Seasonal Hiring Strategies to Ensure Success in Your Staffing Program

Holiday HiringAs many companies prepare for seasonal hiring ramps, a timely article was published by HRO Today exploring the topic of how MSP programs can help companies with seasonal hiring needs. ‘Tis the Season: Are Managed Services Programs the Solution to Holiday Hiring? is an HRO Today article featuring insight from Anne Osty, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Staff Management | SMX. For companies with high-volume seasonal peaks, the success of that peak can determine their success for the entire year. The article, as well as the strategies below, provides helpful information for any company with seasonal hiring ramps, regardless of when they may take place.

While a successful MSP program can certainly ease the burden of a seasonal hiring peak, companies should not automatically assume that an MSP has all of the necessary experience to handle a high-volume busy season. To ensure the success of your seasonal hiring program, your MSP or Vendor on Premise (VOP) supplier must be an expert in seasonal, high-volume hiring. A VOP team can be extremely valuable due to their ability to manage workforce fluctuations on a very granular level using the right workforce management software and on-site staff.

“This hands-on approach is critical in this sort of variable, high-volume environment where shift preference, full- and part-time scheduling, and volume fluctuation must be balanced with the need to get new associates started quickly to meet client orders and to ensure potential new associates aren’t lost to other employers,” Osty says in the HRO Today article.

Equally important as having the right infrastructure is the way associates are recruited, onboarded and retained for peak season work. The staffing provider must be expert in managing successful short-duration recruitment campaigns and equally adept in workforce management to drive retention and good performance. Busy season recruiters must deliver a high quality candidate experience from the first impression made by recruitment ads to the efficiency of the hiring process and the effectiveness of the on-boarding and training process.

To ensure the success of your seasonal hiring program, I encourage you to consider the following strategies:

  • Test infrastructure. The infrastructure of your on-site program or supplier network must be able to handle the large volume of hires that happen in a short period of time. Make sure your suppliers have the administrative processes in place to effectively manage high-volume drug testing, background checks or any other pre-employment testing that you may require.
  • Staff up. Your staffing provider should increase service team structure locally in order to handle the additions to your hourly headcount. Make sure that there is a well-defined busy season staffing plan for your suppliers that will ensure enough local staff are in place to manage the high-volume of candidate screening, new associate orientations, onboarding activities, daily associate management and communications that come with busy season.
  • Trust your suppliers. If you have any concern that your supplier might lower their hiring standards to quickly fill busy season positions, they are not the right supplier to manage your busy season needs. You cannot allow your supplier to put you in a risk position by compromising their hiring standards to meet increased hiring needs.
  • Be open to creative scheduling. Part-time, job sharing and weekend staffing programs can help ensure needs are met over the short duration of your busy season. Staffing providers experienced in busy season ramp management can help you identify opportunities to increase the recruitment reach for your facility by considering alternative scheduling to meet peak demand.
  • Create incentives. A well-structured, short-term incentive program can work very well when hiring people for a short (8-10 week) period. Staffing providers can create a great deal of excitement around a short-duration assignment with a well executed incentive plan to keep the workforce motivated during this critical period in your business.

How do you ensure the success of your seasonal hiring program?