Fall is here, which means retailers everywhere are ramping up their seasonal hiring plans. After all, Christmas is now just 10 weeks away! 2016 is expected to be another solid year for retailers and eCommerce companies like Amazon, which has already announced they’ll be hiring 120,000 people to work in their distribution centers across the country to help with pick, pack and ship.
With that in mind, retailers of all sizes must begin to add new staff in anticipation of the holiday shopping season. Here are eight tactics to help you hire quickly to find the help you need.
1. Tell the media. Issue a press release like this and tell your local media that you need to hire. Many news stations and local newspapers love to run stories about new jobs so it’s a chance to get some free press for your business. Be sure to let people know about the perks and salaries they can earn.
2. Tell your customers. Smart retailers know that their customer base can be made up of potential hires. Put ‘we’re hiring’ signs in your stores and mention it on receipts and shopping bags that promote your careers site. Your customers will see these messages and tell their friends and family. That kind of word-of-mouth advertising is priceless.
3. Leverage social media. If you have a solid social media presence than you have a free tool to attract quality job seekers. Regularly post to your Facebook page and accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat that you are hiring. Post pictures of your business “in action,” show off other employees and tout the benefits of working there. Think of social media channels as a way to create visual job postings. Use social media to drive traffic back to your careers page or directly to the job posting.
4. Create seasonal specific job ads. These ads should be separate from your normal ads so you can focus on the season. Mention the hours, perks, and other reasons to work there. Make the apply process as simple as possible. If it’s online, keep the number of screening questions to the bare minimum and be sure mobile candidates can apply on the fly. If you take walk-ins, set up a small “hiring center” in your store where applicants can fill out an application and get more information.
5. Hold an open house. Retailer Chipotle made news last year with their “National Career Day,” a one-day event where all their locations are prepared to welcome interested applicants in-store with the goal of hiring 5,000 workers in one day. Last year they landed 4,000 new hires and each of its 200 stores have a goal of interviewing at least 100 applicants. Take a page out of Chipotle’s recruiting strategy and host your own employer open house. You can even post them for free on this directory.
6. Employees referrals. Provide incentives. You can start a program that if you refer an employee and they get a job offer, the referrer will get an incentive. Some examples include a free lunch, a $20 gift card, a longer lunch break, etc. You can always attach retention to your referral program as well. For example, if a new hire is referred, the referrer only gets their incentive if the employee stays for 30 days. This way, employees are only referring individuals who they trust.
7. Pump up the volume. Be prepared to use job boards and/or staffing agencies to help you hire fast and in big numbers. Job search engines like Jobs2Careers have millions of monthly users. Staffing agencies can augment your existing staff and help conduct interviews along with implementing recruiting advertising initiatives. For more info on holiday hiring with Jobs2Careers, download this infograph.
8. Plan ahead. Having a recurring yearly recruiting plan will help you get ready. Set a date each year, and start earlier than other retailers to get ahead of your hiring needs. Create a permanent page about your seasonal needs on your career site detailing when people can apply and collect emails so you can build up a mailing list for when it’s time to hire.
Hiring is hard enough. I hope these seasonal hiring tips make your job just a little bit easier.
Considered the 'mad scientist of online recruiting' by his peers, Chris is an entrepreneur and former corporate recruiter based in Connecticut. When not writing you might find him bass fishing from his kayak on the lakes & rivers of New England.