The holiday shopping season is upon us, which means your retail store could soon become a very busy place. Do you have enough team members to handle the holiday rush?
Imagine with us, for a moment.
It’s a chilly December weekend, but the streets are still bustling with people searching for holiday deals. Your store is filling up fast and online orders are stacking up.
What a great sight! You’re welcoming customers into the store, pulling inventory for those online orders, and helping everyone find what they need.
Suddenly, the line at the register is getting too long. No problem – you’ve handled that before.
You join your cashiers and assist with completing transactions to send customers on their way. The line is moving a bit faster, but it’s still winding through the front of the store and causing a traffic jam for incoming customers. As you’re working the register, you notice handfuls of customers leaving the store empty-handed and downtrodden. Plus, the online orders are still coming in and you haven't been out on the floor to secure those purchased items.
If you’re worried you may find yourself in this position, consider hiring seasonal holiday help. That way you can keep the registers fully staffed, assign team members to assist customers, and make sure all those online orders are fulfilled quickly and accurately.
Keep reading for advice on attracting seasonal employees to your store this holiday season.
Holiday Hiring Tips
The holiday season is extremely important for retail stores because revenue gained from holiday sales can contribute to 30% of your annual profits. To help the season run as smoothly as possible, you’ll need more help! That means hiring additional staff (unless you have a group of friends who are willing to work for free).
Here are some tips to help you in your staffing quest:
Review past holiday numbers to determine how much additional help you need.
If you've been in business for a while, this is a great place to start.
Take some time to sit down and review your past holiday seasons. Analyze the sales volume from each and note how many employees helped you to achieve that volume.
We also recommend talking with your employees about their experiences and expectations for the busy season. If they have felt overwhelmed in past years and suspect some opportunities were missed, it may mean you need to hire more temporary positions than you have in the past. Or, if your employees found themselves with a lot of free time, you may need to hire less.
Write clear, honest job descriptions.
Any position you are looking to hire for the holidays will most likely be considered “seasonal” or “temporary”.
The first piece of advice we have for you here is to be transparent about the nature of the position in your job posting and description. This will save you potentially wasted time from an applicant who was looking for something permanent.
You should also be clear in your job description of the duties and tasks that will be required of the position. Clearly list any education or experience requirements, along with physical ability requirements. Here are some examples you may want to consider:
- Must be able to lift 50 pounds.
- May be required to stand for long periods of time without a break.
- Must have a reliable source of transportation.
- 1-3 years of experience is preferred.
- Must have a friendly, festive attitude!
Contact past employees for first dibs.
Good employees come and go. If things ended on a positive note, why not ask past employees to join your store for a holiday season encore?
This tactic can make the season a little less stressful for you and for your team. Bringing back a previous team member requires less training and can be fun for your employees or customers who have worked with them in the past.
Post applications on social media for your biggest fans.
Who better to spread the news about your employment opportunities than loyal customers?
When you’re ready to post requests for applicants on sites like Indeed or Glassdoor, don’t forget to also post them to your social media page! Encourage customers who follow you on social media and are excited about the products you offer to share the post or consider applying themselves. Hiring team members who are already passionate about your store is a great way to boost morale and keep the season bright.
Click here to view some examples of job posts on social media.
Develop a quick, effective training program.
To get your seasonal employees up to speed as quickly as possible, you’ll need an effective training program.
Not sure where to start? We suggest breaking your store policies and processes down into simple steps. Be sure to include things that may be obvious to you, and don’t assume your new employees will already know them.
For example, explain the importance of putting new products in the back when stocking shelves. Once your seasonal team has completed their training, run mock scenarios with them to test their knowledge. These can include:
- Beginning-of-shift register balances
- Answering the phone
- Greeting customers
- Completing a transaction
- Making a return or exchange
- Stocking shelves
- Organizing displays
- End-of-shift register balances
Lean on your full-time or long-term staff members to help with training. After all, they do all these things every day. Plus, they may appreciate the extra responsibility and will start to build a camaraderie with the new team!
We hope these tips help you build the perfect holiday team. Looking for more seasonal advice? You may like these posts: