Business and Operations
CFIB shares seasonal hiring tips
By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
Do you struggle with finding and attracting good employees? The Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently hosted a webinar entitled “Getting smart about seasonal hiring” that provided useful tips for improving your chances of hiring great workers.
The learning session was presented by Fitzii, a company that provides tools and strategies to small to medium-sized businesses.
In order to make hiring less painful, presenters Carla Tancredi, a recruiter with Fitzii, and Edwin Jansen, the company’s head of marketing, suggested employers plan ahead, screen candidates and learn to manage the process better.
Planning ahead includes looking back to past hiring and asking yourself what worked, what didn’t? Who worked? Who didn’t? Were you over- or understaffed? Did you do your training in time? Where did your best hires come from?
Tancredi offered three tips:
- Call best past employees and see if they are available.
- Think about those you wouldn’t want again: what did you not like about them?
- Think about the people you do want to work for you.
Then put yourself in the shoes of these desirable people by thinking about what YOU can offer THEM. Are you offering:
- fair consideration?
- consistency and flexibility of hours?
- training and skills development?
- autonomy and an accessible management style? (Quick access to owners and working in a small company can be exciting for employees.)
- culture and networking?
- benefits, fun and perks? (Remember to promote the things you already do.)
WRITE A GREAT JOB AD
Successful hiring starts with writing a great job ad, the presenters said, adding that a job ad is different from a job description. Job ads get a lot more attention than simple descriptions. If you are only describing the job, you won’t stand out among many other employers. An effective job ad must show why it’s a great opportunity for the job seeker (not for the employer).
The presenters offered tips for writing an effective ad:
- Talk about why the person would want the job – not who would be good at it.
- Keep the description general in the early stages.
- Mention opportunities for permanent or seasonal work.
- List training they will get or equipment they will learn to use.
- Point out anything potentially undesirable about the job.
Things an employer must include are hours, wage range, working conditions and location.
PROMOTE THE JOB
Promote the heck out of your job to the point where it’s becoming annoying, Tancredi said. Noting that referral candidates are best, she suggested employers focus on how to find those friends of good hires.
Putting your ad on your personal and company Facebook, telling a chatty person about the job, making sure your best customers know you are hiring are all effective strategies, she said. Offering people a referral bonus – and giving them a written blurb to use when telling others about the job – is another good idea. Don’t overlook the obvious, she said: when you hire someone good, ask if they know someone looking who might fit the job and post signs in the window and near your cash register. You could even run a referral program for customers: give a customer “Dinner on us if you send us our next employee.”
Useful boards for posting jobs in the hospitality industry include Indeed (there is a link from canadianpizzamag.com) and Instagram.
Think about partnering with high schools and colleges for co-ops or apprenticeships and ask your accountant about student hiring programs, Tancredi said.
Finally, consider targeting mature workers: they tend to be more engaged and are less likely to miss work or quit.
CREATE A HIRING TIMELINE
The presenters suggested employers create a hiring timeline for reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, checking references. Work backwards to figure out how much time you need to devote to each step and when you need to start.
When you are ready to hire, Tancredi and Jansen recommend getting an early start, as the best workers get snapped up early. In fact, the most motivated college and university students start looking for work in January. Starting early “gives you the privilege of being choosy,” Trancredi said.
Post to Indeed, Kijiji or Craigslist: you can start with a free ad, then think about taking the option to boost your ad to the top of the page ($115 on Indeed).
Sometimes posting your ad for a while, then taking it down works well. That way you can re-post the ad later using the free option.
Another tip: You might want to skip the familiar route of government job banks, as they can be tedious and time-consuming to navigate.
The presenters suggested posting in as many places as possible. “Don’t shortchange yourself,” they said.
Look for tips on managing the interview process from the CFIB/Fitzii webinar on canadianpizzamag.com.
Many other free webinars are available on the CFIB website.