential job skills such as these are effectively measured with hiring assessments, such as personality tests, so if your company is using them make sure you take full advantage of those resources.
- Customer Service: Holiday shopping can make even the most level headed customer a bit emotional, and your employees will need to respond. Whether a customer is frantically looking for a gift, doesn’t know what to get their niece they’ve only met three times, or doesn’t know what anything is, your employees will need to be able to manage all sorts of different customer interactions while making sure they leave feeling happy and supported.
- Look for: How a candidate handles different types of customers, as well as how candidates can handle certain emotional responses from the customers they’ll be dealing with. Customers will be frazzled, and it’s going to depend on your employees to diffuse any situation and turn a negative experience into a positive one. A job simulation where a candidate is faced with different customer interactions can be an effective way of sieving through your applicants to find the ones who can make a positive experience out of a customer’s potentially-negative concerns/frustrations.
- Multi-Tasking: While this goes in line with fast learning, you’ll need to look for candidates who are capable of learning multiple aspects of a job quickly. They might be able to learn a cash register in an hour, but what about knowing the different products on the floor? Candidates who can learn – and perform – multiple job aspects on the fly will not only be successful in the eyes of your company, but in the eyes of your customers as well.
- Look for: If a candidate is able to demonstrate a mastery over learning multiple topics. Hiring assessments – especially job simulations – will be incredibly crucial at this point, so take full advantage of your pre-hire assessment tools for multi-tasking abilities.
By understanding the key components of what makes a seasonal worker effective, you’ll have a leg up on your competitors for both holiday hiring and holiday sales. Now’s the time to get started for the holiday season, so start looking for ways to find the candidates that will make your holiday shoppers delighted, loyal, and – most important of all – regular customers.
Contact us today for more information, or download our latest infographic to learn how you can build a better customer experience below.