Making a Seasonal Hiring Plan for Small Business

Many small firms hire hundreds of thousands of Americans on short-term contracts throughout the year and rely significantly on seasonal labor. A thorough hiring plan will help you optimize and get the most out of the process, whether you’re a food and agriculture business looking to grow its ranks during the harvest, a retail business needing to staff up over the winter holidays, or a leisure or tourism business needing students off from school to handle the influx of other students (and their parents).

Making a Seasonal Hiring Plan for Small Business

My Plan Is… to Hire People?

Based on how many individuals you’ve needed to supplement your full-time workforce in prior years, you already know that you need to hire workers and may even be able to estimate how many. However, if you properly analyze your company’s employment needs, you can hire more quickly, more effectively, and better.

Consider your hiring objectives as a starting point. Not just how many employees you need, but also what sort of individuals would truly benefit your team. Who would be the ideal applicant for each of your teams? Talk to your management and team members about what has and has not done effectively in the past before relying solely on your gut feeling. Consult any performance review materials for seasonal employees, including simple notes about previous seasons, if you have them (and you should, as exit interviews for temps can be beneficial for both you and them). Consider all of these sources of data, and make any required adjustments to your original conceptions of the ideal applicant.

The same reasoning may be used with numbers. Have you been employing too many or too few individuals, or placing them in the incorrect company sectors? Because they frequently know more than you about what’s generated conflict in your team, your employees will once again be a useful resource for this aspect of your plan.

Finally, take a look at your past job posts, ads and their performance. The same logic can be applied to numbers. Have you been hiring too many or too few people, or putting them in the wrong industries within your business? Your employees will once again be a valuable resource for this part of your plan because they frequently know more than you about what causes disagreement in your organization.

Hiring and Onboarding

A small business’ employment might increase tremendously as a result of seasonal hiring. The hiring, onboarding, and screening of all those new employees required a significant time and financial investment from you and your managers in addition to being a major transition for your company. That is why your seasonal hiring strategy should include hiring and onboarding. You must be able to hire swiftly and correctly since the longer it takes to get seasonal workers started, the more work your hiring staff will have to do and the slower you will be able to add new employees.

Consult with everyone who has already assisted with recruitment, selection, onboarding, and training once more. Consider how long it took to complete the hiring process in the past and any unforeseen issues that may have prolonged or hampered it. If you haven’t already started tracking key HR metrics like time and cost to fill, now is the time to start. The more data you have about the performance of your hiring team – even if it’s just you – the quicker you can fine-tune its work and minimize time and cost to fill.

Keep an eye on employees as they are hired, trained, and put to work if you are already in the middle of your seasonal hiring. Who is suffering and who is adapting the best? Which teams are having trouble adjusting? Your hiring strategy should be adaptable and continually under consideration.

Even though you may have already begun hiring for the upcoming season, it is still not too late to plan how to do it properly. This summer, as you go through the hiring process, keep an eye out for chances to enhance your current plan or create your first seasonal hiring strategy.

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Megan Purdy

Former recruiter, HR pro and Workology editor. Comics, cheese and political economy.


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