Strategic Ways To Recruit Seasonal Workers

Posted by Matthew Hurst  |  September 13, 2022  |  Recruitment Marketing

Hiring in-demand talent can be a challenge under the best of circumstances. As this year’s seasonal hiring rush approaches however, businesses are finding themselves faced with additional hurdles to reaching hiring goals –  volatility of the current economy, changes in workplace, and shifting hiring dynamics over the last two years. These are of course compounded by the scale of effort that hiring seasonal workers requires.

This article will address how companies should optimize their recruitment strategies for seasonal hiring, taking the above factors into account, and actionable steps that are in sync with the current market.

 

Plan Ahead, Start Early, And Move Quickly

People who notoriously show up early for business meetings have a saying: “On time is late.” This means that they always start out earlier than they need to in order to be “on time.” In terms of seasonal hiring strategy, this means companies which start planning their seasonal hiring strategy at the beginning of the season may have already missed the bus.

Some points employers and recruiters should consider in the planning stage include:

  • Review hiring data from past seasonal hiring to build a realistic hiring model that can support this year’s business goals.
  • Timing is everything – if the positions a company is hiring for are seasonal positions in which candidates will be needed a month or more out, this should be clearly stated in the offering. If a posted position doesn’t say when workers are needed, candidates might assume they’re needed now, and they’ll pass it over if they’re not ready to start immediately.
  • Manage candidate and employee expectations. Tailoring messaging to attract the right candidates, supporting an accessible, user-friendly application process with transparency, and providing feedback are key in cultivating reasonable candidate expectations during the hiring process.
  • Communicate the company culture, EVP, and make sure that all messaging around aspects of the company are current.
  • Due to the amount of available resources, job seekers are much more diligent when it comes to vetting prospective employers than in years past. It is essential that companies ensure that their communication and messaging is aligned with candidate expectations and values.

 

Keep The Talent Pool Updated

Many employers see their best seasonal workers come back year-after-year, saving valuable training and on-boarding resources needed to support high-volume hiring. Keeping in contact with past employees can help build a long-term base to support hiring goals and cut down on costs needed to attract new candidates.  

Likewise, implementing an employee referral program can help recruit quality candidates quickly. According to The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employee-referred new hires tend to be better performers than nonemployee-referred new hires, and they tend to stay with their organizations longer. Additionally, if candidates are aware of the existence of referral programs prior to being hired, then have the automatic buy-in – since such programs typically offer rewards to the referring employee.

For attracting new candidates, putting a nurture plan in place can help reach a wider candidate pool while guiding them through the hiring process. 70% of the global workforce is made up of passive talent who aren’t actively job searching, and 52% of candidates claim that the biggest frustration during their job searches is a lack of communication from recruiters. Companies should consider setting up processes for the following (if one doesn’t currently exist):

  • Nurture candidates through the hiring funnel on their journey from passive brand awareness to considering taking on a new position to becoming active applicants for open positions
  • Periodically update job descriptions so that candidates can see the company’s job in a new light
  • If a candidate doesn't fit for a given position, provide the opportunity for a future opening or a different position that is a better fit.

Tip: A great method for diversifying an organization’s workforce (a major objective for companies in every industry) is to actively court candidates who are older workers, veterans, students, or individuals who have been through the criminal justice system.

 

Use The Right Metrics For Tracking Performance

While employers and recruiters generally know that it’s essential to track performance metrics, making sure that the right metrics are being analyzed is even more crucial to ensure that marketing dollars are being spent efficiently.

This is why companies should:

  • Review data from previous seasonal hiring cycles to determine how many hires need to be made and how many candidate applications and/or interviews are needed in order to reach the number of hires needed. 
  • Create a goal-oriented recruitment marketing strategy based on what has been successful in the past, combined with updated data on the current market.
  • Ensure that the organization has a scalable, fast and efficient analytics platform. This will ensure that the company has the right technology in place to handle the volume for seasonal hiring scenarios.

With data, companies can understand the performance of their jobs across all sources – which helps companies plan the roadmap for success. Without quality analytics, companies might be making budgeting decisions off of intuition rather than insights – which isn’t an effective way to strategize.

 

Attract The Right Talent With Recruitment Advertising Solutions

The influence of effective recruitment advertising campaigns is something that can’t be understated. When people think of companies they might like to work for, it’s likely that advertising helped those employers become top-of-mind and shape their impressions. When crafting recruitment advertising, companies should:  

  • Create well-planned, well-crafted recruitment advertising  – which can help increase a company’s reach since job seekers are increasingly engaging with employers across a variety of touch points before they decide to apply.
  • Optimize content for each unique channel, and be consistent. Different demographics may frequent different sources in their job search, and many use different jargon.
  • Create content for active job seekers AND to reach passive talent.
  • Creativity and innovation in marketing helps to build stronger employer brand awareness, and thus drives more conversions into applicants.

