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Five Tips for Onboarding Seasonal Employees

Tis the season…….to hire seasonal employees. Recruiting and training employees is always of paramount importance, but perhaps never more so than in times of peak activity like the holidays. Guest blogger and HR Analyst Kyle Lagunas of Software Advice (http://www.softwareadvice.com/hr/) has been gracious enough to supply us with this great post about “onboarding” seasonal employees. Enjoy!

Five Tips for Onboarding Seasonal Employees
by Kyle Lagunas of Software Advice

From recruiting and training to offboarding, seasonal employees can put your human resources software and processes to the test. Not only do you have to find and hire the right people, you have a very short time to get them up to speed.

Some people may assume I’m focused on training when I say “onboarding,” but the fact is that the employee experience starts in the recruiting stage. With this in mind, here are a few key strategies to help you throughout every phase of the process:

Know your capacity upfront. Whether you have a general human resources management system or a hodgepodge of spreadsheets and checklists – it’s important to know your capacity. Can your back-office system efficiently handle an increased volume in applicants and new hires?

Tailor your recruiting strategies. Your recruiting efforts should be tailored to meet the specific needs of a seasonal workforce. It’s important to make the details of the opportunity clear from the get-go. Also, be wary of how you communicate potential for further employment, as you don’t want folks making assumptions.

Perform due diligence. Don’t skimp on due diligence in collecting legal papers and monitoring employees’ schedules. “A lot of people short-circuit processes like verifying work eligibility or tracking hours correctly. It should go without saying, but you really need to be sure you’re following the law,” says John Rossheim, a senior contributing writer at Monster.com.

Provide proper training. Rossheim suggests designing your seasonal workforce “to accomplish the task at hand, rather than haphazardly training everyone to do everything they may possibly have to do. Specialize rather than throwing everyone into the same bucket.” Forbes Woman columnist and onboarding expert Emily Bennington, suggest that onboarding should focus on integrating new employees in three areas:

● Technical Skills: To what depth of expertise do seasonal employees need to be trained to perform their jobs?
● Company Culture: How thoroughly do seasonal hires need to understand company policies and values?
● Social Integration: In what ways can you connect seasonal employees to your organization so they feel like they are part of the team?

End Things on a Good Note. Bennington says “there’s definitely an opportunity to establish brand ambassadors.” Offboarding provides a chance to make a lasting positive impression, while gaining insight into the worker’s experience. Standard offboarding practices include surveying workers on their experience. Bennington suggests going beyond surveying, and having one-on-one exit interviews with select employees to get more candid responses.

About the Author 
Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice. On the surface, it’s his job to contribute to the ongoing conversation on all things HR. Beyond that, he makes sure his audience is keeping up with important trends and hot topics in the industry. Focused on offering a fresh take on points of interest in his market, he’s not your typical HR guy.

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