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5 Tips for Hiring During the Holidays

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When the holidays roll around at the same time job openings need to be filled, in-house staffing professionals face unique hiring challenges. One of the obstacles faced when trying to hire during the holidays is talent shortage, more broadly known as a labor shortage. This is partially due to qualified candidates being reluctant to apply this time of year, but mistakes in the holiday hiring process are also to blame.

In addition, “rock star” candidates often don’t want to take the leap from a comfortable job to an unfamiliar one, and these same candidates often tease employers by looking for part-time or seasonal work to get them through the holidays. All of this together can slow the hiring process for permanent positions, causing hiring professionals to spend more money and time to attract, hire, and onboard employees who aren’t really in it for the long-term.

You shouldn’t have to stress over ineffective hiring practices during the holidays. Instead, check out these five ways to beat the odds by enhancing your holiday hiring process.

1. Highlight your culture and how the open position relates to it.

The culture of your company or organization is what ultimately keeps new employees around for the long haul. However, determining a culture fit, especially from a limited talent or labor pool, isn’t always easy. As a hiring professional, you want to strive to get people on board who are likely to love the type of work you’re hiring them for and to work with current employees on common goals. Take this into consideration when you imagine how the potential hire would impact the productivity and growth of your existing team.

2. Ask about how their long-term goals align with yours and your company.

As we near the end of the year, you’re probably looking back and setting new goals for your company for next year. Try to find out early in the hiring process if your candidate’s future plans align with the goals you have for the position and your company.

A good way to do this is to incorporate questions about the candidate’s New Year’s resolutions. If they are interested in similar goals, they may not even connect the significance of your question and answer truthfully with an answer you want to hear. You can also simply ask what their professional goals are for the upcoming year, and beyond. If they are a true fit, they will catch the significance and be able to honestly express interest in a way that fits the position you’re offering.

3. Hire a professional staffing agency.

One way to take the worry out of hiring during the holidays is to put it in the hands of a staffing agency. Outsourcing your staffing services has many benefits, including:

  • Higher quality candidates
  • Quicker hiring
  • Workforce flexibility
  • Lower costs
  • Temp to permanent positions

In addition, hiring professionals in a staffing agency work on hiring practices all day, every day. Not all HR professionals have this level of staffing experience.

4. Define success up front.

You don’t want to attract candidates who are simply looking for some extra cash to get through the holidays, and then to jump ship when the new year begins. Although it’s impossible to weed all of them out, you can clearly define your vision of success in the prospective role. By defining performance goals in your job description, candidates know from the beginning that you’re looking for a long-term employee who is motivated to learn and grow in the company.

5. Host online holiday events on social media.

Although holiday events to boost the hiring process don’t need to be limited to social media, this post will briefly cover ways in which social media can enhance your ability to attract the right candidates.

We’ve determined that attracting talent is a big challenge during the holidays, and one way to appeal to promising talent is via social media channels. This is a great way to kickstart your holiday hiring process. Begin promoting early with themed holiday events, such as a Thanksgiving chat on Twitter, where current employees share what they’re thankful for with participating candidates. In December, you could post a live Facebook video for Secret Santa giveaways. Participants receive rewards, such as free gift cards or company apparel.

Open house holiday parties are another great way for current employees to invite candidates to tour their potential workplace and catch a glimpse of the employee experience. Also, consider trying this referral initiative to holiday bonuses.

You need your talent pool to be filled with promising, excited candidates in order for your hiring process to thrive. So, give yourself the best holiday gift of all: an effectively enhanced and advanced holiday hiring process.

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