6 Ways to Streamline Seasonal Staffing

Seasonal Staffing and Texting
6 Ways to Streamline Seasonal Staffing

Whenever your busy season comes — whether that be tax season, back to school, summer, or the holidays — seasonal staffing can help you accommodate (and cash in on) the spike in business.

This year, however, has been unlike any other year on record. Stay up to date on best practices and changing rules for how you can successfully navigate seasonal hires during the pandemic.

How the ‘K-shaped’ Economy Will Affect the Season

While some industries are hurting... others are blossoming. What this means for recruiters is that for verticals bustling with opportunity, the percentage of candidates with ample experience in their particular sector are likely already working (because of an influx of jobs in their market). Thus, recruiters will want to get creative and seek candidates with transferrable talent. A savvy recruiter — whether at a staffing agency, internal HR, or even the owner of the business — will cut through the clutter to find the best person for the job and will not be so beholden to previously paint-by-numbers formulas. After all, many sectors overlap with applicable, day-to-day skillsets... and more often than not, a unique background brings a nice jolt of energy to a position and team. Diversity is always a net positive. Of course, one of the features of the K economy isn’t just which fields are or are not doing well, it’s that lower wage staff are likely to have a harder time recovering. Particularly essential workers.

We have a trickle down economy. Business Insider describes how Suzanne Clark, President of the US Chamber of Commerce, found that the financial sector has recovered 94% of its pre-pandemic employment, while entertainment and leisure has staggered at 74%.

The result? Clark stipulates, “Low-wage jobs like restaurant staff, transportation workers, and cleaners are least likely to recover.” Ditto for higher-wage workers in industries that are hurting. When considering seasonal hires, look to this hard-working talent pool as they may be looking for new opportunities, temporary or not. 

Competition Will Be Fierce

There’s an old axiom that the period between October and January 1 is a dead zone for new hires. But that can’t be further from the truth. Many companies hire for both full-time and seasonal work in these months.

This year, that trend will likely only increase. Seasonal job openings will be competing with other seasonal openings of course… and also more traditional full-time positions. Some businesses will open back up, expand — or spring into existence to meet new demand (ie there weren’t nearly as many mask production companies in 2019 as there are now).

Yes, there’s still very high unemployment. And unemployment numbers don’t always tell the full story as they often cap off after a certain amount of months. (And the first crop of COVID-layoffs began in March.) Millions of other job seekers were on the hunt before the closures, and the situation clearly added to the struggle of their own search. And yet, don’t mistake this for an open-ended net of candidates. You won’t be the only business looking to hire. Staffing agencies must also compete to find the best talent to bring to their clients… and rival agencies could be securing them first. In addition, some openings will be remote and so the talent pool widens.

How Can SMS Amplify Seasonal Staffing Measures?

Seasonal staff serves as an invaluable reinforcement to your team as business ramps up.

1. Stay Engaged with Jobseekers 

Staffing agencies in particular — but also internal HR departments — will likely have a rotating pool of talent they can have on hand to fill positions. Or if you don’t, you can start this process now.

Seamlessly connect and continue to nurture relationships by staying in contact. Texting features like 1-on-1 Chat help encourage this process by streamlining communication.

2. Text Your Team to Encourage Internal Referrals

Your employees can be your best recruiters. After all, they understand what it takes to succeed at the company. Stay top-of-mind with your staff — particularly in a virtual world — by updating and texting them new openings. 

3. Determine Your Best Gameplan As Early As Possible

Writing for Forbes, CEO and Co-Founder of WorkJam Steven Kramer advises staffing agencies and businesses to “plan early and often” — agility and flexibility will be more important than ever. 

Kramer states that, “Employers of seasonal workers must be prepared for every possible scenario… If employers don’t have the right amount of seasonal staff to meet demand, they could fail to deliver on their brand promise. As a result, they could miss out on valuable holiday sales and run the risk of providing lackluster customer experiences or simply not being competitive.”

That’s a lose-lose. For our present situation and trust/loyalty in the brand for the future. Ditto for the chances of over-hiring, which can be a costly measure. 

Text message your customers with a Text-to-Vote poll to determine what their intentions are to help you put together your best strategy.

4. Give Preference for Hires Most Likely to Return

The process of hiring a brand new workforce each busy season is cumbersome, time-consuming, and costly. Ideally, seek to hire folks more likely to return or be on call for any last-minute openings throughout the year. If you can develop a continuing relationship with candidates, you’ll streamline a sometimes arduous process.

Text messaging helps to keep a freelance or seasonal workforce close to you — with vastly higher open rates and response times.

5. Onboarding May Be More Important Now Than Ever — Both for Current Staff & New Hires

Even current staff may need to be onboarded over new procedures for businesses that will be employing new directives — like Curbside Pickup and Contactless Delivery — in our safety-first world.

Text all team members trackable links for onboarding so they can stay up-to-date.

6. Seasonal Hires Can Become Full-Timers or Year-Round Freelancers

A seasonal hire is like a (very) long-haul interview. You can both determine whether this job is an ideal fit as you see how the candidate accomplishes the job objectives and works within your team.

Even if the candidate is a seasonal hire, keep track of those that achieve and even surpass your expectations. They’ll be ideal full-time hires or year-round freelancers if you can bring them on board.

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