Preparing to Hire for the Holiday Rush

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Author: Troy Fite, Sales Recruiting Manager

It’s been a rough year for businesses of any size.

This is particularly obvious when you consider that the equivalent of one in four U.S. workers filed for unemployment between March and the end of May.

The Economic Policy Institute reported in October that people collecting unemployment are now typically receiving around 40% of their pre-virus earnings, making many highly motivated to find employment sooner rather than later.

The good news is that the holidays bring a bump in revenue — and a reason to hire additional staff — for many industries. It’s a win-win opportunity for employers and potential new hires.

The only snag? You could be looking at double the normal applicant volume your hiring system and schedule are built to handle.

We have a few tips to navigate this year’s unique holiday hiring challenge.

Be Upfront

You won’t be the only business owner looking to bring on additional staff. To give a snapshot of what roles are in the most demand, LinkedIn published an article in September detailing roles with the largest month-over-month increase in job posts. The top three were:

  1. Security Officer, +361%
  2. Delivery Specialist, +176%
  3. Retail Sales Specialist, +144%

If you want to stand out from the competition and shorten your hiring process, clarity is key. What kind of environment do you create for employees? What skills are non-optional? When are you hoping to have the role filled?

This advice is particularly true for seasonal jobs. Stating plainly from the beginning whether or not there’s the possibility of a permanent position helps applicants make an informed choice before they click “Submit.”

Think Like an Applicant

In a time where so many people are anxious about their health as well as their financial future, the importance of compassion can’t be overstated.

You can’t hire everyone. But you can take a few moments to customize your email or jot down a few bullet points of helpful feedback before you get on the phone to inform an applicant that you’re going a different direction.

Research from LinkedIn shows 94% of candidates want to hear feedback after an interview, and will be four times more likely to consider a future opportunity with your company if you’ve offered constructive feedback.

When is Tech Worth It?

Writing informative, readable job descriptions sounds great in theory. So does giving meaningful feedback to candidates.

But when you’re running a small business with very real limitations on your resources and time, it can feel like way too much to manage.

If you’re in this situation, a cloud-based hiring tool could be worth the investment. Seeing all your job listings, active applicants, scheduled interviews and more at a glance could help you make the most of spare moments.

When it helps you stay on top of hiring, Investing in a tech solution is really an investment in your company’s reputation.

Final Thoughts

There are many variations of the saying, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” While that may be true, 2020’s been so full of unexpected difficulty it’s made us all wonder what’s coming next.

If you use these few simple tips to handle familiar hiring tasks in a new way, you’ll be ready to take on the holidays and an exciting new year.