Talent Sourcing & Recruiting

Talent Sourcing: How to Find Good Candidates for Seasonal Hiring

Nov 16, 2021 - Tiffany Monhollon

‘Tis the season for seasonal hiring. Industries such as retail and delivery rely on temporary employees during the holidays (Kohl’s alone is expected to add 90,000 seasonal workers for the end of 2021), while other industries including tax prep, tourism, and hospitality have their own peak seasons that may require seasonal workers to handle increased demand from consumers.

However, today’s tight labor market has introduced new challenges when it comes to hiring seasonal employees. Use the following tips in order to attract, recruit, and retain strong candidates for seasonal work.

Start Your Recruitment Early!

A lot of companies will be hiring seasonal workers during peak seasons, such as the holidays or the summer. It’s likely there will be competition for strong candidates, so it’s important to start recruiting early. Try to anticipate your seasonal hiring needs while working on your annual recruitment plan, and then scale up or down accordingly as the season draws closer.

Invite Previous Seasonal Hires to Reapply

If you’ve hired seasonal workers before, chances are you already have a good list of prospective candidates for this year. Reach out to the seasonal employees you’ve worked with in the past and see if they are interested in working with you again. This arrangement often works well for both parties because it reduces the amount of time you need to recruit new employees, and it reduces the amount of time that job seekers spend job searching. As an added incentive, you may decide to offer a rehiring bonus or a raise since they will already have some experience with your company and will probably not require as much training as a totally new employee.

To make the rehiring process smoother, stay organized and take detailed notes of past employees’ performance at the end of their first term with the company. This can help you identify strong candidates at the start of the next seasonal hiring spree. If you haven’t in the past, tag top seasonal employees in your talent management system as “eligible for rehire” so you can invite them back in the future.

Consider keeping previous seasonal hires engaged throughout the year by sharing a company newsletter, inviting them to follow the company on social media, or letting them know if you typically rehire seasonal employees--they may even reach out to you if they’re aware that you’re hiring!

Ask for Employee Referrals

Tap into your employees’ networks for recommendations on new hires. To spread the word that you’re hiring, you can post a message in your intranet or in your internal company newsletter, encourage employees to share job postings on their own social media profiles, or ask them one-on-one if they know anyone looking for seasonal work. Now is also a good time to offer referral bonuses.

Participate in Job Fairs or Host Hiring Events Specifically for Seasonal Employees

Job fairs--especially virtual job fairs hosted on online hiring platforms--are great for quick, high-volume hiring because they can introduce you to a lot of candidates in one place and may reduce the amount of time to hire. If you are hiring a lot of seasonal employees, you may consider hosting your own job fair so can you attract candidates who are specifically interested in working at your company. You can also see if you can participate in on-site or virtual job fairs through nearby schools, universities, or your local or state government.

If you decide to incorporate virtual hiring events into your seasonal recruitment strategy, it’s important to choose a platform that works for you. Brazen’s virtual job fairs offer features such as text and video chats for one-on-one conversations between recruiters and candidates, integrations with a company’s ATS, and analytics to track candidate attendance, engagement, and follow-ups. When it comes to finding passive candidates who might be interested in attending your events to learn more about seasonal work opportunities, you can also use Brazen’s Sourcing Marketplace as another channel.

Optimize Job Descriptions for Your Careers Page and Other Job Boards

In addition to posting seasonal jobs on your careers web page, it’s likely that you will also post on some of the major job boards, such as LinkedIn or Indeed. Since there are so many job offerings on these platforms, you’ll need to make sure the job posting is targeted specifically for seasonal workers rather than those seeking a full-time, long-term position. One way to do this is to include keywords like “seasonal” and “temporary.” It also helps if on your company’s career page and other job boards, you can add a tag or a filter for “temporary” jobs so they are easier for candidates to find. You can also use job boards that are known for hiring seasonal or hourly employees, such as Snagajob and Seasonaljobs.com.

So once a prospective candidate sees your job posting, how do you entice them to apply? In addition to listing out the job responsibilities, consider including in the job description some of the perks or benefits you offer. For example, if your company works in retail, is there a discount for employees? Are employees who complete their full term of employment eligible for a bonus--or is there a signing bonus? Are the hours flexible? Think about some of the things that make your company a great place to work.

Have a Great Candidate Experience

While sourcing prospective employees is an important part of seasonal recruitment, a great candidate experience can ultimately make or break offer acceptance rates and employee retention. Some ways to create a strong candidate experience include streamlining the recruitment process, following up with candidates in a timely manner, and communicating clearly about next steps. You can also host exit interviews for seasonal employees after the season is over to get feedback on what you did well during recruitment, onboarding, and the job itself--all of which will help you improve your candidate experience for next time. Remember that with so much competition for seasonal talent, candidate experience matters more than ever.

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