With the end of the holiday seasonal hiring period, I thought this would be the perfect time to discuss seasonal businesses/shifts. Seasonal hiring does not only exist during the holiday season. Seasonal businesses range from tourism-oriented companies to tax preparation services. However, a larger range of industries experience extreme seasonal shifts, and their needs are not covered in the media as much as tax preparation firms and holiday retail needs. For example, Home Depot plans to hire 70,000 temporary workers this year, while Lowes will add 40,000 seasonal workers for their spring selling season. Many of these jobs will likely turn into permanent positions.
Fluctuating seasonal demand requires a lot of work during a relatively short period of time. There is an annual ramping up, quick hauling in of all/most the money for the year and, finally, shuttering/reducing operations at the end of the season. During the “off season”, the owners/employees focus on their personal lives and begin preparation for the next seasonal spike.
Seasonal businesses are usually born from a passion and a desire to share it with others. In many of these cases, the “business” end of the company falls to the side. Combined with the cadence of the season, the lack of focus on cash flow and strategic staffing often sends owners to “the edge” within the first couple of years.
Cash flow management is important to any business, but takes on added urgency when it fluctuates dramatically from one period to the next. Timing cash inflows and outflows as much as possible and creating cash reserves for the off-season is critical.
Seasonal staffing is also one of the most challenging aspects running a successful seasonal business. Many owners attempt to keep their best employees by finding them (or making up) jobs for them to do in the off-season. This increases their overhead, but many owners feel it is their only option in order to maintain the right blend of workers to operate successfully through seasonal spikes. So here are some tips to assist in appropriately staffing for seasonal needs:
- Pay attention to the timing. Plan seasonal hiring needs in advance in order to train temporary workers. For example, many tax preparation firms begin their seasonal hiring process right after Thanksgiving.
- Pay well and work hard to create a positive work environment. If your seasonal employees enjoyed their previous work experience, they will want to return season after season.
- Keep employees informed on how seasonal shifts will affect the company. This will help with employee engagement and allow them to structure their personal lives around the needs of the business.
- Do not skimp on training. If staff does not return, their knowledge base will not return as well. Errors from new, untrained staff can be costly, especially for a seasonal business that brings in the majority/all of its annual income in a short period of time. Because of high seasonal workload, it is extremely easy for people to make mistakes. So, seasonal businesses are seriously damaging themselves if they do not adequately train seasonal workers.
The bottom line is that seasonal hiring needs can be extremely difficult to meet year after year. This holds especially true for office staff and salespeople. One of the best and most efficient solutions is to call your local Snelling office. Our best-fit candidates have the skills, work ethic, and passion to help seasonal companies achieve their financial goals year after year. Our Snelling offices can handle all recruitment, screening and hiring, allowing you to focus on your business. So visit our website and find your local, hometown office, where our knowledgable Snelling staff can work with you to meet all of your seasonal workforce needs.