If your business relies on seasonal hiring to get you through busy periods, you’re undoubtedly aware of the frustration it can bring—it puts you in a position to have to accurately predict peak and trough cycles so that you can accurately meet your business needs without suffering the negative effects of over-or under-staffing.
On top of this, and depending on the size of your business, handling the administrative and training requirements of employing and getting seasonal employees up to speed so they can appropriately handle their job tasks can be a significant investment in time and effort. The potential frustration compounds when factoring in the notoriously unpredictable nature of seasonal employees—while many take their work seriously and devote themselves to handling their responsibilities capably and doing the best job possible, overall it can be a mixed bag. The result is a big question mark for your business precisely when it’s busiest. Or maybe you’re at the helm of a new or established company and are considering incorporating seasonal hiring into your employment strategy for the first time, but are unsure about how to get started or the best to approach to having this work for your business needs.
Whatever your situation is, deciding to incorporate seasonal employment into your short- or long-term business plan can be a smart decision—by only keeping just enough employees on staff to meet your needs at any given time throughout the year, it helps to minimize your employment, payroll, and HR expenses while ensuring that your staffing needs meet your business’ natural spikes and slow periods.
The bottom line is that seasonal hiring potentially makes good sense for many businesses—provided you can minimize the frustration that’s often involved in the process. Let's explore some smart hiring methods and how to keep calm to carry on.
Determine your needs accurately
Too often, business leaders make gut decisions about hiring seasonal employees without having accurate data to back up their decisions. Bad move! You may think you can predict your needs based on intuition, but that sort of magical thinking may cost you in terms of wasted hours of inaccurate staffing.
If you’re going to accurately determine—and predict—your business’ needs across a specified business cycle, make sure you have the historical and data-driven predictive resources to make an informed decision, based on key demographics (e.g, industry, geographical location, pending weather patterns—everything). Hopefully, your business is using available analytical tools to help it assess its needs accurately. If not, don’t be surprised when things don’t work out quite as well as you planned.
Hiring seasonal employees can be tricky, especially if you have lots of other key responsibilities to handle during your busy cycles. Good thing you don’t have to do it all yourself. There are a host of companies available who can work with you to meet your seasonal staffing needs throughout the year, many that can handle all those minor administrative details that always seem to suck up valuable time and energy. Engaging with an experienced staffing agency that specializes in seasonal employment—freeing you from the hassle and frustration of going it alone—can be a wise investment in your business’ success.
Learn From The Past
The truth is, no business gets every decision right the first time, every time—and seasonal staffing is no different. A wise business makes valuable use of trial and error as it refines and perfects its strategy and approach to success. Consider each year’s seasonal staffing decisions as valuable data to do things even better during the next business cycle. Don’t be afraid to continually revisit and tinker with your plans until you get things just right, and don’t be averse to revising them yet again as needed, all in support of your short- and long-term goals.
If you're considering using seasonal staffing for your business in the coming year, don't rush into things. Use the strategies and advice presented here to plan well and help keep the frustrations and hassle at a minimum—so you can focus on growing your business and ensuring its success.