Finding great seasonal workers is challenging, especially on the heels of a global pandemic. Labor shortages are growing, and it is estimated that by 2030, there will be a global labor shortage of around 85 million workers.
But don’t worry; we’ve got some tips to help you hire and retain seasonal workers at your attractions venue. They will help you create a culture your team members love, recommend to others, and never want to leave!
How to hire seasonal workers
1. Time your job advertisements appropriately
First comes the planning. Work out when you will need temporary staff, how many you need, and for how long. Knowing these things will give you a clearer picture of your venue's exact staffing requirements. And from there, work backward so you know when you will need to start advertising to have staff trained and ready to go by the time your peak periods hit.
Remember that your competitors will likely be getting ready to hire around the same time you will be. So make sure to plan and advertise at optimal times, and don’t leave it too late. Otherwise, you might miss out on great talent!
Start advertising a few months before you need your staff in your venue. So if you need staff for Christmas, start recruiting in September or October.
2. Advertise your vacancies online
Gone are the days of paper resumes. And while digitally applying for jobs is nothing new, did you know that advertising via social media channels is gaining prominence? 49% of professionals follow companies on social media to stay aware of job opportunities, and 46% of companies say social media recruiting investments are a focus.
LinkedIn, an employment and professional networking website, sees nearly 40 million people search for jobs weekly, so it is likely the best social media site for recruiting.
3. Rehire past seasonal workers
You will have records of past seasonal workers and their performance. If they were great, why not reach out and see if they’re looking for a summer job this year too?
You can also look at past candidates who were unsuccessful if the reason for this was because you had too many applications at the time, and reach out to them if you think they’d still be a good fit.
Another thing you could do is ask your employees to recommend their friends. You can even offer them a bonus or reward as compensation. If they enjoy their job with you, they should happily refer you — and good people know good people!
4. Create an organized and pleasant recruitment process
When you advertise your openings, you’re probably using multiple recruitment channels. Ensure that you don’t miss/ lose any applications in this process by directing all applicants to a dedicated landing page to apply.
Then, respond to them as soon as possible when they have applied with clear information about your recruitment process. For example, set up an automated response to send immediately after an application is submitted, saying something like, “Thank you for your application. If you haven’t heard from us by X date, your application was unsuccessful this time, but we will keep you in our talent pool for future opportunities. We wish you all the best.”
And if your candidate makes it to the interview stage, continue this upfront and honest behavior by giving them a set interview time and not making them wait unless it can’t be helped.
Treat your candidates well, which will have a more significant impact than you think.
5. Update your website and social media channels
When looking for a job in the past, how often did you look at the organization's website before applying? Almost always? Your prospects are doing this to you too, and they might even be checking your social media channels.
Ensure that your online presence reflects your company culture so applicants can get a feel for who you are as an organization and decide whether they think they’d be a good match.
Use your online identity to tell prospects why they should work for you. What makes your venue different from the rest? Why would they enjoy working for you over a competitor? Are there staff events or bonuses to be enjoyed if they worked for you? Put it out there, and your prospects will feel more confident applying for roles, and you will only receive applications from candidates who want to be a part of your organization and what you stand for.
How to retain seasonal workers
1. Have an orientation day and training workshops
An orientation day provides an excellent opportunity for new employees to get to know each other and the current employees. It also allows them to get more familiar with your company culture in a casual and fun setting.
A training workshop is also a good team bonding exercise and will ensure that your team is adequately skilled in all required areas and feel confident to do their jobs.
These events are an excellent way for new employees to feel welcome and ask any questions they may have too.
2. Clearly define work schedules and periods
A well-treated team member will enjoy themselves more, work better and refer you to others.
You would have already done this in the job advertisement, but after you have recruited your applicants, they will certainly appreciate it if you clearly define the hours/ periods you require them to work.
If you don’t, they might be left feeling unsure or confused, and this may make them feel dissatisfied at your workplace.
3. Pay workers fairly
Something else that contributes to workplace satisfaction levels is pay. Especially for seasonal workers who won’t feel as secure in their roles as permanent staff, the money counts.
Meeting legal salary requirements is a must, but if you’re offering remuneration that you think is better than your competitors, it doesn’t hurt to let this be known in your job advertisements, as it will draw in more applicants. Additionally, this will help you retain existing staff.
4. Offer rewards for performance or to past workers for returning
Rewards are a great way to recognize an employee who goes above and beyond, as it shows appreciation and gratitude. And the promise of a reward for returning employees is a great incentive to come back.
Some ideas include offering bonuses, higher wages, gift cards, promotions, or supervisory roles. And if an employee continues to excel/ returns every year, ensure you build on the rewards and make them progressively more exciting.
5. Be the employer your workers remember
We’ve all had terrible bosses. And how do we remember and talk about them? Terribly. But we’ve also worked in fantastic places where the culture, management, and peers make you never want to leave. And when you do eventually go, you tell everyone about the great place you worked at and can’t wait to return to someday.
Be that employer. Make your employees want to come back.
Happy, loyal workforces take work to create
It takes time and work to create a strong workforce. Building a solid workforce starts with treating applicants well in the recruitment process, compensating them fairly, and offering development opportunities. Then it is up to you to create the workplace environment that matches your company values.
Additionally, in times of labor shortages, it is good to also look at the systems your venue is utilizing. Do an audit of your systems and ascertain if they still work for you. Do they increase your operational efficiency? Are they doing their job by making online ticketing a friction-free experience? Are your POS systems fast and efficient so team members can process guests faster? And finally, does your provider offer self-serve kiosks to help you out in times of labor shortage?
Use a two-step approach and first adopt the above-mentioned tips to help hire and retain workers, and then ensure you are using systems that will give your workers a pleasing workplace experience and are optimized to help you when you need it most.