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How To Retain Your Skilled Seasonal Hires

Tis the season … to find work. It’s after Thanksgiving, and restaurants, bars and retailers all over the country are upping their hours and manpower to accompany the demand that comes with the Holiday season. The demand for seasonal hires has always been an issue for restaurants. It’s also pretty normal for a certain number […]

Tis the season … to find work. It’s after Thanksgiving, and restaurants, bars and retailers all over the country are upping their hours and manpower to accompany the demand that comes with the Holiday season.

The demand for seasonal hires has always been an issue for restaurants. It’s also pretty normal for a certain number of seasonal hires go back to their “regular” gigs when the New Year comes around. But today watching those seasonal hires walk out the door is even more difficult. The restaurant industry’s labor shortage has created a war for talent that still wages on well after all the egg nog is gone.

In fact, letting those seasonal hires walk out the door could be a missed opportunity to retain a great employee. You never know when your all-star seasonal hire could be looking for an opportunity to extend their stay and great service.

Here are a few ways to see if your seasonal employees could turn into solid, long-term team members.

Ask employees whether they would like to return

It sounds like something super simple, but like the one child that always forgets to send granny a holiday card, employers seem to rarely do this for their seasonal employees.

Why is this important? It allows you to find out why they are leaving. Maybe they are going back to school, BUT they could also desire something more in their workplaces, like benefits or training. Use this information to bolster your HR policies, which in turn help employees foster commitment to you.

Be cognizant of employees’ schedules

As a seasonal employee in college, there were times when I was subjected to working till 3 am, then an 8 am opening the next day. As a college student dealing with angry customers, this can make for a stressful workplace, and make someone think twice about coming back.

Make sure everyone pulls their own weight, and find some way to balance the schedules- if an employee works till 3 a.m. – find some way to make sure he or she doesn’t come in till noon the next day, to allow for ample rest. Additionally, create a space where employees can relax and decompress.

Offer incentives and training for returning employees

A college student essentially works eight seasons for you over the course of his college career – think of how many different areas you could train that person in up until he graduates? Monetary incentives are important as well. If you haven’t increased your compensation to long-time seasonal hires, there’s an increased likelihood that they’ll leave when that new internship comes about (or your rival offers them more benefits).

Tap into your seasonal employees’ network

This was something we stated in a previous blog post on hiring seasonal help , but as they say in business “your network is your net worth,” meaning if you a find a hard-working, seasonal employee, they probably know a few other potential, hard-working employees who might want to work year-round. The studies prove it too. Internal referrals are more likely to stay at a company for longer than those hired through job boards or career fairs! Using new hiring and recruiting apps like HotSchedules Recruit make it easy for restaurant managers to keep up with seasonal employees and tap their network to find new, skilled team members.

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