So you have hit the seasonal hiring period, and you’ve snagged yourself a great team. They are hard-working, always on time, have a range of skills that make your team more diverse, and the list goes on. A few of them stand out as all-stars—they meet all of the criteria you typically have for your long-term hires. You decide to give them a job offer. You want to move forward and create a space for them on the permanent team.
But how do you permanently hire seasonal employees after the holidays in a way that won’t disrupt your company operations or employee expectations?
Pick Your People
The great thing about seasonal employees that don’t work out is that they are likely temporary. If they aren’t meeting your expectations, there will be an end to the contract in a matter of months or weeks and you can put bad hires in hindsight.
But the temporary nature of seasonal positions also has a downfall—the position’s still going to end, even though there are people that would make the perfect addition to your permanent team. Though you can’t always guarantee these stand-out employees will be able or willing to take on a permanent position, there are a few ways you can make sure you’re not jumping the gun on the people you decide to send permanent offers to:
- Look for those who are especially reliable and trustworthy.
- Look for employees who have not only met but exceeded expectations.
- Look for those who have come to you to ask for feedback, seek opportunities to learn new tasks, or take on more responsibility.
You’ll need to decide what it is that makes a person stand out for you. Is it motivation? Initiative? Willingness to learn new skills? Whatever those key qualities are that make them stand out, take note of how they respond to learning opportunities and additional responsibilities to make sure they would transition well into a permanent position.
Typically it is the case that during busy periods of the year—such as the holidays—your company is in an all-hands-on-deck situation. Temporary staff can be moved from department to department or take on new roles entirely before their position has ended.
This can be a great way to see how they take to learning skills quickly, their attitude to training, and you’ll get great insight into what they can accomplish. Once you know their strongest abilities, you will also be able to spot areas in which they can improve and match them to the roles that you have available.
The timing of your offer is going to make a difference in whether or not your temporary employees are willing to accept a permanent job offer. Often your seasonal staff will be looking to line up another job for soon after they finish their seasonal contract. So when you have settled on a person and know for sure that they will be an excellent addition, make an offer several weeks before the end of the holiday season.
Take the time to schedule a face-to-face meeting so that you can talk about what the jump from temp to permanent staff would entail. You can discuss expectations from both sides, the pay grade, the hours, and where you see them fitting in on the team.
Since they will already know the staff and how you run your business, they are in an excellent position to have a meaningful conversation about how they could contribute to your permanent team. They might have an idea of where they would like to see developments in their role or of skills they feel like they are lacking, which can help you tailor permanent job training to their needs. Remember to give them adequate time to consider your offer, as they likely weren’t planning on being offered a permanent position at your company.
Much of the time, seasonal staff don’t go through the same rigorous checks and tests that full-time staff do. While companies want competent staff members with a great work ethic even on their seasonal team, the tendency is to be more relaxed in the hiring policies since employees won’t be working there for long.
However, when you decide that you want to permanently hire seasonal employees, you should be sure to do your research on their personal history. This includes completing thorough workforce screenings to ensure they have the proper qualifications, stability, and background required for the position.
As the holiday season slowly comes to a close, it’s not uncommon to find yourself hoping to permanently hire a few gems from your seasonal staff. Just make sure you follow these tips to ensure you have the best employees on your side for the New Year.