It’s fall (or summer, spring, or winter) and peak season is on the horizon. In a perfect world, you would have had your bench warmed up with tried and true returning candidates months ago. But as we all know, that’s rarely the case and this is the moment when an applicant tracking system becomes your best friend. You streamline job postings, target specific audiences, and optimize your processes (Yay!) - but how do you reach that ‘perfect world’ level for next year?
Easy - you start now.
5 tips for retaining seasonal hires
1. Plan Ahead
Plan ahead by utilizing raw data from this year and prior years. Evaluating the numbers from previous seasons will help you determine how many employees will be needed to keep up with demand for the upcoming season. Another factor to look at closely is how long it took to get seasonal hires to reach optimal productivity level. This can give you insight as to when you should start hiring and serve as an indicator of how effective your training program is.
2. Onboard and train
There is almost nothing more powerful than a well trained, highly knowledgeable employee. To achieve this with seasonal hires, you must ensure they are receiving the same level of training as a full-time employee would. That includes onboarding, orientation, team introductions, the whole shebang. Confident employees that feel they are adding value will be more engaged and perform higher during their time with the company.
3. Offer attractive compensation and perks
Providing competitive pay is a no brainer, but you might have to get creative with the perks. You most likely won’t be offering standard benefits like paid time off and health insurance to seasonal employees, so consider things outside of the box. Keep in mind a lot of people applying for seasonal positions are looking to make extra cash for the holidays. Respectable discounts, bonuses, commissions, or gift cards can help them achieve their goals while they help you reach yours.
You can also check to see what other companies in your region and industry are offering seasonal employees to gauge where you stand among the competition. This is especially useful if you are struggling to fill positions.
4. Express recognition
It can be hard to feel like a part of the team when you know your time is limited. Recognition can go a long way in this case because it sends a message to employees that they are seen and heard. Train and encourage managers to individually thank employees that they see working hard or doing something admirable. Not only does this make the particular employee feel good, but it sets an example for the rest of the team that hard work does not go unnoticed.
5. Connect with exceptional performers
Before the current season is even over, take the time to analyze employee performance to stack your bench for next year. By now you should have a good idea of who you want to retain and who you are ready to cut ties with. Determining both pools will allow you to hire more efficiently next year.
Personally invite exceptional employees back next year and express your gratitude for their hard work . If it they bite at the opportunity, now would be a great time to establish a plan for communication going forward and set expectations. The more secure a valuable employee feels the less likely they will be to start looking elsewhere for next year.