September 27th, 2017 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like the Holiday Hiring Season

As the leaves start to fall and the air starts to get crisp and cooler, the season retail hiring season starts to go into full swing. As you go through the holiday hiring process, it is also a good time to do a self-audit on your hiring, employee background check and onboarding process to hire the best staff and bring more sales to your stores during the holiday season.

2017 Holiday Hiring and Sales Predictions

Deloitte is predicting holiday sales this year will increase as much as 4.5 percent to over $1 trillion. Online sales are expected to increase 18 to 21 percent during the 2017 holiday season with over $114 billion in sales. Last year, total retail sales for the holiday season climbed 3.6 percent. The large retailers are sharing their holiday staffing needs and challenges. The big retailers such as Target, Macy’s and UPS others have all released the number of holiday workers they are expecting to hire for the 2017 season. Walmart is not hiring additional staff for the season but will give more hours to current employees during the holidays. Target plans on hiring 100,000 workers for the 2017 holidays, which is up more than 40 percent from 2016. Macy’s plans to increase their workforce by 20% for the holiday season and UPS will hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers. Other retailers are expected to hire up to 35% more workers this holiday season to fill positions at distribution centers and order-online-pick-up-in-store positions.

Holiday Hiring Tips

Hiring for the holidays can be a challenge. In a short time frame, hiring managers must hire, onboard and train new employees to prepare them for the craziness of the holiday shopping season. iCIMS recently shared a few holiday hiring tips to help businesses prepare for the hectic holiday season:

  • Video Interviews: Utilize video technology as part of the hiring process. This promotes a stress-free candidate experience, boosts candidate engagement and can help screening a potential new employee without scheduling an onsite interview.
  • Company Cultural Fit: Align hiring with company core values, so new candidates are a right company culture fit.
  • Encourage Employee Referrals: Current employees can be a great source for finding workers who are passionate about the company culture.
  • Social Hiring: Social media has become a great recruiting tool. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram gives companies the ability to share the employer brand in creative and interactive ways.

Awesome Onboarding Experience

For both the new hire and the employer, there is a lot is riding on the first day. An awesome onboarding program engages and socializes the new hire from the moment they step through the door. And it lays the groundwork so that your new employee can become a productive, successful team member for the long haul. According to Urbanbound, employees who go through an effective onboarding program become more productive quicker and put out more valuable work. Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity leading to better performance. Sterling Talent Solutions examines the successful components of onboarding a new hire from first-day paperwork needs to creating a 30/60/90 day plan for the candidate in the eBook HR’s Guide to Onboarding: From Decision to Day One and Beyond.

Seasonal hires need to be quickly trained and prepared for their new jobs. For hiring managers, this time of year can be quite chaotic with hiring, training and managing a large group of new hires. Having a streamlined and automated onboarding system will lessen the chaos of new hire paperwork. New employees can review and fill out new hire forms electronically, making the first day focused on learning the new job and not filling out paperwork.

Companies should consider having a mobile onboarding component allowing seasonal workers to electronically sign a disclosure and authorization for background and drug screening, complete new hire paperwork and watch a welcome video from within a company-branded portal on their mobile devices.  Having a good mobile experience from application to onboarding could earn your brand praise in the millennial’s networks, which include potential shoppers and even potential employee referrals. Going mobile benefits HR and hiring managers in their work as well. If candidates have anytime, anywhere access to complete the hiring paperwork, HR and hiring managers can get their seasonal workers into positions much faster.

Background Check Solutions for Retail

High turnover rates, tight time to hire demands, employee shrinkage, and customer risk – hiring for retail has never been tougher. With the rush for holiday hiring, it is important to have the correct background screening process in place. Using the right technology for your employment background checks can affect how quickly you can get your new hire onboarded and on the work schedule. Sterling Talent Solutions cost-effective and comprehensive employee retail background check solution will allow companies to meet the time-to-hire requirements with the fastest turnaround times in the industry, give real-time risk alerts and post-employment monitoring, all while managing a business’s adverse action process. 

Learn how to transform onboarding during the holiday season and beyond from a cumbersome, paper-laden process to one that engages top talent from the get-go by downloading Sterling Talent Solutions’ eBook HR’s Guide to Onboarding: From Decision to Day One and Beyond.

Download the Complete Guide to Onboarding

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.