With the holidays approaching, it’s a pivotal time of year to prepare for an influx in business.

If you’re looking to bring on extra sets of hands and hire seasonal employees, it’s important that the hiring and onboarding process go as smoothly as possible — so you can stay focused on your business and finish the year out strong.

To help you out, we have a few tips for managing seasonal hiring surges, while still focusing on your business’s day-to-day objectives.

Rekindle old flames.

Make things easier on yourself. If you have former seasonal employees who might be interested in returning, reach out to them first. If they were a good fit last holiday season, there is a good chance they will be a great addition this season as well. You’ll also save time on training because they’ll already be up to speed on the basic operations.

Get in touch with your former employees as soon as possible and get a pulse on their plans. Since you already have a relationship with them, you may be able to snatch them up before another employer!

Look from within.

Once you have tapped out your existing resources, talk to current employees to see if they have friends or relatives who are looking for seasonal work. Again, going with a referral usually results in an easier hiring process because your current employees have probably already given them the rundown on the business and basic responsibilities. It’s built-in recruitment, and often means a better culture/job fit.

Don’t forget to tap into your customer base as well. Leverage the customers you have a strong relationship with — maybe they have a friend, child, or relative they can refer. Entice them to be an ambassador for your business by offering a friends/family discount or a bonus incentive upon hiring one of their referrals.

Outside of your immediate network, get the word out through local schools/college career centers. Post your jobs online, attend career fairs, or talk to classes and extra-curricular groups. Seasonal roles often work well for students who are looking for work in-between classes.

Keep yourself in line.                    

Once you have your seasonal crew lined up, what’s next? Be proactive and get yourself organized, allowing things to go as smoothly as possible when business really starts to pick up.

Be sure that you have all your employment details in order, such as minimum wage, maximum allowable hours, policy/procedure handbooks, work schedules, work eligibility, new hire paperwork, onboarding plans, and so on.

You still need to adhere to normal hiring practices, even if you’re in a rush. Cutting corners could cause attrition or other headaches during an inconvenient time.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Sometimes doing it all is just too much for one person, causing you to neglect what (or who) is important — your employees and customers. If you have capital/resources to outsource functions, such as payroll, cleaning, accounting, or even your marketing, don’t be afraid to take advantage of it.

Reallocating responsibility wherever possible gives you more time to focus on driving business during the busy holiday season.

Have your best holiday season yet!

The holiday season can be overwhelming as it is, even without staffing issues. It never hurts to be proactive. Start reaching out to your networks and get organized so you can have a happy and prosperous holiday season.

Looking for more holiday marketing advice? Check out our Holiday Headquarters!