For some types of business, the hiring of seasonal workers is essential for the smooth and successful running of the company.
Particularly for recruitment in the hospitality, retail and distribution sectors, the recruitment of summer seasonal workers and Christmas staff is commonplace. Of course, the agriculture industry also relies on seasonal workers, as do other sectors of the UK economy.
For students and young people, seasonal jobs are often an attractive option because it means they can work during their holidays and concentrate on their studies during term time. For other young people, they might be taking a gap year and looking to broaden their horizons before heading to university.
Or, they might be looking to make a career out of seasonal work – if you hire staff for ski resorts or cruise ships, for example, you might hire some of the same people each season.
If you are an employer at a company that uses seasonal staff, there are strategies you can put into place that will help you to attract quality seasonal staff to your roles. And, once you have attracted the best talent, we will look at some tips for how to keep hold of them for future roles.
Do A Seasonal Worker Assessment
Has your recruitment of seasonal workers been effective in the past? Have you always recruited the right amount of staff or have you found yourself to be short handed. Perhaps, sometimes you have taken on too many people.
Doing this assessment – and forecasting how busy your season might be this time round – will give you a picture of the best amount of seasonal workers to recruit so that your company can operate more smoothly.
Start Your Recruitment Of Seasonal Workers Early
Recruiting seasonal workers needs to start early. Leaving it until just before your busy time begins leads not only to disorganisation but also means your competitors are going to have recruited all the best staff.
If you are looking to recruit staff for your busy Christmas period, for example, September is a good time to start. This not only gives you a good chance to recruit the best team possible but also gives you time to prepare that team so that they know what to expect and how to carry out their roles effectively when the season begins.
Be Clear In Your Job Description On Your Job Ad
When you are creating your job ad for seasonal staff, be sure to give it as much attention as you would for those advertising your permanent vacancies. If it looks to be an advert that has been rushed or that hasn’t been given much care, your potential seasonal recruits will look elsewhere for work. If you haven’t taken the job ad seriously, they will feel their work isn’t going to be appreciated, too.
Seasonal recruits need to know how long they are going to be working for you so be honest and specific in your job ad. Is the role for a set amount of weeks or months or could it be extended? Are the hours fixed or flexible? Is there a chance of future full time work in the future or is it a purely seasonal role that you have on offer?
Being upfront and honest about the seasonal jobs you have on offer not only builds trust with your seasonal recruits; it also means you should attract applicants who are more targeted and more suited to your roles.
Advertise Your Seasonal Jobs In Different Ways
There are lots of ways of getting the word out there that you have vacancies for seasonal staff. If you have relied on one route in the past, explore different ways of getting word out there that you are recruiting.
- Have a section on your company website that is dedicated to seasonal staff: when you recruit, what your seasonal staff do in their roles, what your company can offer seasonal staff, testimonials from past or regular recruits.
- Use social media to recruit seasonal staff. Having a regular presence on social media will build trust so when the time comes to recruit, you could have a good selection of candidates to choose from.
- Staff referrals are a good way to recruit seasonal staff. Your existing staff could be offered incentives whereby they receive a perk or reward if they recommend someone for a seasonal vacancy and that person goes on to be offered a role. Your existing staff know the company culture so they should have a good idea as to whether or not their suggested candidate will be a good fit for the job.
- Job boards are also an effective way to recruit seasonal staff. Choose job boards that target the type of seasonal staff you are looking for. At e4s, there are many young people using our services to look for seasonal and other roles. If you are looking for a team of young seasonal recruits, place your ad with us and tap into that young talent.
Interview Your Applicants
When recruiting seasonal staff, give the process the same respect as you would for recruiting your permanent team. Make sure you have the right staff for the job rather than the right numbers. A team of seasonaş staff who are not suited to the role or to your company can be worse than having no staff at all, causing you valuable time and avoidable stress.
If you have started your recruitment process in good time then you will have the time to conduct interviews and, where necessary, assessments. If your seasonal roles require particular skills, you will also have time to assess your potential recruits.
Again, this will help you to make sure you have the best team for the job but it also demonstrates to applicants that seasonal staff at your company are taken seriously and you are willing to invest time in them.
Interviews can be conducted in person or remotely. Online interviews give you the opportunity to tap into talent that you might miss out on if you can only interview in person.
Train Your Seasonal Staff
Investing time in training your seasonal staff is crucial. It means you have a team of people who know what they are doing and why and it also means that team will feel valued and therefore be more productive.
Some people do seasonal work on a serial basis so if you show that you value your staff by giving them quality training and mentoring, you have a much better chance of them applying to work with you the following season. This can save you a lot of time and recruitment costs in the future.
All of your staff, whether permanent or seasonal, are the face of your company so quality training means your company can uphold its reputation. Poorly trained seasonal staff can diminish a company’s reputation. Depending on the nature of your business, seasonal staff can be trained remotely, as a group before their role begins or you could even implement a system where they buddy up with your permanent staff for training. This also makes your seasonal staff feel like they are part of the team.
Treat Your Seasonal Staff As You Would Treat Your Regular Staff
If you are a company that has staff perks, let your seasonal staff benefit from the same perks as your permanent team.
Involve them as part of the team so that they feel valued, not just someone who has been brought in to do a job for a short time.
Offer your seasonal staff a fair rate of pay. Young people are likely to be doing entry level roles. Paying those young people the same rate as your permanent staff who are doing the same role makes them feel valued.
If your company has a policy on work life balance, make sure your seasonal staff also have access to those breaks or flexible hours. Likewise, if you are the type of company that can offer overtime to your staff, make that option to work extra hours available to your seasonal team.
By ensuring your seasonal staff have a positive experience with your company, you have a much better chance of them returning for the next season. These young people could also be part of your company’s future doing graduate roles or becoming Apprentices.
Consider Remote Seasonal Workers
Depending on the nature of your business, could you recruit remote staff who can work from home?
This can give young people the opportunity to work for you who might not have the transport or the hours to be able to come to your workplace.
Show Your Appreciation
Showing your appreciation makes your seasonal staff feel valued. This could be verbal appreciation throughout the season. At the end of the season, make sure they know you appreciate their hard work and that you would love them to return the following year or for your next busy period.
To encourage your seasonal staff to stay with you until the end of the busy period, end of season bonuses can be a good way to do this. These can be financial or other perks.
If there might be opportunities for permanent positions available in the future such as graduate roles and Apprenticeships, make sure your young staff are aware of this and that you are on the lookout for new talent.
If you are looking to recruit new talent for seasonal work at your company, place your ad with e4s and tap into a targeted audience.