Hiring for the holidays? This is what you need to know to secure the best seasonal talent.

‘Tis the season to be merry — and to staff your business adequately to ensure profitability and customer satisfaction.

OK, so that’s not quite the Hallmark version of the holidays, but it’s one that will resonate with many employers during the post-Thanksgiving rush. Here are eight tips to help you draw up your seasonal hiring strategy.

start yesterday

Filling seasonal jobs like retail associate and warehouse worker continues to be challenging in the current environment. It takes time to source, screen and train seasonal workers, which is why more and more companies recruit in August for their fourth quarter needs. Still, it’s never too late — particularly if you team up with a staffing agency, who can quickly assess and fulfil your needs.

stay on the right side of the law

Refresh your memory of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which covers federal provisions for temporary and seasonal workers. Other rules for minimum wages and overtime vary from state to state. Some work categories may be exempt from minimum wage and overtime laws, but the criteria for these exemptions are very specific. If in doubt, take legal advice before posting any ads for seasonal jobs.

learn from last year

No seasonal hiring campaign is perfect, and one of the secrets to a successful year is avoiding any missteps from the last time around. Talk to your permanent staff about what went right and what you could do better. You can also ask them to track their time on tasks such as order fulfillment and customer enquiries to see where seasonal workers could add the most value.

review and update your job descriptions

Has the work changed since last year? Are you shipping heavier products requiring more picker packers or forklift drivers? Are you willing to expand your roster of remote customer sales reps to give you access to a larger talent pool? Spending half a day fine-tuning your seasonal job descriptions could spare you countless hours screening applications from unsuitable candidates.

look for boomerang hires

Contact seasonal employees who did a good job for you in previous years and see if they’re available this time around. With their knowledge of your products, services and organizational culture, these are low-risk hires who can hit the ground running. (Related tip: evaluate and record the performance of every seasonal employee so that you’re not trusting to memory when considering repeat hires.)

explore new talent pools

Succeeding in a competitive hiring market means finding the talent your competitors overlook. From formerly incarcerated people and military spouses to retirees and returnees, there’s plenty of talent out there with high levels of unemployment or underemployment. Taking a chance on a motivated candidate with a gap in their resume could be a smart move.

be as generous as you can afford

Paying seasonal workers minimum wage and minimal benefits sounds good in theory, but in a candidate-friendly market, it could also leave you short-staffed. As well as matching your competitors on wages, consider perks like paid time off, employee discounts and even medical benefits to secure the seasonal talent you need.

work with a staffing agency

There’s no point sugarcoating it: Finding, evaluating, interviewing and onboarding seasonal workers can be time-consuming and frustrating. Want to save some energy without cutting any corners? Search our talent database or contact us today to get your seasonal hiring process off to a flying start.