Hiring Temps for the Holidays? The Right Way to Prep for Peak Season

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For retailers, logistics companies and other companies whose busiest season is the 4th quarter, now is the time to begin planning for the successful recruitment, training and management of temporary staff. Here are four key tips for making the process go smoothly, based on Integrity's vast experience in providing hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers to our clients.


1. Start Recruiting Early

Haste makes waste, says one old proverb. If you wait until you're already in immediate need for help, you'll be forced to make fast decisions, not necessarily smart ones.


Giving yourself as much time as possible to attract, interview, background check and select candidates will give you better assurance that your new hires can perform at or above your expectations. What's more, when you're among the first in the field with your job postings, the entire talent pool will still be available — not just the ones left after your competitors took their pick.


If you don't feel that you have the time or expertise to handle the deluge of job candidates, consider working with a staffing agency such as Integrity. Services offered range from marketing to applicant screening to onsite supervision throughout the temporary assignment, depending on your needs.


2. Adjust Job Requirements, Descriptions and Expectations to Suit the Seasonal Role

Both managers and temporary employees must clearly understand what the job will entail, including productivity quotas, scheduling limitations and physical challenges. If you have full-time employees performing similar roles, outline the differences between them and the temporary workers.


To cut down on misunderstandings and disputes, these definitions should be included in advertised job postings, interview conversations and instructions to the temp's direct supervisor. Also consider how much training will be necessary and who's going to do it.


3. Remember that Quantity Isn't Better than Quality

Focusing solely on getting a lot of bodies in the door will not give you the results you want from your peak season. You need people who are motivated, capable, honest and all the other qualities you look for in any new hire.


Don't lower your standards just because these workers are temporary. Maintain your usual procedures of candidate screening, testing, checking references and so on. Here's another old proverb for you: One bad apple spoils the whole barrel.


4. Give Temps Some Retention Attention

Your full-time employees enjoy a variety of policies and perks that keep them on board long enough for you to recoup your investment in hiring them. While your temporary workers obviously won't get the same package, they are also an investment you need to protect. You don't want the hassle of having them quit after just a day or two on the job.


One of the big reasons Integrity's clients choose to fill their temporary job openings with our associates is the benefits we provide from day one — health insurance, free educational opportunities, grievance resolution, pay advances and more. This gives our associates a high level of commitment to stay with the assignment until completion.


'Tis the season that can make or break your company's bottom line. With these planning and procedure tips for hiring temporary workers, you'll set yourself up for a fantastic peak!


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