2015 Ontario Seasonal Hiring Guide

Whether it’s Christmastime, tax season or any other time period when you face staffing shortages or unusually high customer demand, you should be prepared to source, hire and onboard temporary workers. It’s not enough simply to meet your seasonal hiring numbers. You need the best temporary talent possible. To your customers, there is no difference between your long-term full-time staffers and those hired on for just a few weeks or months. Nor should there be.

Use these tips to maximize your seasonal hiring strategy:

Hire year round.

Regularly review your sales and operating plans, and search year-round for seasonal staff to fill any employment gaps.

  • Tap into your existing resources. Chances are you and your current employees have friends or contacts who are looking for work. In addition, approach area schools and universities. And don’t forget the growing active senior population. They often bring experience, confidence, and the flexibility of scheduling that you’re looking for.

Hire for attitude as much as aptitude.

Strategic talent management is just as important with seasonal hires as it is with full-time employees. In fact, you have a more limited window in which to get a return on your investment. Be sure your screening and hiring processes enable you to select candidates who will get up to speed quickly and successfully.

  • Most seasonal talent is about being flexible and a quick learner, rather than bringing an elaborate skill set to the table. For instance, look for individuals who emphasize safety, reliability, adaptability and customer focus. Soft skills like communications and teamwork also are critical, as they need to quickly assimilate into your culture.

Keep your seasonal bench warm.

Give preference to candidates who are likely to come back for another season in the future. This will streamline your process next year.

  • Don’t assume that all temps are, well, temps. Some may be great candidates for permanent hire. Tag them early on, and keep close tabs on their performance. At the end of their temporary season, evaluate their fitness for full-time employment.
  • Structure compensation to reward the best. Rather than assuming that your entire temporary workforce will remain intact for the full season, consider rewarding those who last the duration. Offer bonuses based on production if they complete their full tenure.

Work with a staffing partner.

There’s no better time to consider a staffing firm partnership than when you’re planning for your ongoing seasonal employment needs. By working with a staffing agency, you:

  • Eliminate liability. Temporary staff is employed by your agency, not you. So your staffing firm pays for unemployment, workers’ compensation and related insurance.
  • Reduce administrative costs. Your staffing company also pays for seasonal employees’ payroll, taxes, benefits, legal and other costs associated with employment.
  • Avoid hiring mistakes. Your staffing firm can make it easier to avoid bad hires by rushing to meet demand. Simply send your firm the requirements for your ideal candidate and they will match them with their database. Many workers will have completed similar assignments and have proven track records.

Could you benefit from the expertise of a staffing firm? The specialized team at Employment Professionals Canada has been providing staffing solutions in Ontario and beyond for more than two decades – including temporary and contract services, temp-to-hire and direct placement. Read our related posts or contact us to learn more.