Montana is a state with four solid seasons, and each one brings shifting hiring needs across many of its industries. From tourism, construction and sports and entertainment to ranching, farming and forestry, Montana is abundant in seasonal and short-term employment opportunities and that increases the competition for talent.
If your Montana business is one of the many that are challenged with seasonal hiring surges and short-term talent needs, here are 10 lessons for upping your recruitment and retention game so you can win every employment season.
- Incentivize Current Employees to Recruit
Everyone wants to work with people they already know and like. Use incentives and referral programs to leverage your employees and their networks to find like-minded and-skilled candidates. From cash to restaurant and coffee shop gift cards, small incentives can yield great results.
- Choose Your Best Feature
Every employer is known for something. What do you want seasonal job seekers to know about you as an employer? Are you the company that offers the best pay rates? Best benefits packages? Best work environment? Best growth opportunities?
Decide how to carve out your best employment feature, invest in ensuring excellence in that area, and promote your advantage whenever you can to employees and candidates. Build buzz about what makes you the best.
- Make the Offseason Contact Season
Use your offseason and employment lulls as times to check in with workers you want to see back next season. From personalized “we miss you” postcards to an unexpected holiday bonus, little gestures go a long way in keeping talent connected to your business and jobs.
- Set Market Trends
Candidates are always looking for employers that are willing to do things differently to support workers. From same-day pay options to upskilling opportunities, there are many ways to be an innovative employer and candidates will take note.
- Offer Variety
Many people assume seasonal roles equate to limited opportunities. That doesn’t have to be true. Offer short-term hires the chance to increase variety in their work, from changing roles over time to learning new skills. The more stimulating and rewarding the workplace is, the more likely they are to return next season.
- Stagger Starts and Stops
Lessen the impact of losing seasonal employees by staggering start dates and stop dates. This simple rolling employment strategy can ensure employees don’t leave all at once and leave your business severely short staffed. In addition it offers a built-in training model. Those who start earlier gain experience and can help onboard and train-up the next wave of incoming employees to ensure consistency of service and quality.
- Hire Workers with Different Responsibilities and Plans
Rather than hiring talent from a similar pool, such as all college students or seasoned senior talent, it’s smart to add variety. Lifestyles and responsibilities shape a person’s work and commitment to the job. If employees are all facing the same challenges, everyone will have similar schedules and requests. If, however, employees have various backgrounds and plans, it’s easier to cover the varying scheduling needs of seasonal work.
- Help with Housing
The expensive rental market across much of Montana has made housing one of the most cost prohibitive reasons to job hunt in Montana. To offset the challenge, some businesses offer housing space, stipends and/or access to local housing at a discount.
- Give Seniority Perks
For those who are willing to stay throughout the waning days of the season or those who are returning, offer seniority perks. For example, returning employees might get pay incentives, first choice on positions or housing space. These perks let loyal employees know they are valued and that fuels great buzz among job seekers for future seasons and employment surges.
- Emphasize the Fun
Many of Montana’s seasonal jobs are centered on entertainment, outdoor adventure and hospitality. That can translate into fun and rewarding work for employees when the company culture embraces a spirit of exuberance and energy. Businesses that leverage the fun to motivate and engage talent are often the most effective at attracting candidates and retaining staff.
If these 10 strategies feel overwhelming as you focus on your next seasonal hiring push, bring in an expert to support employment marketing, sourcing, hiring, and onboarding. LC Staffing began as a seasonal talent partner to the timber industry decades ago, and today we remain a seasonal staffing partner to businesses of all industries all across the state. When you’re ready for support, contact us.