The leaves are starting to fall which means it's time to start thinking about hiring your winter seasonal workers! Although many people seek a seasonal position to make a little extra cash, planning ahead will give you access to the highest-quality workers. The last thing you need is to be paying staff that aren't competent or reliable. Below are eight quick tips for securing great employees for your busy season.

1.    Promote bonuses

Seasonal employees are likely looking for fast cash. Consider offering a sign-on bonus to help people choose your business over another. But don't stop there. Seasonal employees can also tend to quit halfway through the winter season. To prevent this, consider offering an end-of-the-season bonus. Set an agreement at the start that includes requirements like showing up to work on time, calling in within a reasonable time frame when they can’t make it and completing the full season at the company. This will not only help you retain your employees throughout the busy period, but it will help create an on-time, hardworking employee throughout each working day.

Referral bonuses are another great way to fill your roles. A star employee is likely only going to refer someone they know would be a good fit. However, waiting a few weeks before providing the bonus to ensure everything is working out is still a smart idea.

2.    Pay more for unpopular shifts

While we're still on the topic of monetary incentives, consider paying more for those shifts that aren't as desirable to staff. Maybe you have later hours for the holidays and need a reliable worker to close. Or perhaps you're even open on the holidays. Higher pay can help you fill these shifts and eliminate staffing stress.

3.    Reach out to past employees

Reaching out to any star seasonal employees from last year may seem obvious, but this next part may not. If your seasonal staff has different roles and responsibilities from your full-time employees, consider hiring a past seasonal employee in more of a management role. They can help oversee this year's operations and take more off of your plate.

It's way easier to have staff that have worked for you before than having to train new people, especially for such a short stint. However, if those past employees didn't serve your business as best as they could previously, this is your sign to invest in a new seasonal crew. Putting the time in to train them now, will pay off for seasons to come. Just another reason why preparing now is important!

4.    Hold a variety of interviews

Potential candidates' schedules will likely be changing in the winter season. Although recruiters often say to hold interviews at times when you're looking to schedule shifts, this may not be as relevant for seasonal hiring. Consider holding interviews at a variety of times and starting with open interviews if you're looking for a bigger pool of talent. Open interviews have a more casual repetition than scheduled ones. This could bring you a great candidate who may have not considered your company but is interested in learning more.

5.    Promote openings beyond in-store and organic social postings

A sandwich board outside your shop, signs in store, a website header and social posts promoting you're hiring are all great ways to attract passive candidates who already love your business. This is great because they already know a bit about your offerings and operations, but there is more you could be doing.

"Boosting" a social post on Facebook or Instagram turns it into an ad, allowing you to reach people who aren't following you. Now this is where you can beat the competitors. There are likely plenty of people looking for jobs in your industry/area who just haven’t heard of you. Boosting a post typically costs less than $10 and is super simple! Here's how to get started.

6.    Don't forget keywords that differentiate you

While we're on the topic of advertising, make sure you're using keywords like "seasonal position," "end-of-season bonus" and "flexible hours" on social posts and recruitment platforms like Indeed. This is a top way to get the right people to find you.

7.    Team up with businesses looking for summer seasonal employees

Creating a partnership with a business that needs summer seasonal workers such as a lawn service or ice cream stand can benefit you both. You can advertise their openings to your staff, and they can do the same.

8.    Shout out those who shine

This is more of a retention/employee morale tip, but many seasonal employees stress its importance, so we wanted to include it. This season will bring some unexpected moments where you're understaffed or need employees doing more than their typical workday routine. If you have a hardworking employee putting in extra work, make sure to show them your appreciation. A team-wide shoutout or an extra incentive can go a long way. Create an environment where your workers know their work is seen and appreciated early on!

Okay, go get those shining seasonal stars! Holiday music will be on the radio any day now (half kidding).

The content of this page is for informational purposes only. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. Please consult with the professionals of your choice to discuss your situation.