Which means seasonal employee onboarding is a big deal too. Here’s why.
#1 – Better onboarding means better performance
You’re only hiring to meet temporary needs, true. But those needs are just as important as permanent needs.
Which means you need your seasonal workers to be just as capable as your permanent employees of doing a fantastic job. And employee onboarding plays a fundamental role in empowering your people to excel.
Consider, for example, that the average new hire takes 8 to 12 months to reach proficiency. If you settle for that, your seasonal workers will be long-gone before they reach peak capability. Which ultimately means you’ll have to hire more people to achieve the same results, which has a pretty large cost attached.
Or you could invest in better seasonal employee onboarding. Which leads to 54% greater new hire productivity. That’s like getting a whole extra person for every two hires.
#2 – Guard against long-term reputation damage and revenue loss
Seasonal employees might only be in your business short-term but they often have a long-term impact. Seasonal onboarding can dictate whether that’s positive or negative.
Consider, one third of Americans will consider switching companies after a single bad experience. Just one bad experience can cause potential lifetime revenue losses running into the thousands of dollars.
The influx of new workers over the seasonal period paired with the higher volume of customer service experiences increases the potential for those negative experiencesmassively.
Ensuring those new hires are as well-equipped to represent your business as possible is a no-brainer. Onboarding seasonal employees properly is your most powerful weapon against long-term reputation damage and revenue loss.
#3 – Win the fight for seasonal talent
The hiring landscape has been challenging for years, and it’s especially so now. Especially in industries like retail where seasonal employment needs are heaviest.
Which means it’s harder than ever to meet large seasonal employment quotas.
How does employee onboarding relate? Because employee onboarding is a major driver for employee engagement. (That’s one reason employee onboarding results in 50% greater new hire retention).
Onboarding seasonal employees is an important aspect of building your reputation as a seasonal employer-of-choice. A strong seasonal employer brand, you could say. (Find out why employer brand matters today more than ever).
That’s the perfect antidote to a difficult hiring market, helping you hire the cream of the seasonal crop ahead of your competitors.
#4 – Build a trusted talent pool
You have to hire seasonal workers every year but you shouldn’t have to start from scratch every year. Even accounting for the higher proportion of fill-a-gap type workers (like students, for example) who move off the talent market regularly.
If you do, you’re making hiring much more difficult. And you’re probably incurring reputation damage because you’re almost definitely doing something wrong from an employee engagement perspective.
The thing is, short-term workers can be a long-term asset. If you treat the start of their employment like the start of something. Not a means to an end.
And that’s where seasonal employee onboarding is so important. It sets the tone for your future relationship. So they're there when you need seasonal workers next year but also maybe when you have a permanent need.
Many seasonal workers will ultimately look for a permanent position. If you have a positive long-term relationship with them, that could be with you.
And who better? They know your business, your practices, your people and your culture. You’re pretty much guaranteed a fantastic, value-add hire – with lower recruiting costs too.
It’s win, win. And it all starts with onboarding seasonal employees like you care.
Here's how to get seasonal employee onboarding right.
Seasonal employee onboarding should look like THIS
The most effective employee onboarding is cultureboarding – where you show employees what it means to be part of your culture. Seasonal employees should have the same onboarding experience as other employees - embedding them into the story of your culture.
That’s how you maximize the impact of seasonal employee onboarding. To boost engagement, amp-up performance, and ultimately build that long-term talent pool thanks to your stellar seasonal employer brand.
#2 – Convey clear expectations
A strong seasonal relationship starts with communicating clear expectations.
Nothing causes bad blood faster than seasonal employees that don’t understand how seasonal they are. Or seasonal employees that don’t understand what you expect from them and when.
Part of onboarding seasonal employees is setting clear goals and objectives. (Read our three step-by-step recipes for successful employee objectives.)
This means each employee knows what you expect, so they’re ultimately likely to perform better. And it helps your managers better manage this wave of seasonal workers, to empower them towards achieving those objectives.
#4 – Get everyone on board with seasonal onboarding
Employee onboarding shouldn’t just be an HR thing. Especially seasonal employee onboarding.
HR don’t have the capacity (nor the inclination) to handle the whole process yourself and anyway – best-practice onboarding involves myriad supporting players across your business.
Like… recruiters, HR, L&D. But also like… direct managers. Mentors. Senior leadership. Representatives from key functions.
Get those people involved and you share the onboarding ‘burden’. You also create a more well-rounded, more holistic, every-touchpoint style of onboarding that’s more effective, so seasonal employees never feel they’ve been abandoned.
The point is this. When you’re thinking about seasonal employee onboarding, you need everyone on board. That's the key to creating the best onboarding experience for your new seasonal hires.
There's one HUGE difference between onboarding seasonal employees and onboarding your permanent staff. You know these hires are going to leave. It’s built into their job description.
And that’s an incredibly valuable opportunity. Exit interviews are one of the most valuable parts of the employee lifecycle, besides the fact that turnover is generally A. Bad. Thing.
But employees who are leaving have a unique perspective and they’re uniquely placed to be (sometimes brutally!) honest. The feedback you get from exit interviews can be genuinely business-critical.
A seasonal workforce gives you the opportunity to capitalize, but without the negative connotations of turnover. So make employee offboarding an important touchpoint in your seasonal onboarding journey by actively soliciting honest feedback.
Onboarding turns short-term hires into long-term assets
Onboarding your seasonal employees is just as important as onboarding your permanent hires. If not more so, because you have less time to make an impression and impact their performance and engagement.
Effective seasonal onboarding means you get more from your seasonal hires, which ultimately means you need fewer of them and save money on recruitment. And you build long-term relationships that can pay dividends for years to come.
Ready to revolutionize your employee onboarding? Talmundo’s employee onboarding platform is easy-to-use, automated and fully-customizable, so you can build an inspiring, engaging employee onboarding journey that’s perfect for your brand. See for yourself.