6 Ways to Attract Seasonal Employees with SMS Marketing Messaging
Make staffing up when you need it most easier for you and for your employees.
A low unemployment rate and rising employment is good news for the economy—but it can stress out employers who hire seasonally. As of August 2022, the latest statistics are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate hovered above 4%. Industries have felt the pressure, boosting pay and adding incentives to remain competitive to job-seekers.
A Shifting Employment Landscape For Seasonal Employees
According to a recent article in The New York Times, workers aren’t just bargaining for more money — they’re looking for opportunity, whether that’s a path toward education or toward relevant experience.
A recent analysis in The Harvard Business Review concurs: Workers don’t just want a paycheck, they want flexibility, the ability to be given space and trust to perform their best work, and work for companies that uphold values that matter to them.
So how does that seismic perspective shift and tightening labor market play out for seasonal employers? It means that strategy to attract seasonal employees may need to be rethought, focusing on long-term employee growth and fulfillment. Whether you’re trying to recruit for retail, recruit for restaurants, or anything in between, here’s some strategies to rethink seasonal employment hiring and how SMS can be an essential tool in hiring and managing seasonal employees.
Examine What’s Working & What Needs Work
‘Seasonal employee’ sounds self-explanatory: Someone you bring in on a temporary basis to help you through a crunch time. But seasons can vary from business to business, and even from year to year, so it can be good practice to suss out what busy season looks like — and what’s driving the crush. That can help you assess exactly where you may need help. For example, if you own a store, you may traditionally have seen more foot traffic in the leadup to the holidays.
But as buying habits have changed, you may also need to focus on your ecommerce site, answering customer questions online or over the phone, or paying attention to corporate gifting or partnerships between other stores.
Being clear about the scope of what needs to be done can help you assess the type of employee you need. Maybe instead of someone to be on the floor, you need someone who can manage your database or be on-call to answer customer queries. Pinpointing all your business needs can help you be flexible about your hiring strategy, and may help you tap into an underutilized jobseeker market, such as people looking for part-time remote work.
Consider What’s in It for Your Seasonal Employees?
Do seasonal employees collect unemployment? Do seasonal employees get benefits? These are all questions your would-be employees may ask. Because contingent workers don’t traditionally get benefits, the question you may have to ask yourself as an employer may be: Why would someone be attracted to seasonal employment with me? Of course, one of the answers is “a paycheck,” other answers could be:
- Employee Discount
- Company Culture
Knowing what you provide can help give you an edge over the competition and help you home in on your ideal seasonal employee.
How Can I Use SMS Messaging To Attract Seasonal Employees?
Once you understand the why behind your seasonal employees, you can begin to focus on the how.
SMS messaging can be integral to your recruitment and retention strategies. Here’s how SMS messaging can help attract seasonal employees, lower strain on your HR department, and help create a robust pool of potential employees for now and the future.
Have Potential Employees Come to You
Signage, QR codes, and text-to-apply language on online job boards are all ways to engage and attract potential talent. Also, think outside the box. While a job posting can be effective, word-of-mouth referrals, setting up signage in community spaces—such as bulletin boards at churches, campuses, and gyms—can also be effective ways to engage with people who may be looking for part-time work. A QR code that can be captured to lead to an application can be a seamless way to lead to drive effortless applications.
Deploy to Your Mailing List
The best potential hires may be your customers. Use your existing SMS marketing list to spread the word about job opportunities, and consider incentives like gift cards to get people excited about spreading the word and applying.
Use Internal Referrals
Your current employees may be the best advertisement for your company that you have.
Encourage them to tap their network for potential hires, using incentives like referral bonuses or extra days off. Using SMS to deploy the application can be seamless, since all the employee has to do is send the message along to their loved one.
Engage in 1:1 Text Support for Virtual Interview Scheduling
Setting up a Keyword (JOIN, HIRE, etc.) for job-related queries can allow you to answer questions about the job, schedule interviews, and make sure any pre-interview paperwork is filled out for a seamless process.
Seamlessly Schedule Shift Work
When you need to quickly cover a shift, SMS texting allows you to immediately reach your extended workforce, and be able to quickly slot someone into place. It’s also a way for employees to reach out if something comes up or if they do need a last-minute shift replacement.
Keep in Touch with Staff about Opportunities throughout The Year
As you grow your list of potential hires, SMS marketing can continue to be deployed throughout the year whenever you need extra hands on deck. This allows you to not have to start from scratch every time your business gets busy, and lets your extended network of potential employees know that you can be a potential source of work now and in the future.