Returning to the topic of how to manage seasonality, we look at high-demand periods that make recruitment a challenge. We get some tips on how to deal with seasonal recruitment, how to address the difficulties of a fluid workforce and learn why a continuous recruitment effort is to be encouraged…
Peak recruitment times
Many industries have high-demand recruitment periods. For most, consumer spending is key. Chris Birkby is MD at international recruiterTransline Group, whose customers include some of the biggest retailers in the high street and online. He says:
“As well as regular seasonal shopping trends, our customers’ sales can be affected by unpredictable factors, such as the weather.”
The car industry is another sector affected by peaks and troughs in consumer demand. A spokesman for Audi dealer Lookers points to May and September as particular spikes because new car registrations boost sales.
However, some companies’ recruitment needs respond to very different factors. Yasmin Ahkter, Commercial Recruitment Lead at Sky Betting and Gaming, says:
“As a sports-led business, our contact centre, bet trading and customer operations teams get busier as we prepare for big events or specific tournaments in the sporting calendar.”
Recruiting candidates for key periods
Some organisations launch a seasonal recruitment push based on their knowledge of their sector’s high-demand times. Yasmin reveals:
“For the Cheltenham horse-racing season this March, the company started preparing in November 2015.”
A spokesman for recruitment specialist RecruitMyBuddy says:
“When demand for new recruits is highest, it makes perfect sense to open up as many avenues as possible, whether that’s attending job fairs, posting on social media, searching through LinkedIn or offering internal and external candidate referrals.”
However, Chris Birkby says:
“It’s crucial we have an approach in place to guarantee access to a large pool of good candidates in key periods, which we do through proactivity, nurturing people and innovation. This means a continuous and forward-thinking effort to recruit, rather than a seasonal push and we focus on looking after retaining previous candidates as well as attracting new ones.”
Coping with a fluid workforce
Jay Staniforth, Marketing Director, Vacancy Filler Recruitment Software, says a fluid workforce with constantly changing employee details can make administration a real headache. Online recruitment systems can make it much easier to manage this by automating processes such as payroll, application acknowledgements and making background and reference checks.
Audi dealer Lookers says old-fashioned planning is the key:
“Through meticulous planning, we look to minimise gaps and ensure strong and consistent recruitment in line with company needs. Failure to plan for a fluid workforce ultimately costs money.”
Continuous effort to recruit, rather than a seasonal push
Referral recruitment specialist RecruitMyBuddy advises:
“Rather than waiting start your search until you actually need an employee, make recruitment a continuous part of your everyday operations to maximise its effectiveness.
“With this approach, you will be more than prepared for when the busy periods come round again. You may even have a list of qualified candidates that you have already interviewed and deemed suitable to call upon whenever you have roles to fill.”