Hopefully you’re well on your way to assembling your holiday team, says Doug Fleener of Dynamic Experiences Group — but if you haven’t finished, here are his seven tips for hiring a seasonal staff.
1. Hire extraordinary people. Too many specialty retailers compromise when they hire for the holidays, but seasonal staff that works the floor they have to be really good. Your customers don’t know or care who is and isn’t a seasonal sales associate. “Call it fate, but I swear the customers with the most money always end up being helped by seasonal people.”
2. Contact every former employee who left in good standing. Reach out to every former employee and ask if they’re interested in a holiday position. These are people who might not be thinking about working a seasonal job, but many of them will consider it once they’re asked. And these people are almost always more productive and will get up to speed much more quickly.
3. Recruit your customers and/or their friends. Who better to work in your store this holiday season than someone who already knows the products and people?
4. Pay exceptionally well. You usually get what you pay for. If we seek out and find really good people they deserve to be paid well.
5. Reward your permanent employees for recruiting seasonal employees.
6. Consider hiring specialists. Bank employees make great cashiers. Outside sales reps make good retail salespeople.
7. Use a group interview process. Instead of trying to schedule a bunch of one-on-one interviews, do a phone interview with the applicants and if you like them invite them to a group interview.
Dynamic Experiences Group is a retail and customer experience consulting firm. Fleener is the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer.