Hiring for Seasonal Retail Workers – Why Virtual Hiring Works

October 6, 2021 | 108 views

Hiring for Seasonal Retail Workers – Why Virtual Hiring Works
Hiring for Seasonal Retail Workers – Why Virtual Hiring Works

The holidays bring expanded opportunities for many types of retail locations. Holiday travel, dining, and catered events usually increase. Salons and entertainment venues gear up for holiday spending and celebrations. Pandemic or not, we see economic growth in retail sectors where a seasonal workforce is needed. Virtually hiring seasonal workers is an appropriate and efficient technique to hire seasonal employees quickly. Here’s why:

  1. Safety matters. This $@&# pandemic isn’t going away—at least not this holiday season. Virtual hiring methods allow you to schedule interviews with prospective employees remotely while still seeing their facial expressions. For now, an online interview without a mask is better than an in-person interview with masks.
  2. Lower employee acquisition costs. Virtual interviews take less time, and since time is money, it costs less to hire. Season employees are short-term employees, anyway, so spending less to acquire them is a benefit.
  3. Less stress. If you are recruiting a large pool of seasonal workers, virtual hiring speeds up the process. More interviews in less time satisfies a seasonal need, and it gets the job done with less stress. Just by being more efficient with time, recruiting gets easier.
  4. Panel interviews. With virtual interviewing, more people can participate in interviews without being in the same room. Geographic location matters less when key players can “meet” interviewees online. Greater participation by hiring managers also creates more responsibility toward new employees.
  5. A broader pool of applicants. Season employees are often students who need to earn some of their own spending money. For college students, it is nearly impossible to attend an in-person interview until their winter break has started. With virtual hiring, employers have a wider selection of applicants whose initial interviews occur without limitations caused by location.
  6. Virtual tryouts. After online interviews, employers also utilize virtual job tryouts (VJT’s) specific to the job that also measure the applicant’s personality and suitability for the position. This could be as simple as scenarios that measure honesty or simple problem-solving skills. It is another technique that helps assure good employer-employee matches.

Hiring a seasonal employee without meeting in person still feels strange, but virtual hiring will continue to be part of the process, at least in the early stages of recruiting. Hiring fairs and open houses for seasonal employees are not feasible, at least this year, and we want to get those employees hired and ready.

Virtual Readiness

Managing some aspects of seasonal work with virtual tools requires getting very comfortable with technology. If you are ready to get your holiday hiring underway, practice using your cameras and meeting software ahead of time to eliminate any issues. Retail businesses may need to brush up on software settings, microphones, and appropriate backgrounds for interviews.

As another holiday season arrives, you will find your seasonal workforce efficiently and safely by using virtual hiring practices. For retail locations, the initial hiring process will be better by using online interviews and job tryouts to enhance the quality of your seasonal staffing.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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