‘Tis the season to be hiring Fa la la la la, la la la la
The holidays are approaching – and fast! Despite the global pandemic, the holiday season remains busy and needs extra pairs of hands – in fact, more than ever. Who is most impacted by this? Find out who and how to address their needs.
Why Get Help?
Consumer Appetite & Customer Satisfaction
Not surprisingly, businesses will be booming during the holidays due to the anticipated increase in consumer appetite. As most people will be staying home or working-from-home this year, they will be spending more time on their gadgets and putting their money in what they see online. Admittedly, people would rather spend money on experiences such as eating out and trying different cuisines, taking their kids out to amusement parks, travelling the world, and having a barbecue at the beach. However, the global pandemic left people worrying about the risks of going out and has reminded them of the benefits and convenience of staying home. And as many of the consumers are unable to (or choose not to) spend their money on experiences outside, they have found an alternative in shopping for items online. An increase in consumer appetite may be a double-edged sword for companies. More orders mean more business, yes, but at the same time, it also means more work. Companies can only request or compel their employees to a certain extent in rendering overtime and weekend work. A better solution would be to hire extra help to counter the volume of orders and deliver things efficiently.
Aside from focusing on getting help in the warehouse, companies invest money in adding customer service professionals to deal with consumers complaining about their products, following-up on their orders, returning the items, and cancelling at the last minute. The holidays are not an excuse for receiving poor customer satisfaction. In fact, this will be an assessment of their services more than the product itself. Customers who have had damaged products, lost items, or cancelled orders can return, and they would go for businesses that gave them a great customer experience. Harsh as it may sound, without customers bringing in business, companies are worth nothing!
Whether jobseekers are currently employed with a full-time job or in-between jobs hoping to finally land a role, companies looking for seasonal workers will truly sound like a great opportunity. Full-time employees take this chance to get in some extra cash for the holidays. For some people, working part-time and in a different environment sounds better than doing routine work and simply rendering overtime. If this opportunity already attracts the working professionals, what more for the unemployed ones?
Unemployment irks professionals even more during the holidays. Everyone else is busy with work or shopping but them. This is the right time to take on roles that will keep one busy and have a good source of income. Some are even hopeful of being a permanent employee after being considered as a seasonal worker. Aside from the income, people would go for jobs that can temporarily provide them with perks such as employee discounts, year-end or seasonal bonuses, and social events to attend with the team.
To some, year-end means bonuses and parties. While to others, it means longer hours and a heavier workload. Companies do not intend to overwhelm their current employees with the anticipated volume and hours of work year after year. Hiring additional pairs of hands would relieve them of such. The demands of the job can already be exhausting on a regular day. The holidays would only add to the stress. Resignations due to burnouts would be the last thing that companies would need during this season.
Who Needs Help?
Who would have thought that retail businesses and delivery companies would be booming this time of the year? Physical and online stores anticipate an increase in consumers purchasing gifts, seasonal home décor, and goodies to enjoy and share. Thanks to the lockdown, more and more people have realized the convenience of having items delivered to their doorstep – gifts included! Granted, it saves time and energy for consumers who are used to shopping in physical stores and gift-giving in person. Plus, it also promotes health and safety measures by staying home and putting themselves at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
A surge in the number of purchases and orders would eventually mean a need to hire additional warehouse workers, retail stock staff, and packaging clerks, to name a few. The current and permanent staff may get overwhelmed and stressed due to the volume of orders received for processing daily and the pressure to meet the transaction deadline. Companies are careful not to sacrifice quality despite the overflowing quantities to work on. Therefore, hiring extra help may be a better approach than just requiring current staff to render overtime work.
After items get processed in the warehouse, it is then up to the delivery service professionals (i.e., truck drivers, bike messengers, etc.) to ensure the items arrive in time and in good condition. Possible issues that may occur involve delivery schedules and locations. Traffic and weather conditions should be considered when delivering items. Delivery professionals should also make sure the buyer is home at the time of the delivery. In other instances, locations may be a concern, especially if customers input it incorrectly or live in areas that are difficult to locate or get to. Ideal conditions save a lot of time, energy, and money. Sadly, the world is not as perfect. The good news is that there is an option to hire additional help. Two (or more) heads are better than one!
