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Setting Up Your Recruitment Budget For Seasonal Hiring

Thanksgiving and Black Friday used to mark the starting line for the retail seasonal rush. But over the past few years, holiday buying has seen a shift—retail stores and buyers alike seem to nudge that line earlier in the calendar each year. That means for retail, the competition for seasonal hiring may start earlier.

Large retail companies hire tens of thousands of new employees seasonally. Whether your organization is a giant that undertakes high-volume hiring or a smaller organization with seasonal hiring needs, laying the groundwork for the seasonal push begins much earlier than the fall quarter. Companies who take a proactive approach can develop strategies to build a pipeline of seasonal talent, enhance candidate experience year-round to attract repeat applicants, and optimize the efficiency of their hiring process throughout the year. These measures can help you stay well prepared for the seasonal push.

Consider All The Costs You Will Encounter

However well you prepare, temporary recruitment can be costly. To budget for a big seasonal hiring push, you first need to estimate the number of hires, taking into consideration drop-off and turnover rates from previous years. For short term work, new hires may not see a long term relationship with the company, and the stakes of simply not showing up to work are low.

Once you have the scope of the hiring push, you will need to consider the costs associated with branding measures, recruiting events, maintenance of talent pipelines, and technology costs. You'll also need to consider your recruiter’s salaries and your job ad spend.

Optimize Efficiency And Candidate Engagement

The key to establishing a proactive approach for budgeting is to optimize the efficiency of your hiring process throughout the year—and it just so happens that an efficient process is not only helpful for your team’s time management, but it also can be an important factor in your candidate engagement efforts. While we often think of candidate engagement as meaning personal attention, one of the best ways to keep candidates engaged is by having an efficient hiring process. A lengthy hiring process can lead to drop-off from candidates losing interest, growing frustrated, or being hired by the competition.

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During times of high-volume hiring, investing in tech to aid application processing can be highly beneficial. Resume screening software and an applicant tracking system are important tools to help the talent acquisition team manage and organize the seasonal push. Other types of tech, like AI chatbots, can help engage talent, answer their questions, manage expectations, and even take on the time-consuming task of scheduling for interviews.

Focus On Employee Engagement And Talent Pipelines

Investing in candidate engagement measures is important because even though you intend to hire workers for the short term, a seasonal employee can turn into a yearly contingent employee or a full-time employee. Your applicant tracking software can be used as a resource for recruitment during the next year’s seasonal push.

Investing in candidate experience (and employee engagement measures later on) can help improve your employer branding as a good place to work that cares about its employees. Such attention can only help you attract more applicants in the future. With high-volume hiring, you have a greater chance for disgruntled employees. Investing in employee engagement is an important long-term strategy that can pay off.

Incorporate AI As Part Of Your Job Ad Spend

The largest portion of your recruitment costs often goes to your job ad spend. For seasonal hiring, this may mean multiple job ads from entry-level on up. Job ad distribution software can organize high-volume hiring through targeted advertising across job boards and social media.

The good thing about AI-assisted job ad software is that it also contains budget allocation algorithms. Organizing tens of thousands of job ads has never been simpler because an AI-assisted job ad distribution program has the ability to organize mass amounts of data. Setting up your job ad spend for the seasonal push can run much more smoothly (and be more cost-effective) when you invest in the right technology.

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