Even though the busiest time of year for hiring temporary employees is just behind us, it’s always a good time to look at your hiring process for temporary employees. According to the National Retail Federation, seasonal employment gains from 2014 significantly outpaced 2013, when 786,200 workers were added to retail payrolls during the final three months of the year. Although we don’t have official 2014 numbers yet, it’s expected that retailers added more than 800,000 seasonal workers for the first time since 1999. While these projections come as good news for sales and profit growth, the heavy burden of temporary hiring can be extremely stressful for internal hiring departments. In order to meet hiring quotas and increasing demand, employers must remember that although they need to hire fast, they also need to hire well.
So why is it important for employers to screen temporary employees?
With temporary hiring, you have a very limited amount of time to get return on your investment. Especially if you’re hiring hundreds or thousands of employees, it is critical that you are selecting workers who are fit for the job. You are not saving time, money, or resources if you fill 100 open positions quickly, only to back-fill half of them 2 weeks into the season. Employee turnover due to performance or lack of job satisfaction are factors that are very easy to screen up-front in the hiring process. Keep in mind that most temporary work is about being flexible, adaptable, and getting up to speed quickly. During a busy season, these qualities are even more important for your temporary workforce.
Weak screening of temporary employees can lead to bigger problems than just low productivity. Temporary employees still interact with your current permanent workforce, and bringing in temps with poor attitudes and behavior problems can quickly spread throughout your organization and poison your workplace atmosphere. Even a single person’s bad attitude can have a huge effect on the operation of your business, causing behaviors such as laziness, tardiness, and other attitudes or activities that lower overall morale.
Your temporary workers are just that – temporary, but the impression they leave on your customers is lasting. Although you may feel desperate to hire any individual, don’t forget that your employees are a reflection of your company. Poor levels of customer service can cause loss of current and potential customers, tarnish a good reputation, and result in lower sales and profits for your business. Your customers will not excuse poor service simply because it is provided by a seasonal employee.
Keep in mind that some of your temporary employees could very well become your full-time employees if they perform well during their temp assignment season. By following your standard hiring process with your these workers, the on-boarding process for converting them to full-time employees will be far more efficient, costing you less money and resources, compared to starting the recruiting process from the beginning.
With unemployment still remaining fairly high, there is no shortage of applicants looking for temporary work. Your hiring decisions can significantly impact your company, either positively or negatively, for the foreseeable future. Consistently screening all potential hires, even temporary ones, will help keep your operations steady during any busy time and can also help give you a leg up on the competition.