More than four out of every five businesses — big and small — are looking for some seasonal help for the holidays. And, this year, unemployment is at its lowest rate since December 1969, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
What does that mean for you? Competition for seasonal hiring will be a fierce one, and small businesses — some of which already struggle to hire helping hands — may bear the brunt of it.
It’s important to note that national chains, like Target and Amazon, are also feeling the heat, offering different types of benefits to their seasonal workers. Target, as an example, has set aside more than $2 million to give randomly selected employees at each of its stores and distribution centers a $500 gift card. And that’s just one of the ways the retail giant is using to attract more temporary workers.
But many small businesses may not have the means or the brand recognition to carry out initiatives like those. So, what can be done?
Here are some pointers to eke out an advantage from our Kinetic Business by Windstream team:
1. Start Early.
By now, you should have already started the search for your seasonal hires. In fact, some national chains start advertising for holiday temp jobs as early as the summertime.
Starting early means more time for your small business to figure out how to bring in temporary workers and more time for new hires to train. Your hiring plan should include an advertising strategy for your openings, along with any events you’ll participate in to help fill them.
2. Think Outside the Box for Your Small Business Benefits.
Larger companies may be paying a higher hourly wage, but small businesses can still get in the benefit game. Get creative with the types of perks you can offer your seasonal workers: employee discounts, time and a half for working on crucial days, bonuses for training newer employees, etc.
If there’s not much your small business can do financially, there are even other ways to bring in employees. As an example, one applicant may be a college student looking to fill up the holidays and get some extra cash. But if that college student is, say, a business major, you — as a small business owner — could give said student some mentorship and even training in a certain field.
3. Broaden Your Search.
This gets to the crucial question of how you’re going to find those extra hands. Sure, you can place advertisements in local publications or other shops, but there’s more that you can do.
For starters, try referrals. Perhaps even start an employee referral program, where employees get a reward for successful hires. You could also take part in job fairs or post on job boards. Note that college campuses — filled with potential employees — can organize job fairs and may send out job alerts to students by study program. And you can easily post your openings using your Kinetic Internet on sites like Monster.com, Indeed or even your local newspaper!
For more hiring tips, be sure to read our blog on getting the right candidate each and every time. And once you’ve got your seasonal employee lined up, read up on how to prepare for one of the biggest days of the year: Small Business Saturday!