4 Staffing Problems You Can Expect During the Busy Holiday Season

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By Lisa Hutchinson

Topics: Hiring


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4_Staffing_Problems_You_Can_Expect_During_the_Busy_Holiday_Season.jpgThe holidays mean a ramp-up in business for most companies. You’ll likely be busier during the holiday season.

While being busy is a good thing, it can also present problems for business owners and hiring managers like you. Most of these are staffing problems. After all, your employees are the people who keep things running smoothly even when production is at high tide.

Here are a few of the staffing problems you can expect to see during the holiday season—and how to solve them.

1. Understaffed and Overwhelmed

Perhaps the most challenging thing about the holiday rush is getting the right number of people on board to deal with demand. You may think you have enough workers to handle an increase. What happens if someone quits or needs to go on leave? You may find yourself short staffed.

Even if no one departs, your staff may still be overwhelmed by demand. The increase in volume may be too much to handle with your current staffing level, leaving you short staffed and overwhelmed.

This is true for some employers even if they do hire. They may not be able to make their hires soon enough. By the time they get the new hires on board, the holiday rush is almost over! Other employers hire too few people, believing they’ll be able to manage.

What can you do? Like many staffing problems, this situation has an easy solution. Work with a recruitment agency to determine your needs and fill roles quickly and easily.

2. Making Bad Hires

Every employer fears it: you make a bad hire. It’s forgivable. You’re only human after all. You’ll sometimes hire workers believing they’re a great fit for your company, only to find out they clash with your values, teams, or environment.

Making bad hires isn’t ideal under normal circumstances, but it’s even more problematic during the busy holiday season.

Employees who call in sick frequently, are late for their shifts or just don’t show up, or won’t pull their weight, slow you down. So how do you avoid making a bad hire in the first place? Work with a recruiter! A staffing agency, like Liberty Staffing, can help you find the very best candidates for the job.

3. Premature Departures

One of the other common staffing problems employers face is employee departures. These can happen at any time of the year, but you really don’t want them to happen during the holiday rush. You need your best people on hand. The departure of senior employees during the holidays is particularly problematic since it’s difficult to replace their knowledge and expertise.

Another problem may be your temporary and seasonal hires! Their departures before the holiday rush can leave you short staffed.

Working with a recruiter can help you avoid this situation. Recruiters can find experienced people to fill the roles of experienced staff, as well as match people for cultural fit and availability.

4. Temporary, Permanent, or ...?

When compiling a list of staffing problems, you may not think about the employment status of any new hires as a “problem.” It can easily become one for employers who aren’t cautious during the hiring stage.

Always be sure to determine whether you’re hiring on a temporary, contract, seasonal, temp-to-permanent, or permanent basis. You’ll need to lay out the terms of employment prior to making the hire. You don’t want to try to impose a concrete end date on someone who thought the role was permanent.

Working with a recruiter is a sure-fire way to avoid any ambiguities when it comes to laying out contract terms for your holiday hires. Staffing problems can be avoided and solved quickly and easily.

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Lisa Hutchinson

I started with Liberty Staffing in 2004 as the Regional Business Manager of the London office. I have over 20 years of experience in the customer service and retail sectors, as well as leadership experience including Store Management, People Development and Recruiting. In 2016, our London location moved to a larger office in order to accommodate growth of our business, which included adding a Clerical Division.

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