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Staffing challenges can be hard any time of the year, especially during seasonal time. Don’t rush the hiring process. When you’re recruiting seasonal workers it is important to be clear about the perimeters of the job. Include the length of the assignment, nature of the job and expectations designated in your action points.
Getting to the heart of the matter can be done in the way you conduct the interview. You’re looking for certain skill sets and knowledge to help fill your position. Your interview questions should be pointed toward the tasks, stressors and must-haves for the position they applied. Keeping that in mind, plan out your hiring strategy to narrow down candidates specific for your needs.
For example, if you are filling in the retail field, ask questions such as, “How did you handle the last customer who yelled at you? What did you say? What is it about this company that makes you want to hire on as seasonal staff? Have you used a POS system before?” The answers will allow you to evaluate where they could best be placed. The specialist you’re trying to find may be covering returns, you’ll be looking for someone with an even temper to handle disgruntled customers.
In contrast, if you’re filling a warehouse job your questions may look more like, “This job requires eight-hour shifts on your feet. Can you handle that? What was the most stressful part of your last position? Do you enjoy being pulled into different things or do you prefer routine? Have you worked under a deadline before?” If you need a weekend coordinator that can jump from task to task and put out fires, but the candidate you’re interviewing says they prefer routine, they may not be the best fit for this specialist position.
It’s best to instill your expectations even during the interview process. Let them know, “This will be a 7-week position, the hours will vary each week and you will have a duties list to learn. You are responsible for these tasks while you’re on the clock. Does that sound reasonable?” Once they establish they are comfortable with the work load, make sure to sell the perks of working for you. Do you give employees discounts? Have a snack area? Bonuses or offer overtime? Let them know that your company is a great place to work.
Remember to be kind to the candidates who don’t meet exactly what you’re looking for. You may have an opening at another time for someone with their abilities and skills. Leaving on a good note will grant you the opportunity to reach out to them at a later time.
TL:DR/Take Away: Planning a strategy ahead of time will make efficient use of your time and resources during the interview process. You can even utilize mini-interviews over the phone to pre-screen candidates for your specialist positions. That will cut down on the time-sucking weeding process. Be sure to ask direct questions specific for the opening. Also, make sure to sell yourself and your company. Even if you don’t hire a person from an interview, if they had a positive experience they may become a customer. And who doesn’t love free word-of-mouth advertising?