Prepping for The Rush: How to Recruit Seasonal Employees

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As a talent acquisition professional, you know how important it is to develop a recruitment strategy that takes into account your seasonal needs—well in advance. Although this can be challenging to accurately forecast at times ( especially during periods of extreme volatility, which many businesses are currently facing), there’s nothing quite as frustrating as waiting too long to adequately staff for seasonal fluctuations only to discover that you’ve seriously miscalculated your needs—and come up short just when you need help the most.

How can you best position your business to meet its seasonal recruitment sweet spot? The key lies in careful strategic planning. Consider using the following strategies to help empower your business to effectively recruit seasonal employees and consistently match its fluctuating staffing needs while minimizing effort, guesswork, and costly mistakes.

It’s often been said that the best predictor of the future is the past. And while it may not always hold true, when it comes to forecasting seasonal staffing needs it can be a powerful tool in your recruitment arsenal. Rather than just winging it each year and relying on a “roll the dice” approach to determine your needs, invest some time in aggregating and reviewing key historical seasonal peaks and troughs, which will help you elevate your recruitment strategy from mere guesswork to informed data analysis.

Run Targeted Campaigns

An effective job campaign targeting seasonal employees is designed with laser focus. Everything from the platforms you choose to host your ad (the rise of the gig economy is causing an explosion in sites designed specifically for temporary, freelance, and seasonal employment opportunities) to the language used in the job description should make it clear what type of job this is—and be sure to include key details like length of employment, hours/shifts involved, etc. Consider leveraging the industry’s leading-edge recruitment technology—including programmatic recruitment—to help automate your seasonal employment efforts without overtaxing your staff. There’s no bigger time and energy waster than assessing and meeting with potential candidates who had no idea this was a seasonal position, only to leave you right where you started. If you and the potential candidates you screen are all on the same page from start to finish, you’re setting yourself up for the nest possible results.

Establish A Tight Onboarding Process

Typically, seasonal employees don’t have a long timeline for getting up to speed when it comes to learning the requirements of the job; in fact, it’s typically much quicker than for full-time employees. Add to this the fact that seasonal employment surges often occur at times of intensely heightened business activity. So the last thing you need to be doing when pressed for time is inefficient onboarding. Having a very regimented and organized onboarding process—from start to finish—will help you maximize seasonal employment resources and meet your business needs.

Develop A Cyclical Pipeline

Ask any experienced talent recruitment specialist in charge of managing seasonal employment who the best candidates typically are for seasonal employment, and you’ll likely hear this as a response: workers who we’ve employed for seasonal work in the past. If your business is likely going to rely on seasonal employment annually, invest the time and effort in maintaining a recurring cyclical pipeline of active and passive candidates who have performed well in the past, and make sure they’re the first candidates you contact when new positions open in the future. Utilizing a structured talent management system for seasonal employees can really help your team manage this flow and maximize your hiring returns.

There’s no better time than now to plan for the future, and this is particularly true when it comes to developing your seasonal employment goals. Use the strategies and advice presented here to help your business prepare effectively and to capably meet your changing recruitment and hiring needs.

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