Companies know that business doesn't stop during the holiday season--in fact, it's busier than ever. That's not just true of the sales side of things: Every part of a successful company needs to fire on all cylinders throughout the holidays, from operations to marketing to hiring.
Holiday hiring is a given for many retail businesses, which need to load up ahead of their busiest months. But hiring around the holidays may be necessary for all businesses, especially those that have goals around a certain number of employees in-seat to start Q1 of the following year. Data shows that in months like October and November the number of job advertisements exceeds the yearly average.
With so many companies making offers to so many candidates, it can be difficult to jump into the hiring fray and present an alluring offer. With that in mind, here are five ways you can help your business stand out among the rest.
Convey your culture through the listing
This is hardly a holiday-specific tip, and it's hopefully a given for your business, but perhaps the best thing you can do to appeal to candidates is to be a great place to work.
Offering a competitive salary and benefits package, being flexible with scheduling and PTO, investing in career development initiatives like management training, and creating a safe, transparent, and welcoming culture for all employees are just a few ways to build an attractive work environment.
Conveying that your business has all this and more starts with your job description. Include a compelling title, a tone that matches the culture of your company, and other unique touches such as a list of fun perks ("Bring Your Dog To Work Days"?) and people will be more likely to be view and share it.
Understand the timing
Many of the candidates you'll interview aren't looking for their first job. They may apply for a role with your company while holding down a job with another.
Why is this important? Besides scheduling, a major barrier to taking an interview or accepting a role with a new company towards the end of the year is the possibility of jeopardizing an end-of-year bonus.
In bonus-based organizations, people are counting on a bonus that may come anytime from the end of the year to early in the coming year. If they've worked all year towards a bonus, they'll be reticent to let that go--you may start conversations with people who may not want to give their notice until they've received their bonus.
As an employer, showing that you respect the time and effort they invested in a previous job will make you stand out. Your ability to work around someone's current employment needs could be the difference between securing, or not securing, their talent.
Give "non-update" updates
Nothing is more nerve-wracking for a candidate than waiting to hear back from a potential employer. This waiting game gets even tougher during the holidays, when the timeline is occasionally elongated.
It's important to keep in touch with candidates throughout the interview process, until you extend them an offer (or let them know you won't move forward with their application). A great way to keep a candidate interested during this potentially protracted experience is the "non-update update."
These updates are simple: They are emails with no new information, just a message saying that things are still in the works and that you'll get back to them with a "real update" shortly. When a candidate knows that they're top-of-mind for an organization, they'll be more likely to wait out the process than if there is radio silence.
Treat every candidate the same
Whether you're hiring for a temporary position or looking to bring someone on full-time, your mission should be the same: To find good people that could potentially be a long-term fit at your company.
This doesn't necessarily mean you can only hire a temporary worker if you see them becoming a full-time employee after the holidays. It means hiring with the same standards in mind about candidate experience, work ethic, and abilities, regardless of their expected status in the company. View every role you hire for with the same rigor, and assess every candidate by your (hopefully) usual strict-but-fair standards. In return, you should expect each candidate to respect the hiring process as an opportunity to come aboard a great organization.
Standardize your interviewing and hiring practices, and you'll get a much higher quality of candidate coming through your doors, no matter what the role.
Growing your team to meet rising demand is an important part of running a business. If you're able to do this effectively no matter what obstacles--yes, including the holidays--are in your team's way, you'll have a leg up in terms of having a talented, dedicated, and loyal community of employees.