The holiday Muzak isn’t set to play quite yet, but you know that soon you’ll be accommodating up to three times as many customers as usual — and playing host to a workforce that has doubled or tripled in number. Those 90 or so high-stress days during which you’ll be charged with making up to 40 percent of your annual sales are approaching – fast.

Seasonal employees engaging with customers will have about a sliver the training of your regular employees, yet they will shape the shopping experience for the largest number – and most demanding – of customers you will have all year. And they will leave numerous lasting impressions.

If the holidays weren’t stressful enough, knowing some seasonal employees will be talking to customers less than 24 hours after being hired can make you crazy. Wouldn’t it be great if instead of hoping they don’t do too much damage you could expect them to finesse the customer experience and inspire customers to spend more – and come back to shop again after the glitter settles!

It’s not wishful thinking if you’re prepared to hire well to make up for your lack of opportunity to train well.

Seasonal hiring decisions are among the most critical you will make for the continued health and viability of your business. So how can you best build and manage a sound seasonal hiring strategy for your hourly workforce?

Adopt some proven best practices:

  • Practice selective staffing: Because of the unique factors that perfectly suit seasonal hourly employees for these roles – from availability to interest in your positions – they can’t come from the same crop of applicants that your everyday, hourly workers hail from.
  • Strengthen your seasonal recruitment brand: The customer experience and recruitment experience are linked by much more than you might think. It takes more than a picture of a smiling employee wearing a Santa hat to build and brand a seasonal recruitment campaign. Instead, you need to borrow from your laws of consumer attraction. These consumers have more in common with the seasonal workers on your hiring wish list than you ever imagined.
  • Make every season a seasonal hiring season: Even though the peak season lasts roughly three months, with such a definitive impact on your bottom line, your seasonal hiring process demands more than seasonal attention.

There you go, from stress to success – not overnight, but rather through a year-long strategic seasonal hiring endeavor. Happy holiday hiring!