Published: Apr 23, 2018

Summer’s coming fast, which means seasonal recruiting is starting to become a priority for many of us. From interns to contractors to part- or full-time hourly workers, many organizations deal with some sort of seasonal uptick in hiring volume. Hotels and restaurants gear up for an influx of vacationers and tourists, and retailers prepare for a wave of summer shopping. Schools and nonprofits like the YMCA staff summer programs. National parks and monuments hire to cover an increase in visitors. And these are just a few examples. If you anticipate having to manage something akin to these scenarios this year, there’s no time like the present to get ahead of your seasonal recruiting strategy. Here are four things worth thinking about as you start the process.

seasonal recruiting

1. Volume

How do you know how many seasonal employees you need to bring in? Look at last year’s staffing numbers, how many new hires did you bring in then? Were they full-time or part-time? Were you able to meet your scheduling requirements with that number of seasonal employees? Were you paying overtime or finding you were short staffed? What has changed in the business since that time? Demand up? Demand down? Answering questions like these will help you determine what your seasonal recruiting volume should be for this year, and technology is a major help in getting those answers in a timely fashion. Make sure the HR system you use stores all your data in a single location – this makes it much easier to generate reports around your seasonal workforce because you don’t need to reconcile information from multiple sources.

2. Sources

How’d you find your most successful recruits last year? Traditional ways of recruiting seasonal talent include posting on job boards, attending college recruiting fairs, doing ads on social media sites, and asking current employees for referrals. But do you know which of those methods has actually worked for you? Where were you able to find your most valued seasonal employees last year? The key to success here is trying to spot trends. Think outside the box as well. Where did your best seasonal employees live? Was there a concentration of employees from specific geography? How do you reach that particular area with your opportunities or target your traditional methods more tightly to maximize exposure in a specific place. This is another place where having these kinds of analytics integrated into your HR system is really valuable, because you can automatically collect the info you need and then build processes into your recruiting and applicant tracking tools based on what you find out.

3. Applicant Experience

How easy is it to apply for a job with you? Job seekers of all ages, not just Gen Xers and Millennials, want to be able to apply for opportunities with ease from their mobile devices. You have to think about the applicant experience you’re offering in order to remain competitive and keep this audience wanting to work for your company. If your career site is antiquated, doesn’t reflect your company brand, and isn’t optimized for mobile use, you’re going to lose the very audience you’re trying to target. Beyond aesthetic and ease of use concerns, making sure the information you gather from applicants can transfer directly into your onboarding process when you decide to hire someone saves a ton of time. This also improves the applicant experience since candidates aren’t having to provide the same information again when they accept a job from you.

4. Onboarding

Are you prepared for to onboard your seasonal talent? If you’ve made it this far with your seasonal recruits, don’t drop the ball in the final stretch! Think about your approach to onboarding and whether or not you’re set up to handle this influx of talent all at once. From an HR perspective, you don’t want to bog down the team with processing paperwork and chasing down each new hire for the key pieces of information you need to get them set up. From the new hire’s perspective, how lame is coming to work on your first day only to be put in a conference room with a stack of paperwork to review and fill out? No fun at all. The good news is, new hire onboarding doesn’t have to be an administrative burden. There are plenty of ways to use your HRMS software to issue required paperwork before day one and take the hassle out of onboarding.

Seasonal recruiting doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right application of processes and technology, you can be sure you’re getting strong seasonal employees, getting the right amount of employees to meet your needs, and providing an engaging, intuitive recruiting and onboarding experience for those employees. Having a streamlined and optimized seasonal recruiting approach in place will let you get strategic with your seasonal workforce. You’ll be able to deploy them effectively and look at them as another pool of talent to be nurtured. Remember, seasonal employees often want the opportunity to build a career just like your year-round staff. With more time to spend developing these resources and tracking their performance, you may find high flyers who enrich your organization and are great candidates for promotion to permanent positions.