HR 20 October 2016

The pros and cons of hiring new staff for the holiday season

Retailers are expected to invest heavily in recruitment to handle the holiday rush
Head at price comparison site Love Energy Savings, Phil Foster, tells Britain’s small retailers how they can streamline their recruitment process for the upcoming busy shopping period.

The festive rush is fast approaching, and for many industries that means a serious investment in hiringnew staff for theholiday season.

For some businesses this is unavoidable, especially ecommerce and high street retailers that have to deal with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and the New Year sales.

Not every business can afford not to take on extra staff when an influx of customers come rushing through the doors, or start ordering their Christmas presents at the last minute. But there are certainly both good and bad things about taking on staff on a temporary basis.

Whether you get busy in the summer or the winter, if you’re toying with the idea of hiring more people, consider the following four pros and cons.

This year Amazon are predicting they will hire 20, 000 seasonal workers in the UK alone. Given its convenience and speed, Amazon is the go-to source for buying products all year round. Add the run-up to Christmas into that, and demand at Amazon goes through the roof, especially with the growth of next-day and same-day delivery services.

it’s the same for retail businesses everywhere; and whether they hire 20 additional staff or 20, 000, they all help to meet demand and ensure that a consistently good service is provided to all their customers.

with a temporarily huge workload, many ecommerce businesses turn to temporary staff, said Ross Dempsey, digital head at creative marketing agency Digital Impact. While hiring extra staff comes with some drawbacks, like extra training, decreased profits, lessened accountability, the benefits are far greater.

the most important benefit is that hiring temporary staff allows you to respond to increasing demand. With an increased workforce you can maintain the standard of your service. After all, there’s no point bringing in loads of new customers if you’re going to instantly alienate them with sloppy, late and inconsistent service.

Con Personal interaction takes a hit

When things get busy, it’s only natural that socialising takes a back seat. But while we don’t want to encourage half an hour tea breaks in the kitchen, friendly interaction between colleagues is only going to improve the surrounding atmosphere. And when your staff are happy, your customers are happy.

If dozens of new faces suddenly show up at certain times of the year, only to disappear for good after a couple of months, this can understandably have a detrimental effect on morale. If your new yet temporary staff feel a bit like robots just brought in to fill the gaps, theyll feel unappreciated and as a result, the levels of employee engagement in your business can suffer.

Managing director at Love Energy Savings, Phil Foster, said that a good atmosphere is key. ‘strong relationships are essential for every business, whether they are between employees themselves or employees and their manager.

this can be difficult to achieve if some staff are only working for a business for a couple of months, but it can result in a substandard level of service. All it requires is a little bit of effort on the part of long-term employees and the managers. After all, your overall goal is the same to deliver an exceptional service to customers, so you should all be pulling in the same direction.

Pro You save time and money

When you advertise for seasonal employees, all information such as required hours, days and salary will be determined before they start their first shift. Issues of salary increases down the road, promotions and benefits arent something you necessarily have to concern yourself with, unless you decide to hire them on a more permanent basis.

You may also experience a rather fast turnaround from the time it takes between advertising a position and then hiring people. During busy seasons such as summer holidays and over Christmas, students and young people who are dedicated, enthusiastic and accepting of temporary work will be applying left, right and centre.