Hiring the best staff during peak season can be a daunting task. With skills and labour shortages across many industries, it can feel like an impossible challenge to find the right people to meet your needs. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this blog post, we’ll explore some key tips for beating the labour shortage and securing top talent for peak season. Read on to learn more about how you can hire the best staff for your business.
Understanding the Labour Shortage During Peak Season
According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of vacancies in the UK fell by 85,000 in April to June 2023. This decline in available employment opportunities makes it increasingly difficult for businesses to attract and hire candidates.
At the same time, employees' average total pay, including bonuses, grew by 6.9% in March to May 2023, while regular pay, excluding bonuses, grew by 7.3%. This has led to fierce competition among employers for top talent, and those who offer the most competitive pay and benefits are often the ones who can secure the best workers.
To beat the labour shortage and secure top talent for peak season, it's essential for businesses to understand the factors driving the shortage and develop a clear hiring strategy that takes into account the current job market.
Developing a Clear Hiring Strategy
In order to beat the labour shortage and secure top talent for your business, it's important to develop a clear hiring strategy. This strategy should cover all aspects of the employment process, from initial application to signing a contract.
Review your current process and identify any areas where improvements could be made. Delays in response, lack of communication, and unclear expectations can give a negative impression of your business and deter potential employees.
One of the most important aspects of a clear hiring strategy is ensuring that job descriptions and postings are compelling and accurately reflect the position and company culture. Consider partnering with a recruitment agency to expand your pool of candidates.
Also, consider the mobile friendliness of your application process. Research shows that most candidates apply through their mobile devices, so make sure your application works seamlessly on mobile.
By developing a clear hiring strategy, you can beat the labour shortage and secure the best employees for your business.
Creating Compelling Job Adverts and Postings
When it comes to attracting top talent, job adverts and postings play a crucial role. A compelling and accurate job advert can make a significant difference in the number and quality of applicants you receive. Remember that a description and an advert are different things! To create a compelling job description, be sure to highlight the key responsibilities, qualifications, and any unique perks or benefits your company offers. Use concise and clear language to effectively convey what the role entails and what sets your company apart. Avoid generic and vague language, as it may deter qualified candidates from applying.
In addition, clearly communicate your recruitment process in your job advert. Let candidates know how long it typically takes for them to hear back from you and start their new job. Transparency about the timeline can help manage expectations and keep candidates engaged.
Partnering with Recruitment Agencies
Enlisting the help of a recruitment agency can be a great way to quickly fill roles during peak season. We, as an agency, have access to a pool of pre-screened candidates who are ready and willing to work. However, it's important to work with your recruitment partner to ensure that they are promoting your business and not just the job. Provide them with as much information about your company culture and values as possible, so they can accurately convey this to potential candidates.
When working with a Recruiter, communication is key. Be sure to set clear expectations and provide feedback on the quality of candidates they send your way. This will help them to better understand your needs and refine their search accordingly.
Another benefit is the flexibility we can offer. During peak season, staffing needs may fluctuate rapidly. Utilising a specialist recruiter, like ourselves, allows you to quickly scale up or down as needed, without the hassle of onboarding and offboarding employees. As a Group we have been honing our skills for over 35 years, it’s what makes our Proven Process stand out from the crowd, you can read about how we help businesses get the best talent right here.
Conducting Effective Interviews
The interview process is a critical part of hiring the best staff during peak season. Effective interviews can help you to identify the right fit for your business and avoid costly mistakes.
Start by preparing a list of questions that are relevant to the role, and make sure you ask each candidate the same questions. This will help you to compare their answers and evaluate their suitability for the role.
During the interview, focus on the candidate's skills and experience, as well as their attitude and work ethic. Use behavioural-based questions to assess how they have handled challenging situations in the past, and to gauge their problem-solving skills.
You should also consider conducting skills assessments, especially if you are hiring for technical or specialist roles. This will help you to verify the candidate's expertise in the required areas and identify any knowledge gaps that may need to be addressed.
Finally, be sure to follow up with each candidate promptly, whether they are successful or not. Take the time to provide feedback and thank them for their time. This will help you to build a positive reputation and attract top talent in future.
Building a Positive Company Culture to Retain Staff Beyond Peak Season
Retaining staff beyond peak season is a crucial factor in sustaining business success and reducing labour turnover costs. Building a positive company culture is key to this, and it involves creating an environment where employees feel valued and motivated to stay.
Building an online community can be an excellent way to attract staff. Social media platforms can help to spread the word about your company, and it can create a sense of community and belonging among employees.
Ultimately, pay rates are not always enough to retain staff. A positive work environment, including good leadership, effective communication, and a supportive culture, can be a key factor in keeping employees motivated, engaged, and loyal to the company. By investing in your staff and building a positive company culture, you can reduce the cost of labour turnover and attract top talent beyond peak season.
Update: Survey Results
We didn't get too many replies to our survey which isn't the norm for our community but we suspect that this is down to the time of year - it's called peak season for a reason after all! So we thought we'd share with you the results of our recent candidate blog survey instead, it has some really interesting feedback that as an employer you could find interesting...
We sent the survey out to over 40,000 people - thank you to everyone who took part we really appreciated your input.
We have run similar surveys to both our clients and candidates previously and it's always interesting to compare the results. For example, whilst 100% of employers said that they run an induction for new starters 64% of candidates stated they didn't think they'd had one. Now we're not comparing people who necessarily work directly together but with the difference in the numbers, it would be fair to say that communication could be an issue during on-boarding.
You can see a full summary of the results in the video below.
For our final question we asked what advice our candidates would give to fellow job seekers and the feedback was solid. Many were a joy to read to be honest, a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to reply to this question with som solid and sage advice. Below are just a sample of what we recieved, please be assured the rest have been shared internally and we will be using on our socials in future.
By following best practices such as creating compelling job adverts, partnering with a specialist recruitment agency, and building a positive online community that reflects who you are as a business can increase the chances of hiring the best staff to meet your needs. If you’d like to discuss any of this further, or get more top tips for securing the best talent you can contact our teams right here.