Moreover, customer service professionals may need to make an extra effort to keep customers at bay. Customers who remain working from or staying at home during the holidays may not have much to do aside from tracking their orders and making sure they receive items on time. This can be overwhelming for current customer service professionals. This is the reason why there is an increasing demand for hiring additional help. Numerous customer complaints and escalations on a normal day can already be stressful. Imagine how irritable customers get during the holidays, and they got all the time in the world to call about the issues. Companies would rather resort to hiring extra help than having low customer satisfaction ratings.
Lastly, back-office roles include HR and finance, doing mostly clerical work during and in preparation for the holidays. The human resources department will be busy in preparing for end-of-year social gatherings – perhaps done online this year for many, finalizing recruitment needs for the coming year, submitting budget plans for employee engagement activities, calculating pay for year-end bonuses or annual increments, to name some. HR may also work with finance for payroll computations and processing but aside from that, the finance team needs to make tax preparations for the audit season. Other things may be put on hold, no matter how pertinent they are for the role, to give way to the seasonal work. With this, employers decide whether to have backlogs on daily tasks but give way to seasonal work OR to hire additional help to unload some of the work and allow current staff to focus their energies on pressing matters at hand.
Tips in Hiring Extra Help for the Holidays:
1) Make Plans A-Z
Hiring extra help can be troublesome if done a little too late. Companies get ready and expect an overflowing amount of work even before the holidays sink in based on previous years. Employers are also aware that they are not the only ones hiring during the holidays, so it is better to get started as early as possible! This way, recruiters will have a healthy pool of candidates, leaders (and senior members )will have enough time to train seasonal workers, seasonal workers will be given opportunities to build rapport with the team and learn the tasks in no time. Ample time also prepares companies for setbacks such as hired help suddenly backing out. Recruiters will have time to replace them.
2) Know the Help You Need
Based on past years, find out what has been the trend and what has worked best for the company and employees. Interviewing employees on their holiday work experiences would give companies insights on the workload and find out what considerations to make in the hiring process. Below are several questions to ponder on:
a) What positions do we need to fill during the holidays?
b) Different companies require different help.
c) How many are we looking to hire? The number differs per vacant position.
d) How much is the budget allocated per vacancy? Seasonal workers may expect to get compensated differently from their permanent counterparts.
e) How long will we need extra pairs of hands? It could be a month or two, depending on the business needs and trends.
f) Are we considering absorbing seasonal workers for a permanent role soon? This can be an opportunity for the company to filter out the bad and keep the good ones.
3) Think Long Term
Oftentimes, seasonal workers stay with the company until the end of their contract. In other cases, employers think long-term and decide to train seasonal workers enough to absorb them for a permanent role. Whether employers intend to keep the workers or not, seasonal workers should be trained well to do the job as it affects team productivity and customer satisfaction. As the saying goes, “What if we train them and they leave? What if we don’t and they stay?” Plus, it is best to train many to do the job instead of doing everything on your own or risk having your current staff overwhelmed with the workload.
The current team would also welcome having seasonal workers as it means an extra pair of hands and maybe even a new colleague in the long run. It empowers tenured employees to be approached for questions and assistance. At times, seasonal workers hesitate to ask their leaders for help on their work and would rather go to their peers or the other senior members. This is an opportunity to have your team build relationships and learn from one another.
4) Manage Expectations
Seasonal workers are informed about the nature and duration of the job before onboarding. Best to set expectations from the get-go. It is important to let them know what they are signing up for; to decide if they are ready and willing to take on the job.
Below are the things that employers and recruiters should inform seasonal workers prior to onboarding:
a) Role and Responsibilities. What is expected of them? Who will they be reporting to?
b) Employment Status. Is this a seasonal role, or is there a chance for permanency? Will they be contacted again in the future during busy seasons?
c) Work arrangement. Will they be working from home/ in the office/ in the warehouse? Are they expected to work full-time or part-time?
d) Schedule. Is this an 8-5 job? Is there weekend work?
e) Compensation. How much will they get paid? Are overtime hours compensated?
The holidays can be daunting, and hiring extra help is of great importance during this time, but even that process can also be taxing for employers and recruiters. The good news is that these things can be managed! The past years and recent trends are to be considered in preparing for the busy season – whether it be your or another company’s experience, learn from them.
What are you waiting for? Start looking for an extra pair of hands!
Have more questions about the recruitment process? We can help every step of the way, from a single service as needed to outsourcing the full process to us. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org today for a free 30-minute consultation.