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Retail Recruiting: A Guide for Holiday Hiring

November 3, 2022

2022 has turned out to be a crazy year for recruiters. Some industries are experiencing a complete talent shortage and can’t hire fast enough, while others, particularly the tech industry, have initiated a hiring freeze or even started layoffs. The retail and eCommerce industries are no different. This year’s holiday hiring is unlike any we’ve witnessed. 

As the holiday season and Black Friday approach, both in-store and eCommerce retailers need to prepare for a higher volume of traffic than is normally experienced. However, no one knows to what extent. With the current economy, it’s hard to gauge exactly what to expect from a consumer spending perspective.  Nevertheless, hiring the right talent for the holiday season has never been more critical to your brand’s success.

Keep reading to check out IQTalent’s best practices for hiring during the holiday season!

Check out @IQTalent’s best practices for #Hiring during the holiday season in their most recent article!Click to Tweet

Hopefully, your holiday headcount planning was completed in September or October. If it wasn’t, it’s not too late! Make a quick plan, recognizing that with more customer traffic, you will need to prepare for extra support from customer services reps, in-store associates, digital marketing, and more. Planning ahead will give you the additional time you need to staff your team and train employees.

Bonus: Maximizing Your Headcount Strategy In The New Year | IQTalent

Look at your new employees as talent looking for a career, not labor looking for a job. If you can retain great talent and hire from within, it makes recruiting much easier. Let these new hires know they can stay with your brand as a career.

Create Your Recruitment Strategy By Answering These Questions:

1. How will your job descriptions read?

Craft an enticing, clear, transparent job description of the roles and responsibilities, hours, and type of person who will succeed in this role.

Be mindful of the language you choose in job descriptions, as they can create the first (or, unfortunately, last) impression you ever make on potential candidates. Scan your job descriptions for gendered language and keep your job listings as concise and simple to read as possible.

Bonus: What Makes A Job Description Great? | IQTalent

2. How will you attract candidates to your jobs?

Consider hiring a candidate sourcing company or a search firm. Engaging a third party to help source and recruit seasonal talent can relieve your internal teams' stress. Augmenting your internal team when sourcing for full-time and long-term career roles may also be something you consider. 

Social media that showcases your employer brand can help attract the right candidates to your role. With limited qualified candidates available for holiday hiring, everyone is competing for the same talent. Showing off your positive brand and culture will help you stand out when candidates assess their next move.

#Hiring for the holidays should be a short and seamless process, but that’s not always the case. @IQTalent’s Kristin Taylor outlines her guide for #HolidayHiring in their most recent blog:Click to Tweet

Traditional networking and job boards are standard tools to utilize when hiring seasonal help. Job boards are often where future employees search for new roles first.

3. What does your interview process look like, and what will you screen for?

Hiring for the holidays should be a short and seamless process. When considering a candidate for your seasonal role, whether the role is in-person or behind the scenes, it is important to screen for soft skills and flexibility. 

Since the holiday season and Black Friday are eCommerce and retail stores' busiest times of the year, you will need people on your team who can adapt quickly and work well under pressure.

Bonus: Large Company Growth - Recruitment Business Success Story | IQTalent

Helpful Questions To Include In Your Interview:

  • How would you describe your work style?
  • Tell me about a time you had to learn quickly on the job.
  • Tell me about a time when you encountered a difficult situation with a customer, and how did you handle that?
  • What are some of your core values?
  • Why are you seeking seasonal work? What interests you about our brand?
  • What is your schedule? Do you have flexibility with your schedule?
  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • Most importantly - Be transparent about the job's expectations, roles, and responsibilities to ensure candidates are not caught by surprise. This will alleviate potential turnover. 

What To Expect

Once you’ve sourced excellent candidates, filled your pipeline, finished the interview process, and hired the right talent to get you through the holiday season, you’re ready to onboard your new hires. Remember, in the bigger picture, you’re looking for talent for the long term, not just workers for the holidays.

Training and onboarding are critical components to the success of your hires. After all, this person will be representing your brand! With holiday hires, onboarding must be quick, seamless, and very efficient. The onboarding should create a sense of loyalty to the brand and an understanding of your corporate culture.

When you have a thorough holiday training and onboarding process, you’ll see:

  • Employee retention
  • Positive customer experience
  • Continued clear and constructive corporate culture
  • A strong network when hiring again for the next holiday season

Employees who feel supported and set up for success may consider joining your brand as a career for the long term or be more likely to return to work for the next holiday season.  They will become brand ambassadors and share the opportunity with their network, aiding you in the year-round recruitment process.

If you feel behind in your recruiting process and need to hire up quickly for the holidays, we can help. See how IQTalent can level up your sourcing solutions for retail and eCommerce pros.

The recruiting you need. When you need it. Contact IQTalent Partners today