The first of November marks the start of annual seasonal hiring in the U.S. Companies in the hospitality, retail, and delivery sectors bring on extra employees to handle the Christmas rush. Those same companies will be letting most of their seasonal workers go after the new year.
Though this time of year can be chaotic for both HR and payroll, it doesn’t have to be. Implementing just a few changes to normal operations can streamline seasonal hiring significantly. Below are a few suggestions compliments of Dallas-based BenefitMall, a nationally recognized provider of payroll and benefits administration services.
1. Develop a Consistent Onboarding Process
Companies that hire seasonal workers often find that their biggest problems arise in onboarding. Without a consistent process in place, onboarding seasonal workers can quickly get out of hand. The payroll department can fall behind while the HR struggles to compile accurate records. Floor managers might have trouble keeping track of who is coming and who is going.
A consistent onboarding process can streamline seasonal hiring by forcing all involved parties to follow the same step-by-step process for every hire. This eliminates confusion and unrealistic expectations. It facilitates more intentional actions among payroll, HR, and management staff.
2. Audit the Payroll System
Next is auditing a company’s payroll system. Some older systems are pretty confusing when it comes to entering new workers hired just for seasonal work. Furthermore, it goes without saying that manual payroll processing can become a chaotic mess this time of year.
Auditing the payroll system can help a company better understand what upgrades would be useful for seasonal hiring. As an added bonus, such upgrades will be beneficial the rest of the year. Now is the time to make those upgrades. For some companies, that means handing over payroll to a third-party provider.
3. Align HR and Manager Goals
Beyond onboarding and payroll, there may be issues when the HR department and floor managers do not have the same hiring goals. Sit down with department heads to make sure everyone is on the same page. Managers need to know what kind of numbers they are looking at. The HR department needs to know the resources it has for recruiting and hiring.
4. Establish a Vetting Process
The minute the call goes out for seasonal workers, employers can expect to receive a ton of applications. It is important to work through those applications without missing potential candidates who could turn out to be great finds. And yet there has a temptation to not spend enough time looking at applications because there are just so many of them.
Reviewing applications is made easier by establishing a vetting process before announcing job openings. Managers and HR personnel can come up with a list of criteria they are looking for in their ideal candidates. Then it is a matter of checking off boxes, so to speak, as HR staff go through applications.
5. Arrange for Background Checks
The last tip is one of pre-arranging background checks. Most companies these days already have a partner they work with for conducting background checks, so this is generally not a problem. This tip really applies to companies that do not conduct background checks on new hires. It’s a mistake that should be corrected.
Seasonal hiring doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By designing an efficient process that remains consistent from start to finish, companies can recruit and hire their seasonal workers in due course. If you hire seasonal workers but have not yet looked at your process for doing so, you cannot afford to wait any longer. The annual hiring season has arrived.