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Twelve Tips of Seasonal Hiring (Part 3)

December 23, 2014

This is the third installment of our "Twelve Tips of Seasonal Hiring" blog series. Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2.

Our ninth tip for you is to keep your temporary and contract staffing records separate.

hciWhen it comes to HR, what often comes to mind is all the paperwork to complete. When you are hiring temporary staff not employed by your organization, it’s best practice to keep records from the selection process as well as general employment records separate from your direct hire employees.  This is due to auditing practices of regulatory agencies.  If you keep your contract/temporary and direct hire staff records together, the auditor may see those as one applicant pool.  A (falsely) larger applicant pool may be a disadvantage when you’re providing selection ratios to those auditing agencies, as a larger N size increases the statistical likelihood you’ll find significant differences among groups.   Additionally, if your staffing agency is held liable for a mistake in their recruitment efforts, you may be too due to your combined record keeping.  Although we’d recommend you to treat all your staff the same with regard to your organizational culture, it is wise to be cautious when it comes to employee records.  Bottom line: Keep your filing cabinets in order and separate to avoid any confusion when it comes to employment records.

Our tenth tip for you is on training.

Most people would agree that training is valuable in any job. Training seasonal employees is no exception. Since these employees are often working part-time, it’s crucial that their training is both comprehensive and concise. You’ve taken the time to hire these employees, and the next step is to make sure that they have the resources they’ll need to help your company during this busy season. If your temporary employee is working in a customer-facing position, it’s especially important to remember that customers typically can’t tell the difference between your seasonal and long term employees. This is just another reason why proper training is a good idea.

Orientation is our eleventh tip.

Since your seasonal employees may only work with you for a short time, it’s best to offer an abbreviated orientation. Think efficiency. They obviously don’t need to know all of the information that your long term employees do, but organizing a short and customized orientation will make them feel like part of your team. If they have a good sense of your company’s history, values, and policies, they’re more likely to be engaged in their work – even if they’re only working with you for a few weeks. It’s also important to remember that high potential performers may become long term employees, and you want to make sure that they have a good impression of your company from the start.    

Last but not least, our twelfth tip for you is: Customers.

Your seasonal employees may never work for your organization again after the holiday rush is over, but that doesn’t mean you won’t come into contact with them again. It’s worthwhile keeping in mind that your seasonal worker is very likely to also be your future customer – and maybe even your current customer too. This is especially true in retail. Many seasonal workers take advantage of employee discounts offered, and you want to make sure to retain them as customers. A seasonal employee’s negative work experience could end up hurting you. You may lose not only their business, but that of their friends and families. Bad word-of-mouth travels far and fast. Even if you’re not in the retail business, you should keep in mind that a temporary worker has the ability to generate positive or negative press about your organization.

That wraps up our 12 tips of Seasonal Hiring Tips! Hopefully you found all of our tips useful, and we hope you have a great holiday season!

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Rose Keith Rose Keith is a Consultant based in the Pittsburgh office of PSI. Rose manages selection process implementation projects and works with clients to ensure that these processes are working well. She also manages, develops, and delivers training programs, both externally and within PSI.