It’s October and the Pumpkin Spice Lattes are out in full force, which can only mean one thing—it’s time to hire for holiday! While some brands began seasonal hiring in the summer, most businesses build their pipelines in late summer, but hold off on pulling the trigger until they are closer to the holiday rush to ensure they have the manpower when Black Friday arrives. No matter your hiring timeline, here’s how both corporate teams and retail leaders can ensure a successful holiday hiring season.

The Frontline Leader Mindset

You know that there are a finite number of hours your current staff can work without violating labor laws, incurring overtime—or both. You also know that a significant portion of your sales happen during the holiday season. How much are you willing to swell your employee population, only to decrease it again in a few short weeks? While seasonal hires are important, you also want to ensure you are giving your permanent employees the hours they need.

The Corporate Mindset

You want to ensure your retail stores are set up for success during the crucial holiday season. There need to be consistent practices in place for those stores with seasonal hires, who must offer the same level of customer service as permanent employees. This creates extra work for corporate teams with onboarding, training and new account creation, which will be reversed only a short time later. Still, you know the stores need support to have a great holiday season.

Use your resources

With the velocity of holiday traffic and new employees coming into the fold, there are a few things both retail leaders and corporate teams can do to ensure all parties are successful.

  • For retail leaders, source early and often—and plan ahead. Take a look at your sales from the holiday quarter last year (if your store has comparable store sales) and determine how many additional hours you’ll need this holiday. Once you know your target number, give your corporate team a heads up so they know how many offer letters and account creation requests to expect. On the training front, try to time your hiring so you can train all new seasonal hires at once, instead of having them trickle in one at a time. This will mitigate the amount of time you or another store employee will spend off the floor and away from the business.
  • For corporate employees, streamline the process for your store teams. Create a holiday hiring one-pager or a short training deck for the retail leaders so they can quickly reference the steps in the process. If there are stores in close proximity to each other, see if they can train all of their seasonal hires together or even use the same seasonal hire pool across multiple locations. When it comes time to off-board seasonal hires, conduct an exit interview and collect feedback on how to improve the seasonal employee’s experience for next time.
  • Work together to get everyone involved. Retail leaders can work with their corporate teams to create a Holiday Help Program where corporate team members sign up to work peak-hour shifts in the stores. They are already knowledgeable about the brand and usually just need a brief training to bring them up to speed on holiday promotions and product knowledge. This will allow corporate team members to experience customer feedback first-hand and will give the retail teams an opportunity to learn more about the corporate functions that support the stores every day.

There’s always something you can do to increase your Double//Vision.