The most successful recruitment marketing campaigns often include:

  • Job ads: Make the company an appealing prospect for candidates by proactively representing their brand with relevant job openings.
  • Clear, compelling job descriptions: This can be accomplished by showcasing the organization’s employer brand, values and benefits right from the start.  Include the keywords most often used when candidates are searching for jobs.
  • Social media: Know the audience, know the platforms on which they engage, and tailor the content to each social platform.

 

Consider New Audiences

To expand the pool of candidates during seasonal hiring, companies should consider new audiences with nontraditional workers, or those whom they may have not previously included in the available talent pool - such as high school or college students, retirees, and veterans.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 55% of American workers plan to continue working in retirement, with 41% of these planning to work part time. Likewise, college and even high school students often seek seasonal work to pay for education, transportation, vacations and discretionary expenses. While the unemployment rate for veterans has been trending low over the last few years, veterans remain a valuable resource in the talent pool. The unemployment rate among disabled veterans disabled veterans remains high, however, with disabled veterans experiencing an unemployment rate almost twice as high as veterans without a disability.  

Reaching new audiences can help expand the company’s recognition in the market and amplify the brand to a larger pool of potential candidates. If companies are not considering widening their horizons for candidates, they will be missing out on candidates who are ready and willing to work.

 

Update Programmatic Strategies

As seasonal hiring ramps up, it’s always advisable for companies to continually review their PPC (pay-per-click) and PPA (pay-per-application) bids used in programmatic job advertising. This is because other employers are often competing for the same audience (job seekers) in the same local markets, often leading to increased market costs to reach a limited number of candidates.

To be placed on top of search results on the leading programmatic job boards, a company’s PPC bids must be competitive enough so that candidates are exposed to their job postings over competing employers.  Staying competitive may also require an increase in a company’s advertising budget, depending on how well-refined their targeting is to start. Regardless of whether the budget needs to be increased or simply rebalanced, a company’s targeting must be optimized continually, with an eye to the results and metrics being employed.

Tip: With programmatic, companies can optimize their spending by continually and proactively reallocating and optimizing their budget from jobs that are easier to fill (i.e. jobs that reach application volume and hiring goals early) and put money towards jobs that struggle to gain applicants.

 

Don’t Forget To Follow Up

It’s understandable that a hiring manager might not be keen on following up with unsuccessful candidates, particularly after conducting numerous interviews during a busy seasonal hiring campaign. However, there are benefits to keeping all candidates in the loop. Overall, it enhances the candidate experience, even if the candidate doesn’t get the job.

If the organization doesn’t currently have a follow up process for unsuccessful candidates, now is probably the time to craft one. Here are two things to consider:

  • Future needs: Despite a candidate being turned down for the job, the company may have a need for someone with their qualifications – and it can happen sooner than one might expect. Having behaved professionally (by following up with the candidate) and maintaining a cordial relationship, the organization will be more likely to court the candidate successfully when that future position shows up – and even keep the candidate as a customer.
  • The company brand: Not only will following up reflect favorably upon the hiring professional, it reflects favorably on the organization and can impact the company’s employer marketing positively. If an employer becomes known for ghosting unsuccessful candidates, this reputation will soon spread, particularly given the degree to which job seekers network these days. The smaller the market, the faster that message will spread around.

In this competitive hiring market, candidates can quickly be hired by a competitor. This is why leading companies never let an applicant go more than a week without a response.

 

Moving Forward

Before any major talent acquisition or recruitment initiative, pre-planning is essential – and this goes double for companies that hire seasonally. Taking the time to address overall recruitment marketing, advertising, metrics, and building rapport with candidates – even if they’re not hired during this season – can have lasting benefits for the company moving forward.

Interested in fine-tuning your seasonal hiring strategy? Don’t hesitate to contact Recruitics today!

Posted by Matthew Hurst

Matthew Hurst

Matthew Hurst is a Director of Marketing Strategy at Recruitics. Matt has his Master's degree in Public Communications, and has 12 years of experience in content marketing, media relations, and social media strategy working with Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and marketing agencies. Working in digital marketing has given him experience using analytics tools to grow online audiences and identify new opportunities to generate leads, as well as incorporating social media metrics to build successful campaigns for clients. Outside of office hours, Matt enjoys pursuing amateur photography, watching independent films, playing retro video games, recording music, writing about craft beer, good conversation with friends and quiet times at home with his family.

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