Recruiting and retaining full-time technicians is enough of a challenge, especially when you’re recruiting employees for such a dazzling and alluring industry like pest control. But what about the companies that don’t need a full staff year round? If your busy season requires an all hands on deck approach in the spring and summer but would leave a large staff twiddling their thumbs in the offseason, you should consider seasonal hiring.
The key to being prepared to successfully tackle your busy season successfully is knowing you’ve got people on deck and ready when you need them. So how do you find and keep seasonal employees in your hiring pipeline?
I may be a little biased because I got my job at Coalmarch through a referral from a current employee (Hey, Rachel!), but word of mouth is one of the best ways to find seasonal workers for your busy season. It can also be one of the most cost-effective ways to recruit and hire new employees.
Think of your hardest working team member. Wouldn’t you like to have more people like them on your side? Great news. Hard working employees often know like-minded individuals that share their same drive and passion. Those are the kind of candidates they can bring to the table, especially if you offer a referral bonus. Think about it. You can motivate your employees to recommend quality potential candidates for your position to their network, essentially taking care of the heavy lifting of seasonal recruitment for you. Additionally, studies show that referred employees are more likely to stay at their jobs longer than non-referred employees. Although you don’t need your seasonal workers throughout the year, they’ll be more likely to return when you need them next year.
As an added bonus, referrals also allow you to gather information about the candidate that you won’t find on a resume because your employee can speak to their character and whether or not they’d be a good fit for your culture. What’s more, you get a glimpse into your employees’ thoughts on your company and what it’s like to work for you. Your employees wouldn’t recommend your business to friends and family if they didn’t enjoy working there themselves!
Think Outside the Box
One mistake to avoid when hiring temporary workers is solely targeting seasoned veterans of the pest control industry. If you limit your seasonal hiring search to individuals with experience, you’re limiting your pool of potential candidates - which could leave you scrambling once your busy season starts.
When hiring a full-time staff member, you’re typically looking for someone committed and in it for the long haul. Think the opposite for seasonal workers. Target candidates looking for a short-term commitment. For example, retirees looking for additional income or a way to pass the time, teachers from your local middle school, or maybe a snowboarding instructor looking to develop a new warm-weather skill. These candidates won’t mind that their position is a temporary one. Market your positions as temporary to be sure you’re not discouraging these kinds of candidates from applying.
If properly training them is a concern, consider an automated platform like Forgely, which offers customized training for each position in your company. Assign them the basics, or prepare a mini-course that can get them up and running quickly, without a lot of extra work for you or your managers.
Start Recruiting Early
You may think winter is too soon to start searching for your seasonal employees, but that’s not the case. Crafting your ideal seasonal team isn’t going to happen if you wait until the last minute. You’ll be desperate to get any help you can and a panicked and hurried bout of hiring is sure to affect the quality of candidates you bring on.
Have your seasonal hiring strategy clearly outlined and put into motion as early as possible. Getting a jumpstart will help you build a more extensive pipeline of potential candidates and will ensure you beat your competition to the punch. As soon as business starts picking up, you’ll have less time to focus on the administrative aspects of seasonal hiring. Take the time in your slower months to review your job descriptions. Are they up to date and accurate? Are you clear and straightforward about expectations? And most importantly, are you properly marketing your open seasonal positions to the right kind of candidates? Tools like TeamBuilder help you get the word out about open positions, give potential applicants a clear look at what your company has to offer, and help to attract higher quality candidates, whether seasonal or full time.
Getting your ducks in a row early will allow you to build a bench you’ll be excited to bring on. What’s more, you can use the down time before the real work starts to get them trained up and ready to hit the ground running.
Recruit Previous Hires
An ideal scenario would be to have an entire fleet of seasonal technicians that return with a smile year after year, ready for another round of fun. While that’s not usually the case, there will be short-term hires that would love the opportunity to come back next season. Hiring a veteran of your business saves you the effort of recruitment as well as time you’d spend training a new employee.
Additionally, seasonal workers have the potential to be brought on as full-time hires in the future. Ensure your part-time team is aware of the opportunities to grow if that’s something they’re interested in. This might motivate individuals to put in the extra effort during their time with you.
Use Social Media
Facebook is more than just a place to like and share funny cat videos. People use it and other social platforms to get information, stay in touch with friends and family, and to share what’s going on in their lives. According to Global Web Index, the average internet user is on social media for two or more hours per day. Taking advantage of social media and it’s advertising methods is a great way to get your hiring message out quickly to large number of potential candidates. You can also ask your employees to share your social content about your open seasonal positions with their own social networks, increasing your reach.
Set Seasonal Workers Up For Success
One mistake many employers make is assuming that seasonal workers won’t be around long enough to have much of an impact on their business, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Seasonal technicians that spend face to face time with your customers leave a lasting impression about you and what your business is all about. Avoid negatively affecting your reputation by 1. Building a bench of quality seasonal candidates and 2. Giving your seasonal employees the tools they need to be successful. And don't forget exit interviews. You can gain valuable insight into your seasonal team's experience so that you can improve it year after year.
If you take the time to properly train and invest in your seasonal technicians, you’ll reap the benefits of not only a well prepared team that feels confident in what they do, but a group of workers that are more likely to return the next season because you’ve shown them you think they’re valuable to you and your business.
Finding and hiring seasonal employees isn’t always easy, but hopefully we’ve inspired you to change up your part-time recruitment game. Have other ideas or tried and true methods? We’d love to hear them!