It’s that time of year when augmenting staff with seasonal employees becomes a necessity. Reasons for this may include needing more sales folks for the holiday season, tax time or requiring extra staff during the summer months.
Either way, you need seasonal employees and you’re sure that you got the onboarding process down. Create a job description, a detailed employment application form, hire some folks and then let everything run smoothly.
Simple enough, right? Well, maybe not for every company.
Your seasonal employee(s) may be temporary in terms of their duration at your company but they shouldn’t be treated as just transitory help. They’re still your employees and are representatives of your company. Making sure the onboarding process of seasonal employees runs smoothly can help save a few headaches and keep you on track with running your business.
Here are a few ways to improve your seasonal employee onboarding process.
1. Tapping Into the Appropriate Staffing Source
Where are you finding your seasonal staff? A “Help Wanted” sign on the front door may not always be the best option. Besides posting on online job sites, you should consider placing job ads through educational institutions. College students home during the holiday season can be a potential employee pool to draw from.
Recruiters who specialize in temporary placement are definitely a staffing source to consider. However, just don’t pick any random recruiter. Take the time to do a little research and find the recruiter who can best meet your requirements. A lot of recruiters for temporary staff may specialize in your particular industry (restaurants, technology, medical, retail, and so forth).
It’s essential to prepare for the seasonal position ahead of time. Don’t scramble to put a job ad out just a few days before you need the position filled. Proper timing is beneficial for management and current staff.
Communicate with your existing staff before hiring seasonal employees. Set expectations with them so when the new folks show up there won’t be any alarms and surprises.
3. Define the Job in Detail
Is the job description accurate and complete? Be sure to write out a full definition of the position being filled by your seasonal employee. This can include title, duties, duration, payment, hours or salary, and so forth. The more detail you can provide, the more you can mitigate any confusion with seasonal staff. An accurate job description is also essential for providing your current staff information on how the new workers will fit into the business.
4. Screening Process
If you hire an external staffing agency, you may want to brief them about your company’s culture, human resources rules, business goals, and other pertinent information before they place new candidates with you. Setting expectations early in the screening process can help lessen any troubles down the line.
When using internal HR to screen potential seasonal staff, similar rules apply. Your HR sets the tone and timber when explaining company culture and are experts in ramping up new employees.
The old adage of “sink or swim” may not always be ideal with new seasonal staff. Just throwing them into the business and walking away without even a small modicum of training can bring disastrous results.
It’s essential you take the time to provide training for your new employees. Get them familiar with how the business works, how to deal with customers and provide them with as much information as you can about the product or service you provide.
Also consider current staff to help out training new employees. Giving current staff the responsibility of showing new employees the inner workings of the company shows that you trust and value them.
If possible try to involve the whole staff to share their experiences and tips with the new workers. Perhaps you want to create a training document that new employees can refer to later down the line.
6. Trust and Transparency
Realize that seasonal employees are still real employees who represent your business. Treat them with the utmost respect. Don’t make them feel expendable, as they will be unmotivated and in turn treat the job as expendable, too.
Being open and trusting creates a better work environment for both management and staff. Your seasonal staff may offer a fresh viewpoint in improving your business. Be receptive to their feedback and consider their input. Who knows? Maybe they can bring some great ideas into your company.
Overall, taking the time to properly onboard your seasonal staff can be beneficial in the long term. Your seasonal staff might be back the same time next year and if you’ve invested training in them already, they’ll be able to succeed at your company when they return.6 Ways to Improve Your Seasonal Employee Onboarding Process Chad Halvorson