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5 Tips to Building a Sustainable Seasonal Recruitment Strategy

Written By
Jeremy Vickerman
Content Producer

A Candidate Isn’t Just for Christmas

Now the dust has settled from another busy season, it is a good time to take stock of your most recent recruitment campaign and consider whether there are things you can do to make your life easier next time around. Seasonal recruitment is a challenge at the best of times, whether you are searching for prospects for the winter holidays, summer sun or for recurring annual events.

Ensuring that quality talent is delivered on time while complying with company and industry standards can often feel like an uphill battle. To compound this, recruitment campaigns often start from scratch every season. To break this cycle, creating a talent strategy that works between the seasons will allow you to pick up where you left off, rather than being left picking up the pieces.

Here are five tips on building a sustainable seasonal recruitment strategy:

1. Building Pools and Pipelines of Seasonal Talent

The very nature of temporary recruitment means that applications will come in thick and fast during irregular periods. In many cases, hiring managers don’t have the tools or time to proactively create talent pools, so great candidates can often slip through the net. This can leave teams scrambling around for candidates during the season.

To combat this, implementing the right technology can not only enable you to capture all the information of interested prospects, but also segment them into relevant talent pipelines based on criteria such as skill sets, location and availability. This will ensure you create a solid foundation of interested candidates throughout the season and beyond.

While you are making sure that incoming talent doesn’t fall by the wayside, ensuring your previous seasonal employees form part of your talent pool for future seasons is just as important. This can make the difference between them returning to work for you next year or you losing touch with them, and can even encourage referrals if the role is no longer right for them.

2. An Employer Brand Is Not Just for Attraction, but Retention

 Building an employer brand is so important when attracting the next wave of seasonal employees. It is now widely accepted that candidates should be treated like customers to stay consistent with brand values, as candidates are often customers. Why not take advantage of this by capturing the information of walk-in prospects throughout the year? With a fast apply app or the use of simple SMS and QR codes, interested customers can fill out their details in-store, adding themselves to your talent pool for the season to come.

Though the consumer or employer brand may be the primary reason someone is applying, all too often businesses put a lot of work into their consumer and employer brands to attract candidates initially, but then fail to create a broader strategy that continues to build on the relationships once the season has come to an end.

Building an off-season strategy to maintain momentum and engagement means creating content that keeps your brand at the forefront of your candidates’ mind. This can include advice articles, photos, employee testimonials from previous seasons, organizational updates or even gift vouchers and discounts. A good CRM system can automate this process to deliver tailored, branded communication to your segmented talent pools that builds on the hard work that has already been done.

3. Remarketing to the Right Audience in the Right Way

Having built a database of quality prospects in your CRM, it is important to consider how you go about encouraging them to apply. Curating personalized messages to potential employees can dramatically improve results so consider how you can connect to different talent groups within your database. For example, you could segment candidates according to previous jobs they may have applied to and adapt the message with new and relevant openings. With the right reporting capabilities and A/B testing, you can track click-through rates and other performance metrics to understand what kind of messaging works best for each of your segments.

Another method to consider is SMS and messaging. According to LinkedIn 86% of candidates felt positive when text messages were used during the recruiting process and with SMS and messaging receiving a higher response rate amongst young adults, this is an easy way to strengthen your strategy. This could be in the form of a simple SMS with a clear call to action, such as a reminder to apply when the time comes, or you could even encourage them to refer others within their network.

4. Social Media Never Sleeps for Seasonal Talent

Teams tasked with carrying out high-volume resourcing are missing a trick if they are not tapping into the power of social platforms. According to a recent survey by Aberdeen Group, 73% of millennials found their last position through a social media site. It is worth remembering that previous employees and prospects do not stop using these platforms in between seasons. This presents an opportunity to engage them with interesting and relevant content on social media until the following recruitment drive. Investing in technology that allows you to post job links and create landing pages, with useful information like interview days, that can be shared directly on social media will simplify the process.

To build on this, keep track of visits and registrations coming from each of your postings. As above, built-in analytics can help steer your communication strategy, granting you visibility over the most effective channels at your disposal.

5. Collaborate With Other Seasonal Employers

Seasonal employees have often chosen temporary work as a lifestyle choice, so for the rest of the year there has to be an acceptance they will be doing something else. Supporting them with their next step is not only a nice gesture but could be beneficial when recruiting for future seasons.

If, your season runs through the summer, why not work alongside winter employers to share talent pools and help employees find their next opportunity? Yellowstone National Park has embraced this strategy to great effect. As their seasonal employees work between the months of April and October they decided to partner with companies who operate in the opposing season, inviting ski resorts and other winter employers to come and speak to their seasonal staff. Last year they invited between 12-15 winter employers. Collaborating like this can often lead to them returning you the favor at the end of their season, which could further alleviate the burden for you of finding new candidates.

Stop Starting Seasonal Hiring from Scratch

Seasonal recruitment should be seen as a year-round endeavor and not from season to season. Macy’s, for example, start their winter recruitment drive more than six months before Black Friday kicks off. Talent pipelines and pools can be built and developed year on year. The bigger and more refined they become, the easier each campaign will be. Investing in a technology platform like Avature, that adapts to your organization’s recruitment model, whether centralized or decentralized, will underpin this and automate a large part of the process. When you have this in place, you will be one step closer to refining your recruitment strategy and nurturing those relationships that will help you source ahead of business demand for seasons to come.

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