Hiring Seasonal and Temporary Employees

By Adam Robinson,
December 10, 2012

Even though stores have had their holiday displays up since the Fourth of July, (or Labor Day those who got a late start), the need for seasonal employees is greater than ever in these weeks leading up to the end of the year. In many cases, bringing seasonal or temporary employees on to the team is the difference between upholding great customer service standards and driving customers away because of horrendous service. Keeping in mind the need for extra help is typically due to increased customer traffic, it’s important to hire those candidates who are actually qualified, not just the first handful who apply for the position. 

But what’s a hiring manager to do? Chances are they’re already working overtime trying to fill in wherever they can, so how are they supposed to take time out to sit down and review each and every candidate? It may sound overwhelming now, but by taking the hiring process step-by-step, you’ll be well on your way to exceeding those sales goals for the year.

1. Know what you want

Nothing will slow down the hiring process more than an indecisive hiring manager. Do you want someone who can work nights and weekends or do you want them there only during the day? Do you want to hire someone with experience or do you want to hire someone without experience and spend time training them? Once you create a list of the top three or five necessities you are looking for in a candidate, then it will be time to bring in the candidates whose resumes and applications stood out. 

2. Keep digging

Once you’ve selected those candidates you would like to bring in for an interview, make sure you allocate enough time in order to get all your questions answered. And don’t just ask those typical questions about availability and experience. Find out if the candidate is willing to tackle new projects on a daily basis, are they comfortable working with other employees? What about with customers? These questions provide great insight to a candidates willingness to go above and beyond. 

3. Encourage team work

Welcome them on to the team and let know how much you appreciate them. Success starts with a cohesive team, so encourage full-time employees to work with seasonal and temporary employees. This will make the new employees feel like they are part of the team and will motivate long-term staff to stay on top of their game. 

4. Train, train, train

Whether management or long-term employees are selected to train the new employees, it’s imperative that time is set aside in order to do so. Train them on the most important aspects of your company, such as customer service procedures and standards. Make sure they also know the specifics of top-selling products and key information on other products. Not only will this knowledge transfer over to customers, but the customer will likely leave feeling that they had a great experience.

Hiring a candidate temporarily is a great opportunity to determine whether or not you would like to see them join your team permanently. If they blew you away with their customer service and knowledge, then offer them a long-term position. If you really aren’t impressed, then it’s time to take a deeper look to see if more training could have helped. 

More than impressed? Get our tips on retaining great employees. 

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and learn how to build your best team.