Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tip # 205: Hire Smart for the Holidays

The confectionery industry has the special privilege/task of enduring holiday bursts. Hiring a temporary workforce can help your business maintain consistent production levels and product quality. In this excerpt from a Kettle Talk article written by Jan Douglass with Esther Price Candies, Corp., we built upon three practical tips to help you hire smart for the holidays.

#1: Build Relationships with Staffing Agencies

Staffing agencies can be a great resource for filling temporary positions. Building relationships with reputable staffing agencies and other local organizations (e.g., county or state job centers, developmentally disabled adult centers, etc.) can help to source reliable individuals for seasonal work and unforeseen sales bursts. When working with staffing agencies it is important to practice open and honest communication. Start by taking the time to discuss open positions rather than simply providing a job description. If a recommended candidate isn’t a good fit, providing concise feedback on why that was the case will help staffing agencies identify better candidates in the future. These simple steps will ensure the staffing agency feels well equipped to find the right fit, right away.

#2: Training is Key

They may only be with you for a brief time, but a temporary workforce can be vital to keeping with the ebbs and flows of seasonal business and make it less painful when you must reduce your staff at the close of a season. Be aware, however, there can be downsides to a temporary workforce, such as high turnover rates. Increased turnover can result in more training hours, risk of production and packing errors and additional work for human resources. Minimize those risks by having sourcing organizations pre-screen individuals and clearly communicate the job expectations to candidates through digital recordings of the candy making process. Successful training can also lead to the return of seasonal staff year after year.

#3: Stay Current on Labor Laws

Make sure to brush up on federal and state labor laws before hiring for the holidays, as many regulations that apply to full-time employment also apply to part-time and seasonal employment. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Employment and Labor Law Guide is a useful resource when hiring. Be aware of your state’s legal requirements for benefits such as unemployment, social security/medicare and workers’ compensation. Check with your state’s department of labor for exemptions for employers who require temporary staff for periods of 10 weeks or less. You will also want to familiarize yourself on your tax reporting responsibilities according to IRS regulations and state tax laws.

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