Planning for the Holiday Rush

For many businesses, the holidays are a perfect storm because:

  • Workloads increase to meet customer demand, close out projects and hit year-end goals.
  • Hours of operation frequently expand to accommodate customer and client needs.
  • Direct employees are trying to use those vacation days they’ve been banking all year.
  • To top it all off, cold and flu season is gearing up – which means even more absences.

More work. Tight deadlines. And fewer able bodies to get things done? It’s enough to make you want to hide in a closet until the New Year’s Eve ball drops.

But not you! Not if you have a sound plan for managing your busiest time of year, that is.

While you could hire additional direct staff, you may need to lay those workers off once your peak season is over – which can impact your unemployment insurance rates.  And although overtime seems like a viable option, the longer hours can eventually lead to burnout, reduced productivity, higher absenteeism and turnover.

Thankfully, there’s a smarter way to manage your holiday rush: seasonal staffing.

This strategic staffing option allows you to plan your use of temporary employees to match seasonal or other predictable workload fluctuations. If your business surges during the fourth quarter, you can proactively use seasonal staffing to:

  • Meet critical deadlines. Bring in temporaries to increase capacity or perform activities that free your core team to focus on higher-value work.
  • Speed your access to workers. Staffing firms like PrideStaff continually recruit and screen qualified associates, so they’re ready to go when you need them.
  • Minimize expensive overtime hours and the employee burnout it causes.
  • Maintain the flexibility you need to handle surges in demand, without impacting fixed expenses.
  • Accelerate time to productivity. Bringing in qualified, trained temporary associates shortens learning curves.
  • Eliminate the expense and administrative burdens of hiring, training and laying off direct employees brought in for seasonal positions.
  • More easily accommodate vacations and cover unplanned absences.

How can you create a seasonal staffing plan?

Here are a few tips:

Start NOW. It’s never too early to discuss your holiday staffing needs. Planning early gives your staffing agency plenty of lead time to recruit the best workers for you – before other seasonal employers reach them.

Consider your upcoming needs. Will you need to expand your hours or increase your production? How much coverage will you need to offset employee vacations? What year-end projects do you need to close out? How much additional capacity will you need to prevent bottlenecks? Your staffing partner can help you analyze your workflow and identify areas in which you need help to keep your business running smoothly when things get busy.

Develop a plan to orient and train seasonal employees. Staffing services understand how challenging it can be to introduce a large number of temporary workers to your organization. Take advantage of the resources they offer, such as customized orientations and skills training, to get your seasonal workers up-to-speed and productive as quickly as possible.

PrideStaff: Your holiday staffing partner.

If your business experiences a holiday rush, plan for success with PrideStaff. Offering a full complement of workforce solutions, we can deliver qualified temporary employees on a just-in-time basis to help you manage workflow peaks and finish the year strong.

Contact your local PrideStaff office to get started today. When the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, you’ll be glad you gave us a call.