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3 Ways to Identify Quality Candidates During Seasonal Hiring

Hiring managers receive a deluge of applications, and they need to have a strategy in place in order to get through the high volume of resumes in a timely and effective manner while remaining thorough and without sacrificing standards.

​The summer and holiday months are a busy time of year for many employers. Many companies ramp up their hiring during this time to accommodate the influx of demand from consumers and travelers. As such, hiring managers receive a deluge of applications, and they need to have a strategy in place in order to get through the high volume of resumes in a timely and effective manner while remaining thorough and without sacrificing standards. This year, for example, UPS estimates that they will bring on an additional 100,000 employees for the holiday season. The challenge becomes, how do you manage a high volume of candidates while maintaining the integrity of your hiring process? How do you think about and frame the conversation of professional development when it’s seasonal work?

While we’re thinking about the holiday hiring rush, we’ve put together 3 pieces of advice for maintaining an efficient hiring process that looks to the future, even for your seasonal hires:

Define What Matters

Often seasonal hiring is about ensuring you have the help you need during peak business times. You don’t have time to hunt for the candidates with the perfect experience and refined skill sets. So, what are you looking for? What’s the most important aspect you want to bring in? Often, your key factors will be based on personality and potential over proven ability and expertise.

Using personality assessments is a great way to determine which candidates demonstrate the potential for success in a given role. Seasonal hiring typically requires a quick hiring process and short training program, which means personality is likely to be more important than skill in a time such as this. In the e-commerce industry, for example, the Department of Labor predicts to see more than 50,000 jobs added over the next 6 years, and it’s an industry that is particularly affected by seasonal demands. Understanding the personality traits that align with the job is a critical step to hiring well and hiring effectively. Make it clear that personality matters and the right person can get the right training as they need it. But, finding someone who will excel and enjoy the work will make your holiday hiring effective, so study the role closely and determine what traits and competencies are necessary before you start asking for applications.

Streamline through Efficiency

You know what you need, but you still need to assess an inordinate amount of candidates in a short amount of time. What does that process look like? It doesn’t require a re-working of your normal processes or rethinking your strategy. Often, it’s just a matter of streamlining what you already have to meet the requirements of your seasonal hiring. Revisit the tools you have and see where you can make a more efficient, expedient process to sort through applicants more quickly and identify good candidates in a more pinpointed way.

Caliper Quick View helps you screen large pools of applicants by targeting specific personality traits, removing the secondary characteristics that aren’t as critical for success. This type of expedited screening process is ideal for the types of roles companies are looking to fill during increased hiring times and seasonal hiring, while still maintaining informed decision making.

Consider the Future

By nature, seasonal hiring is often short term, but that doesn’t mean you should think in the short term, too. Seasonal hires are a tailored, hand-picked pool of candidates, which is an ideal source to find long term, permanent employees. These employees are already familiar with the company, accustomed to the work and environment, and have some degree of engagement or loyalty. So how do you think about professional development for your temporary hires?

Think of all your employees as long-term investments. If treated like they’re temporary, employees will perform like they’re temporary. By limiting the time spent nurturing, you limit the potential of the employee. Identify those employees who exhibit the desire and ability to grow, and spend the same energy on those individuals as you would those on your permanent staff. Are they still in college? Encourage them to come back next summer or winter break. Are they an intern? Talk to them about what they plan to do after graduation. Or, perhaps they provide demonstrable value during the holiday season. Work with them and build a plan for increasing their role and responsibility to transition to full-time permanent status after your seasonal needs have been met. When you demonstrate an interest in your temporary employees, they will return the interest in you, too.
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