As a retailer, you are no doubt aware of the strains created by the holiday season. The surplus traffic that is inevitable can be daunting, and often the only solution is to increase your staff on a temporary basis to meet the needs of customers. But what impact does this have on your customer service standards, retail merchandising and your bottom line? Does hiring new staff for the holiday season actually create higher customer satisfaction, and does it mean a better productivity rate?
In order to keep customer satisfaction and customer loyalty up during the holidays, maintaining a sufficient staff is necessary- but there are 2 ways to go about doing this. Both need to be carefully considered in order to determine which option best meets your needs as far as customer service and retail merchandising are concerned.
The seemingly effective go-to option of hiring seasonal staff is one of your choices. But what are the actual costs and benefits of this? More than likely the negatives far outweigh the positives.
Recruitment costs – since the first step to hiring a seasonal employee is recruitment, make sure you factor in all of the costs for recruitment. How would you advertise the position? How many applicants will you interview, and who will do the interviewing? How much time will be spent on background and reference checks? These things all take time and money – things that could be spent more productively elsewhere.
Training – so every employee needs to be trained. How much time is spent – both by the new hire and the employee doing the training – doing this? And how long does it take. Furthermore, according to a study done by Investopedia, if you are hiring just for the holiday season, chances are that employee will only ever reach about 25% of their potential before the season is over. It isn’t until around the 5th week that an employee reaches even 50%, and it takes on average 13 weeks to reach even a 75% productivity rate. Knowing this, it is undeniable that training often costs more than the benefits of having the employee there.
High turnover/reliability – how can you ensure that that employee you have hired to work for only a few weeks in interested in doing the best job for you? Often you cannot. More often than not, as a seasonal employee, your new staff member is more interested in quick cash than long-term career goals. Relying on this may leave you in a lurch or lead to decreased morale or a high turnover rate (which could then result in further recruitment and training costs).
So what other options are there for staffing up over the holidays while still maintaining a high degree of customer service and retail merchandising standards during this busy time? Relying on a third party partner that specializes in retail and provides staffing resources to meet your needs is often a much better choice. The right partner will be able to provide highly trained, experienced retail staff even on short notice. Since these staff members are employees of the third party partner, they have already been checked, hired, and trained, which means you can avoid the hassle. Since they are permanently employed by the third party partner, you know that they are experienced at retail, reliable and will work with your existing staff. Partnering with this type of organization will also remove the burden of training, turnover and scheduling so that you can focus on what’s most important, your customers.
Hiring staff for the holidays doesn’t have to be a headache – working with a third party retail partner that can provide you with the resources required will allow you to overcome the stress while maintaining a strong bottom line.
For more information about how to best staff up for the holiday season and how to keep customer service and retail merchandising in check, please contact Storesupport at 877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca. We are your third party retail resource for this holiday season.