I was recently interviewed by Bloomberg’s BNA (Bureau of National Affairs) for an article about holiday hiring. Here is the article that was written. How about you? Do you do any holiday hiring? What are tips you can share?
Well-Designed Seasonal Hiring Strategy
Can Lead to Happier Holidays for Employers
With over one-quarter of companies hiring extra help this holiday season, HR and hiring managers need to make sure that temporary and permanent workers are fully prepared for their collaboration, management consultant Deb Spicer told BNA.
A CareerBuilder survey released last month found that 29 percent of businesses are adding seasonal employees this year.
Companies should treat hiring and training seasonal workers as seriously as they do getting permanent employees onboard, said Spicer, president and CEO of Quantum Level Success in Eustis, Fla., and author of Power Teams: The New SQUARE ROOT MODEL That Changes Everything!
This holds true for all sectors, Spicer said, and it applies to small businesses, global giants, and everyone in-between. For holiday hiring, the HR department that starts early will have “the cream of the crop” to pick from and the time to check references and fully train the new workers, she said.
Hiring managers that treat temporary employees as a part of the team, rather than a warm body to fill a slot, will spare themselves a lot of trouble and money, Spicer said.
One way companies can integrate the new workers is to assign a permanent employee to serve as mentor to one or more newcomers, Spicer advised.
And just as with permanent workers, she said, employers should choose seasonal employees whose skills and values match the company culture.
Coalitions, Piranhas, and More
Doing seasonal hiring right can help employers avoid potential trouble spots, Spicer said, such as the growth of power coalitions, the “piranha factor,” and the complacency of returning seasonal employees.
Power coalitions—which often form along temporary-versus-permanent lines—are small groups that defer mostly to each other, Spicer said. They are a distraction for employees and thus a productivity zapper, she said.
New employees—even if they will only be working with the company for a month or two—need to be integrated into the team, Spicer said. In addition, she said, if there is a distraction, managers must address it “immediately.”
Spicer said that so-called piranhas take a bite out of productivity by sabotaging group efforts. They are adept at manipulating things for their own advantage but perhaps not much else, she said.
With seasonal help, Spicer said, a piranha would be someone who comes in and tries to take over, without regard to how other people feel.
The best way to keep piranhas from lowering productivity, Spicer said, is to avoid hiring them.
Complacency can also be a problem, especially with repeat seasonal workers, Spicer said. The complacent employee thinks he or she already knows it all, she said, when in fact, every year presents a new environment and new challenges.
“Obviously [the temporary employee] has some star qualities or she wouldn’t be hired back for [another] year,” Spicer said.
Managers can help these employees to get past their focus on last year’s process by challenging them, Spicer said. Take them out of their comfort zone, she recommended.
Implementing a bonus structure for meeting objectives can also help eliminate the “been-there-done-that” attitude of many returning seasonal workers, Spicer said.
The End of the Holiday Season
At the end of the holiday season, when the temporary employees have gone, Spicer said, companies might ask their full-timers, “If we keep any of our temporary staff, who would you recommend and why?”
“A great way to continue that team environment is to use your full-time employees to get feedback” about their temporary co-workers, she said.
(Direct link to article not provided due to subscription issues.)