'Tis the season to be hired: Advice for employers

When it comes to holiday hiring, employers need to put together a recruitment plan well before the radio stations start playing “Jingle Bell Rock” every half hour. Whether you’re the hiring manager of a restaurant franchise or you own a small clothing store in the mall, there’s no denying that business picks up starting as early as November 1. In fact, according to an article in The San Francisco Chronicle, both independent and chain stores have seen a rise in sales between 45 and 170 percent during the holiday season.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and advice for employers to use as a guide in their holiday recruitment process.

Check out our tips on devising a holiday recruitment strategy for your small business.

• Get an early start. Advertise open positions as early as October in order to snatch up quality employees before other companies beat you to it. Use an integrated recruitment strategy using methods such as “Help Wanted” signs, newspaper ads and posting job openings online.

• Interview equally. Use the same interview process for temporary employees as you would for permanent ones. Remember: You want qualified workers with an interest in the industry, not just available bodies.

• Keep an open mind. Although you’re initially only hiring them seasonally, holiday employees could excel and become valued workers to whom you want to offer a more steady position later.

• Play up the perks. Highlight benefits in job postings and reiterate them during interviews. Keep in mind that job seekers are consumers too, and with family and friends to buy gifts for, they’ll appreciate an employee discount on merchandise or free meals to help cut costs this season.

• Quality over quantity. Although the window of time may be tight when it comes to seasonal hiring, avoid offering jobs to just anyone who submits an application and weeding out the talent later. Look for people who can stay focused during the holiday rush or who you would want to ask back for next holiday season.

• Give some direction. Set up a holiday orientation or training session before the rush starts. This will save you time training people on the job when business really gets crazy.

Because the holidays can be a crazy time both in your personal and professional life, you can’t afford to be shorthanded or hire the wrong employees as Christmas Day gets closer. Use these tips when you’re putting together a recruitment strategy and your holiday hiring season will go as smoothly as flowing eggnog.

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