Holiday shoppers

How the right software helps staffing firms prepare for the holiday season

Jeremy Products & Technology, Staffing

Now that fall is upon us, many retailers and delivery services are starting to think about seasonal hiring for the holiday season, and many businesses turn to staffing firms to make placements during this high-stress time. It's crucial for businesses to have adequate staffing during the holiday season, otherwise customer complaints might increase and businesses could potentially lose customers. Using the right tools and processes can help recruiters keep in touch with candidates all year round to make placements more quickly when the time comes.

The outlook for the 2015 holiday season
According to the most recent data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment levels have dipped to 5.1 percent. At the same time, most employers anticipate hiring the same number of temporary workers as last year, when the unemployment rate was considerably higher. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, UPS will hire up to 95,000 staff for the holidays, while FedEx will add more than 55,000. Wal-Mart and Kohl's Department Stores are looking to add 60,000 and 69,000 seasonal employees, respectively. All in all, it will be a busy hiring season.

"Low unemployment rates will create challenges for seasonal hiring."

With the unemployment rate lower than it has been in months, employers may have an especially difficult time finding short-term staffing. Here are a few ways staffing firms can take advantage of the holiday season:

Reach out to previous employees
Employers like to bet on a sure thing. Often, that means rehiring the same temporary workers from the previous year if they can. Staffing firms can help clients by making sure they stay in touch with the best candidates from the previous season. Use your staffing software to tag your best employees with information that make them easier to recall later. It's always a good practice for staffing firms to keep in touch with top candidates throughout the year. This helps agencies make placements more quickly when the holidays roll around. It's also crucial to remember that some of the best talent comes from referrals. Even if one candidate can't help you out, they may be able to suggest someone who can.

Seasonal hiring image. The holidays are right around the corner.

Improve branding
While many companies know they can reach out to staffing firms to effectively solve their hiring problems, a number of businesses still rely on in-house recruiters who may feel especially burdened at this point in the year. It may be worthwhile to invest in marketing to demonstrate the benefits of staffing agency services. To support branding initiatives, firms should make sure to keep their branding consistent across job boards, email marketing and other communications. Staffing software like Jobscience's allows companies to take ownership of these channels with branding.

Make sure you're mobile optimized
To find the best candidates in a limited environment, you need to make sure you cast a wide net. If your job portal isn't optimized for mobile devices, you will miss out on a lot of candidates who get irritated and move on. With dozens of open positions for the holidays, what are the chances they'll wait around on a digital experience that's not optimized? Make sure job boards are mobile-friendly and provide an option to easy apply on a device when necessary.

The holiday season offers both challenges and opportunities for staffing. The right tools can set your agency apart and assure you land next year's holiday contracts.