The holiday shopping season is upon us! Your store is sure to become a busy place. Do you have enough team members to handle the holiday rush?
Imagine with us, for a moment. It’s Black Friday. The streets are bustling with people searching for holiday deals, and your store is filling up fast. What a great sight! You’re welcoming customers into the store and helping them find what they’re looking for. 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 ringing people out, you notice handfuls of customers leaving the store empty-handed and downtrodden.
What happened here? Things seemed to be going so smoothly. Well, when you left the floor to assist the cashiers, customers were still entering the store. Due to the winding line and no one to greet or assist them, they became overwhelmed and left, presumably to take their business elsewhere. Who knows how many opportunities you may have missed?
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 and have team members to assist customers on the floor as well. Keep reading for advice on attracting seasonal employees to your store this holiday season.
Table of Contents
Holiday Hiring Tips
- Research Past Holidays
- Write Clear Job Descriptions
- Contact Past Employees
- Post on Social Media
- Craft an Effective Training Program
Holiday Hiring Tips
As we discussed in the first post of this series, Ten Tips for Marketing Your Business this Holiday Season, revenue gained from holiday sales can contribute to 30% of your annual profits. That means that these next couple of months are going to be very important and hopefully very busy for your business. To help the season run as smoothly as possible, you’ll need more help! That means hiring additional staff, unless you have a tight group of friends who are willing to work for free.
Here are some tips to help you in your staffing quest:
Research past holidays to decide on the number of team members you need.
If this is the first holiday season for your store, you probably can’t take advantage of this tip. However, if you’ve been in business for a while, you should start here. Take a trip down memory lane and look back at your past holiday seasons. Analyze the sales volume from each season and how many employees helped you to achieve that volume. Along with this data research, we recommend talking with your employees about their experiences and expectations for the holiday season. If they have felt overwhelmed in past years and feel 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 downtime, you may need to hire less.
Write clear, transparent 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 potential 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 of requirements 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.
- High School diploma required.
- 1-3 years’ experience 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 employees. Bringing back a previous team member requires less training and can be fun for your employees 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. After all, wouldn’t you rather hire team members who are already passionate about your store? Click here to view some examples of job posts on social media.
Craft and complete a quick, effective training program.
To get your seasonal employees on the same page as the regular employees as quick 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 to 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
Use 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. Be sure to visit our blog again next week for some last-minute Black Friday and Small Business Saturday tips.
Want to check out the other posts in this series? Click the links below!