The holiday season is upon us, and the frenzied shoppers are already busting down the doors. With December quickly approaching, it will only get crazier. Retailers know that this means it’s time to brace themselves and their stores for the rush of holiday shoppers. Bracing yourself means that you need to have enough associates on the floor to handle the volume increase. And though this sounds simple enough, you may find yourself asking the same question every year:
“How do I find good seasonal sales associates and get them trained quickly?”
In this article, we’ll look at the best tips and tricks for bringing the much needed extra manpower on board for the holidays and how to prepare them for their new roles in the bustling months ahead.
So you need to hire, but where do find the right talent? The good news is that there are a number of options available to you. They key is to make sure you get in front of the right people in order to streamline the process.
Student job boards: Students make for great seasonal associates for two reasons: they are always eager to earn extra money, and the temporary status of the work suits their schedules. You can target student job boards in programs that are relevant to your business as well. Fashion retailers can target fashion students. Book retailers can target literature students. They can bring their new knowledge to enhancing their position.
Online platforms: If you want a broader reach, consider posting on online platforms like Indeed.com and ZipRecruiter, where your post will be found by keen job seekers looking for seasonal work. Also consider doing an online search for your local temp agency where you can find those looking and available for short-term work.
Social media: Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have fantastic targeting algorithms that allow you to get in front of people within interests in your area and people familiar with your brand. This means that you’ll be connecting with the people who are already knowledgeable about your company and industry. Finding new hires this way could reduce the time it takes to familiarize them with your products and how your store operates.
Referral bonus: Consider giving your current employees a little extra compensation for referring somebody they know who is looking for a job. Your employees will be more inclined if something is in it for them, and your hiring decision can be better informed, coming from somebody you already know and trust. This could add an extra bonus: friends of your employees would have a personal mentor as they are coming on board.
Virtual reps: Have you considered a virtual representative? At Salesfloor, we are piloting a virtual associate program that can help boost your online sales with a personalized storefront and virtual seasonal reps. With more and more people shopping online (or at least doing their research ahead of time), beefing up virtual reps could be a great way to scale your staff 24/7!
Finding and hiring your seasonal sales associates is only half the battle. The other half is getting them ready to hit the floor and service your customers quickly and efficiently. There are a few surefire ways speed up this process.
After-hours training: Consider bringing in your new hires after-hours for a couple intensive training sessions without the distractions of customers and other employees. Week-long training sessions can be time-consuming and slow.
Buddy system: Sometimes the best way to learn is by jumping in head first. Pair up new employees with your preferred veteran staff for a busy hands-on learning experience on the floor with someone who you trust to show your new hires the way.
Instructional content: Above all, make sure you’re providing new employees with the best tools to succeed and remember to supplement your training regimen with learning materials like videos and binders covering common questions, problems, and troubleshooting. Ensure that they have this at their disposal, and will continue to self-train beyond regular training sessions.
Salesfloor can also help make training easier with our mobile associate app. Using Salesfloor’s Omnichannel Clienteling module gives the seasonal sales associates access to a comprehensive view of their customer’s profile, purchase history and shopping preferences for both online and in-store transactions. This makes it easier and quicker for seasonal associates to develop a relationship and recommend products based on past purchases and omnichannel customer profile and all of this information is in one place.
We know that the holiday season is a balancing act of increasing both service and efficiency, but with the right know-how you can stay ahead of the crowd – and plan for it.
Happy holidays and we wish you an enormously successful season!