Black Friday may be in the books, but the holiday rush isn’t over yet. Companies like Wal-Mart, UPS, and Macy’s plan for tens of thousands of temporary employees during the holidays, and once the New Year rolls around, businesses will be looking for additional help during tax season.
The good news for both companies and employees is that quality temporary workers sometimes transition well into permanent positions. But how do you know which ones should make the cut? If you hope to hire some of your temporary workers on a permanent basis, start evaluating them early in the season. Both before and after the hire, look for traits that would make the employee a valuable addition to the team.
- Make every interview count. There is always some turnover of seasonal staff during the busy season, which means you’ll probably be conducting occasional interviews even after the initial influx of temporary workers. Resist the temptation to skimp on screening during this process; instead, use the interview and hiring process to look for workers who would bring added value to your team, just as you would for a permanent hire.
- Keep tabs on performance. Watch for workers who go the extra mile even for a temporary job. Employees who are willing to sub for others or take on extra projects are demonstrating a commitment to the success of your company that isn’t common in workers who don’t expect to be around long.
- Look for a good cultural fit. Cultural fit plays a huge role in long-term retention. If you find a temporary worker who meshes well with your current team, builds positive relationships with both peers and managers, and brings needed skills to the table, you may have discovered a gem worth keeping.
- Take note of those who treat the job like a permanent position. A common frustration with temporary workers is that they don’t always offer their best work since they know they won’t be around long. Workers who give their best in a temporary position will be more likely to make good long-term workers as well.
- Identify workers who add value to the team. When you see a temporary worker who takes initiative in getting work done, offers useful insights when problems arise, willingly takes on additional tasks or projects, or has a knack for seeing problems in a new way, take note of that individual. If he or she brings unique value to your team and fits well within the culture of your company, consider bringing that employee on in a permanent role.
Hiring seasonal workers can be a good way to offset additional work during busy times and it can give you an opportunity to evaluate individuals before making the decision to bring them on permanently. However, there are also drawbacks to the process, including time spent training workers who may not stick around, potential morale issues, and legal concerns. Careful sourcing, screening, and hiring processes can reduce some of the risk while increasing your chances of finding an employee who would make a good permanent addition to your team.