Josephine's Personnel Services, Inc.

Find Good Help for the Holidays: How Can Temporary Staffing Help Keep You Running Smoothly This Season?

November 17th, 2011

If you didn’t include holiday hiring plans in your yearly projections, it’s not too late! While there tends to be a mad rush to begin seasonal hiring once the leaves start to change, many employers are still recruiting for candidates deep into the snowy underbrush of the winter holiday season:

  • Thirty-three percent of employers who are hiring seasonal staff reported they are still trying to fill open positions in November.
  • Eleven percent said they may still be looking as late as December.

There are various functional areas where companies need help the most during the holiday rush. Across all industries, popular areas for recruitment this holiday season include:

  • Customer Service – 30 percent
  • Administrative/Clerical support – 16 percent
  • Shipping/Delivery – 15 percent
  • Technology – 12 percent
  • Inventory management – 10 percent
  • Non-retail sales – 9 percent
  • Accounting/Finance – 8 percent
  • Marketing – 8 percent

Have you given any thought to how many people you’ll need, and where?

Think specifically about your recruiting and hiring needs. How flexible will these temporary employees need to be? Will they have regular shifts, or will they need to be available on an as-needed basis?  Be sure to mention this in your job description or any other communications you send out, so potential seasonal employees will know what you expect. Students, homemakers, retirees and other people who are often drawn to seasonal help positions will appreciate knowing what they can fit into their schedules.

Where Can You Find the People You Need?

The fastest and easiest way is to use a qualified temporary staffing agency. If you don’t already have a strong relationship with a staffing agency in your area, contact colleagues and other professionals with whom you network to get references or recommendations. Try to find an agency that specializes in your industry. They can quickly provide prescreened candidates with the experience and flexibility that you need. Make sure you ask questions about their ability to meet your employment needs. If you need to hire a large number of employees for seasonal employment, for example, ensure the agency has the necessary resources and expertise to fulfill your order.

The staffing agency can also weed out the undesirable candidates who aren’t worth your time and money, even on a temporary basis. These would include:

  • Someone who is unwilling to work certain hours
  • Someone who isn’t enthusiastic
  • Someone who knows nothing about your company/products

Your agency will send you people who are knowledgeable about your expectations, your needs, your company, and what you do.

Finally, if you are one of the 30 percent of employers who often transition some seasonal workers into full-time, permanent staff, this is a great way to evaluate potential employees. The assignment has a finite end, so if you don’t think the person would work out full time, it’s easy to shake hands at the end of the assignment and wish them well. If you do want to hire one of your seasonal employees, you may have gotten their new year off to a great start with your offer!