Seasonal employees: How to hire for skills

Employers will have to take a more strategic approach to hiring this year to find and engage skilled workers.

Industry analysts expect this hiring season to be a fierce competition for talent. With unemployment at the lowest rate in a decade, companies hoping to hire skilled workers will have to compete for a shrinking pool of available talent.

That's good news for job seekers. As reported by USA Today, the average hourly wage for seasonal workers is expected to rise from $11.70 to $15.40, compared to last year. Roughly 84 percent of employers are expected to take on additional employees this holiday season. Employers will have to take a more strategic approach to hiring this year to find and engage skilled workers.

"Over 50 percent of the companies in Atlanta are taking notice when it comes to pay, benefits and perks to win the battle for top candidates," says Trish Kellogg, Division Director of Beacon Hill's Associates Division in Atlanta. "They are taking a proactive approach to their employee engagement and retention. I've seen a number of companies reassess standard two-week PTO policies, emphasize team-building, and monitoring job seekers closely through the application, interview, and offer stage. It's an all-out talent war in Atlanta!"

Write transparent job descriptions

Hiring managers often get frustrated when the candidates applying to open positions do not possess the skills required. Though many job seekers will apply to any open position that appears online, the discrepancy between the job's requirements and the skills possessed by applicants may result from poorly written job descriptions.

Vague job posts will inevitably attract a wide range of candidates with varying degrees of qualification. A well-written job description portrays an accurate representation of the position, including minimum qualifications, physical demands and prior experience. Likewise, descriptions of seasonal positions will include information about scheduling and the length of the contract. For example, if seasonal workers will have to work on Christmas day, that information should be in the description.

Not only will transparent descriptions attract more qualified candidates, but they will also discourage unqualified candidates from applying, saving hiring managers time to focus on those who are right for the job.

Filling seasonal positions may be more difficult than in previous years.

Don't neglect cultural fit

Skills are just one facet of a candidate's ability to effectively fill a role. Just because someone can do the job doesn't mean they'll be an excellent employee. For example, a cashier may be able to count change faster than anyone else, but if he's rude to customers, he's not the right candidate for the job.

When pre-screening candidates over the phone and in person, ask questions that pertain to their work habits and previous experiences working with teams. Make sure each candidate understands your brand's values and what is expected of team members. New hires that fit well with permanent employees are likely to be more successful.

Ask your current employees

According to research reported on by the Society for Human Resource Management, employee referrals are recruiters' top source of new hires. No one understands the day-to-day challenges of your business like your current employees. Incentivizing internal team members to refer qualified candidates to your HR department could be very beneficial to your hiring process.

Not only do referrals make great hires, they're also cheaper, as they require less work to find and engage. This holiday season, encourage your team members to reach out to their professional networks for qualified candidates.

Work with a top staffing firm

One of the primary challenges of seasonal hiring is that stakeholders are too busy to make informed decisions. It's a frustrating situation: You need more workers to be more productive and efficient, but you're too busy to conduct interviews and train new employees. Working with a staffing firm can optimize this process by taking some of the weight off your shoulders.

To learn more about how to fill your seasonal positions quickly, speak with an expert recruiter at Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

Related Resources