New Strategies for Seasonal Workers

Programmatic advertising helps hire the best seasonal workers in a tight labor market.

By Tierney McAfee

Seasonal workers are enjoying the fruits of a strong labor market—but for the companies hiring them, the low unemployment rate has made it all the more challenging to find qualified candidates.

Thanks in part to a spike in consumer confidence, retailers hired 576,800 seasonal employees in November and December, according to the National Retail Federation’s analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. While that figure is strong, it’s actually down from 582,500 jobs in 2017, and lower than the NRF’s forecast in October that temporary holiday employment would total between 585,000 and 650,000 jobs.

Jack Kleinhenz, NRF’s chief economist, attributes the deficit to the tight labor market. “Retailers would have been happy to hire more seasonal workers if they could have found them,” he says.

How can this problem be solved? “It’s time for organizations to start looking at other ways to find and hire seasonal employees,” says Greg Summers, executive vice president of high volume RPO for Cielo, a strategic recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partner. “In fact, I think it’s almost necessary because there are a number of different options people have for hourly work, and the likelihood of success in finding seasonal employees going forward is going to be much more challenging when you consider where the unemployment numbers are and when you consider some of the other gig work people can do in lieu of taking a seasonal job.”

One of Summers’ recommendations is investing in programmatic advertising. This allows organizations to go beyond simply posting on job boards—ensuring ads are targeted based on geography and consumer behavior to reach more qualified candidates. When it comes to hourly seasonal workers, programmatic advertising gives you reach on the online platforms this demographic uses most often, such as Instagram and Snapchat. Summers says that when it comes to hiring seasonal workers, identifying a larger pool of candidates via the online channels they are already spending time on is key to finding and moving them quickly through the hiring process to start.

“Pairing programmatic advertising with a mobile-based application and integrated assessments allows organizations to add more automation into their hiring process to expedite qualified candidates.”

With the amount of competition there is for hourly employees, the organizations that can find and engage talent with an easy hiring experience, will be the ones to beat the competition in seasonal staffing.

Posted April 2, 2019 in MSP / Contingent Laborin Talent Acquisition

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