As just mentioned, staffing is critically important during the Holiday retail season. Without the product (inventory), equipment (registers), and staff to keep your location running, you will not be able to maximize the Holiday shopping opportunity.
Additionally, having the right amount of staff deployed in the right places will help deliver a better customer experience during what can be an extremely stressful time for customers.
(We all know customers can get frustrated when they’re Holiday shopping. After a typical long day at work, they’ve got to head to the mall and deal with finding a parking spaces, crowds, and lines. The last thing you want to do is add to the stress level of you customers with an improperly staffed location.)
Key Staffing issues to address include:
Employee Needs – How many more employees do you need to handle the expected sales volume? Well, that depends. To answer that question, first look back to your scheduling and sales for last year’s Holiday shopping season — Did you have enough (or too much) coverage? Do you have extended hours during the Holidays? Do you offer online orders or delivery options for your customers?
Specific Roles – Can you hire people to fill specific roles? For instance, if you expect having trouble receiving and unpacking all your new merchandise, why not hire a seasonal employee who can help with just these needs? Another idea is to hire someone who can help with gift wrapping or gift-basket assembly.
Finding Employees – Where can you find seasonal help? When we think of seasonal hires, a few demographics come to mind:
- students on winter vacation,
- full-time employees who want a part-time or weekend job to make some extra money, and
- retirees who want to stay busy.
You can advertise your hiring needs on your various social media accounts, online job search engines, or by flyer-ing at local community events. Do not forget to reach out to your seasonal hires from last year (or this past summer) to see if they are interested in re-joining the team.
Plan Early – Start advertising your staffing needs early! Starting early also allows you to take time in processing and screening the various applications you will receive. You do not want to be stuck hiring someone who isn’t a fit for your company because you’ve run out of time, and do not have any other choice.
Culture Fit – Lastly, during your hiring process, remember that even though most of these employees will be just temporary or seasonal help, they should still fit within your company’s culture. As the Holiday shopping season can be stressful and busy for both consumers and retailers, you want to make sure that your seasonal help will be there to support you and take care of your customers.
Ask your good current employees if they have friends who could use a temporary job during the Holidays.