Holiday jobs – how to keep your seasonal workers coming back
Seasonal workforces are a vital part of the work ecology and provide crucial support for businesses during busier periods. However, the cost of recruiting a new pool of seasonal staff every summer or Christmas can be significant, and coupled with the risk of bringing new people into the workplace who are unknown to the company on a regular basis can result in a poor return on investment, and put your company at risk during peak operating periods.
Retention of seasonal staff represents a more cost effective and low-risk way of employing holiday workers, meaning that the same team returns to you for busy periods. This can result in less time being needed to onboard and train, the team being familiar with the company operations and culture, and your workforce remaining reliable and trusted throughout the year.
However, achieving this can be challenging without putting the right measures in place. Here are our top tips for building a reliable seasonal workforce and retaining them.
Be selective when hiring
There’s no point retaining staff who are a poor fit for your company, therefore it’s important to be thorough and selective when hiring.
For some businesses, particularly retail or hospitality, seasonal workers are often school or university students looking to earn money between term times. While students are often reliable, hard-working assets to your seasonal team, they are only likely to return for as long as they’re studying or until they’re hired in a position more connected to their area of study.
Widening your hiring net to include gig-economy workers, temps, and freelancers means you are more likely to attract candidates who are more settled in their working lifestyle and are more likely to return for future seasons.
Selective hiring means introducing a thorough hiring process, however, this can be a difficult balance to achieve, as seasonal workers are unlikely to want to undergo a long and in-depth hiring process for a temporary position. Ask existing staff for recommendations within their networks, and make it clear to applicants that there is a probability of future work to attract high quality candidates.
Offer training opportunities
While most seasonal workers aren’t looking for a long-term career in the industry of their summer job, showing that pathways and development opportunities are available is a great way to retain seasonal staff.
Offering training opportunities, increasing responsibility and considering seasonal staff for promotions etc. not only encourages loyalty through the offer of increased benefits, but also demonstrates the value you place in your employees.
Additionally, by offering training and increased responsibility you are developing your workforce, and are more likely to benefit from their new skills and experiences in the long run.
Build and maintain a good working relationship
Building a friendly relationship with a seasonal worker is a smart move – people looking for seasonal work are more likely to return to a place where they feel they belong, and that has an enjoyable work culture and environment.
Ensure that staff feel supported and valued throughout the busier seasons and maintain contact with seasonal workers when they’re no longer required. This means send them company updates, invite them to staff events and parties, and ensure that they are aware that you intend to hire them again when the next busy season comes around.
Offer return incentives
With the cost to hire a significant expense, it may be worthwhile offering financial incentives to returning staff as way of saving money.
Higher wages, one-time bonuses, or splashing out on incentivising gifts will not only motivate seasonal workers to return but will most likely end up cheaper than recruiting new staff.
Sell the “why”
While for many seasonal jobs are a way to earn money over the holidays, being clear on why the work needs to be done and the wider societal impact of the role can help to engage seasonal workers more.
Because they're not full-time employees, contingent and gig workers’ investment in the company and its values is unlikely to be as strong as permanent employees. Therefore, make sure you express the “why” behind the business or project - what is the overall goal? What change are you making? What does success look like? Making this clear from the outset will allow the worker to understand the organisation’s reason for being and invest and identify more fully with the company values.
Make returning quick and easy
Set up systems so that the admin of employment such as screening and right to work checks are easy and hassle free. Employing digital systems such as Digital right to work checks improves the experience for both employer and employee by providing a quick and convenient way for a worker to prove their identity and right to work legally in the UK, and improved security and protection against fraud for the employer.
How can Reed Screening help?
At Reed Screening, we have years of experience in providing fast, smooth, and thorough employee screening and background checks for workers of all kinds, including gig workers, freelancers, and temps.
With screening and checks happening 24/7, we can vet your candidates within a timescale that suits your business, and our AssuredID service offers an easy and accurate way to verify a candidate’s ID digitally and remotely.
For more information, get in touch with our team.