When you need workers ASAP, you're already working against the clock. Despite knowing exactly what their needs will be, many businesses still wait too long to hire seasonal workers. Suddenly, they need employees now, and they need to rush hiring and training processes to be ready.
Look to Temporary Staffing
Waiting too long isn't ideal, but it's OK. It's a lesson to learn from, and you still can recover. Rely on temporary staffing to find able workers quickly. An agency like this can perform much of the vetting process for you so that you only meet with the best potential hires for an interview. This saves you wasting time when you're also feeling the crunch.
When you can plan ahead for seasonal hiring, a temporary staffing agency is incredibly useful. They can track your calendar and get the process started well ahead of time so that it runs smoothly. Everything will be ready for you already when you tell them you need to start seasonal hiring. The goal is to reduce managerial stress as much as possible so that you can use your time efficiently.
There are some key factors in knowing when it’s best to hire seasonal workers:
Factor in the Training Period
Some jobs come with a training period. You may imagine that you're saving money by holding off on hiring as long as possible. Yet if you ignore hiring early enough to train, you end up having to train someone new right up against crunch. This means they're not as valuable and the work you planned for them won't get done.
More than this, whoever's training them also can't get their work done. This means their work may be split to someone else, who will then have a harder time getting their work done. This ripple effect can have dire consequences for your schedule.
Some employers will take this out on their employees and blame them for not training in an accelerated fashion. The real lesson to learn here is that your workers can't perform miracles simply because the schedule demands it.
In a similar vein, crunch time often means a lot of preparatory work. You know you'll need more workers when you're in the midst of a rush. Ask yourself if there are steps to take that can ease the burden. Are there ways you can prepare that mean crunch time is less stressful and more organized?
A simple example can illustrate this. Consider if you have a seasonal rush that requires four extra workers for a month. That's four total months of additional work and pay.
Now, what if you used a month to prepare and added a worker for this period. You'd have one worker for two months (this includes the month of preparation). With this preparation easing the later burden, you'd be able to rely on three total workers (including the one already hired) during your seasonal rush. This still totals four months of additional work and pay: two workers times one month, plus one worker times two months.There's no increase in what you have to pay, but there may be an increase in organization, stress management, accountability, and tracking of processes. This won't work for all businesses, and obviously the measurement of hours and pay is much more complex, but the message holds true. Preparation for crunch time may require extra workers earlier, but can ease the burden when the seasonal rush really picks up steam.
Some seasonal employees will exceed expectations and work particularly hard. They'll take to the job quickly. Keep an eye on these employees. Where there are openings, give them a chance at the more permanent position. You've already seen them in action. You have an idea of their work ethic, responsibility, and personality. You already know if they fit or not. This can be an exceptional opportunity to cut later hiring and interviewing processes down.
That doesn't necessarily give you more time during the seasonal rush, but it can give you more time after it, which is less busy for workers but still very busy for management. This step is about easing your time and burden. Look for the performances that stand out among seasonal employees. Track their accomplishments and ask your supervisors if they'd make a good long-term fit.
From this perspective, you can turn seasonal work into an extended job interview. There's no reason not to use the period as a tool for future hires. Even if you have no planned openings, making these kinds of assessments and storing them will help you on the day when you do need additional staff. Maybe that's not until next year's seasonal opportunities roll around. Or maybe an unpredicted departure will mean you're scrambling for new talent. If nothing else, doing this keeps you prepared for any kind of staffing emergency.
The Best Step Now
Whether you need employees now or you still have some time, contact a temporary staffing agency so that the process is ready to go whenever you need it. It's a relief when you can simply pick up the phone, tell them you need workers ASAP, and have ready, qualified candidates ready to interview exceptionally quickly.
Being able to adjust with this immediacy and flexibility can make your business much stronger and adaptable.