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All I want for Christmas is… a stress-free seasonal hiring period

It’s that time of year again. The John Lewis advert is out. The Tesco Christmas delivery slots have gone mad. And Mariah Carey has defrosted.


That’s right. Christmas is right around the corner, and all the festivities are beginning. But while the parties are being planned and decorations are being put up, do you find yourself feeling a little, “Bah-humbug”?

Well, if you work in retail, hospitality, or logistics, we know you’re not a Scrooge. You’re just in your busiest season yet.

It’s the time of year when seasonal hiring is in full swing. Both Tesco and Sainsbury’s have advertised at least 15,000 seasonal jobs to ensure their customers receive the best service over the busy Christmas period.

This means that instead of looking forward to the festive season, you’re spending your days manually onboarding hundreds of new starters. Through all the tedious paperwork and long days of interviewing, the Christmas season is just complete chaos.

But before you know it, it’s January already, and the chaos has calmed. And what do you promise yourself each year?


This year has been a tough one with the cost-of-living crisis and looming recessions, but for supermarkets and logistics, it’s still going to be a busy season.

And we’re here to help.

Here’s how every HR leader can avoid burnout and chaos with a robust seasonal recruitment and onboarding strategy for next year:


Time to get planning

It’s always the way. We find ourselves thinking, “if only I started this earlier”. Or “if only I had planned this process thoroughly”. And if the past few years have taught us anything, we need to expect the unexpected…and have a great plan in place.

You’ve learnt difficult lessons about bulk recruiting over the years; now’s the time to reflect and plan, so you don’t stumble across the same challenges next time.

First, you need to ask:


What went well and crucially, what were your pitfalls last time?

Were your candidates engaged in the process? If they’re not engaged in the recruitment process, the chances are you’ll lose out on the best candidates.

Did bulk hiring affect your organisational culture? How can you avoid this moving forward?

Was onboarding smooth or did it fall to pieces? Your onboarding process doesn’t have to be a struggle, and we can help you.


Who do you want to hire and where can you find them?

As the Christmas season rolls around, students will be returning home from university and in need of jobs for the holiday, so it’s likely you will find yourself appealing to Gen Z. But if you want to attract them in their droves, you need to think like them.

Top tip: 67% of Gen Z use social media daily. To attract these digital natives, get advertising on your social platforms!


How many people do you need to hire?

Be realistic. Preparing for Christmas can send people into a frenzy (we’ve all seen the madness in shops between Black Friday and Christmas Eve), so you need to be prepared to ensure you have the most successful Christmas season yet.

Now, this may look like a lot of work. But the right tools can answer all your seasonal hiring woes so that you too can enjoy the unlimited Celebration’s tubs and mulled wine.


Automation is your best friend

Hiring thousands of seasonal employees is exhausting. But you already know that.

Your days are filled with scanning endless applications, burying yourself in paperwork, smiling through hundreds of interviews, more paperwork, responding to emails, and of course, more paperwork.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Imagine an automated workflow that would do all those repetitive tasks for you. Sounds too good to be true?

What you need is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).


Meet Recruit

With Recruit, our ATS, you’ll attract and retain top talent while delivering an excellent candidate experience. Recruit scales with your business, so say goodbye to stressing over seasonal recruitment.

And thanks to talent banking (your very own portal full of candidates who have previously applied for a role in your company), you’ll have instant access to loads of ready-made candidates. Reduce your time and cost to hire!

Don’t just take our word, find out how Recruit transformed Iceland’s recruitment process.


Onboarding at the touch of a button

Just like recruitment, your onboarding process doesn’t need to be clunky and full of paperwork. In fact, with the right software, it can be so seamless that the festive fun will still be waiting for you to enjoy!

58% of organisations say their onboarding typically focuses on paperwork and processes, rather than the overall experience for the employee.

But a great onboarding experience means better employee performance, and better employee performance means a reduction in Christmas chaos for employers (you!).

It gets better! The smoother your onboarding experience, the more likely your current seasonal staff will speak highly of your brand or even come back, reducing your recruitment marketing costs for next year.

Besides, it’s 2022. Technology is literally at our fingertips. So, save your precious time and invest in a   to assist you in empowering, developing, and leading your people.


Meet Sapling

Our HRIS, Sapling, takes care of boring HR tasks. With Sapling’s ability to automate and streamline core HR tasks, the onboarding process only takes minutes. And integrated with our ATS, all candidate information lands straight in Sapling without the manual hours!

Because when you have more time to spend on the bigger matters at hand, that’s when you can lead HR, not just manage it.


Don’t let hiring woes steal your Christmas

Seasonal hiring is exhausting and a downright nightmare. But you’re not (home) alone because, with just a few simple tools, you can wave goodbye to boring paperwork, and hello to the festive fun.

Speak to one of our HR experts about how we can help you strengthen your seasonal recruiting and onboarding strategy today.


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Written by Claire Moloney

Claire is an enthusiastic and meticulous content writer whose passion is to support growth and continual learning for everyone.


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