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With the end of winter just a few short weeks away,  the inevitable countdown to summer trading begins. Businesses in the retail and hospitality sector alike are ramping up for the annual holiday hiring drive.

As always, HR can expect a lot of extra work to support the holiday season – why should this matter to the broader business?

Like most businesses in this sector, Retail Zoo; with hundreds of stores across Australia, have a high demand for seasonal staff.  This is guaranteed to be a  resource-intensive exercise, not just for the individual HR managers, but the entire team.

Let’s explore the top four ways Retail Zoo’s HR team improved their onboarding engagement process for seasonal new hires.

Streamline mass contract creation  

One of the most time-consuming parts of onboarding is the offer generation. With a significant proportion of employment contracts generated in the lead up to Christmas being casual or part time; it’s important to seek out ways to streamline many of HR’s repeatable tasks. Having access to a tool that can tailor employment contracts and autofill unique content has saved Retail Zoo a significant amount of time and resources.

“Many of our staff are casuals or part-time due to the nature of the work, which means high-turnover, seasonal peaks in business and a constant need for fast, effective recruitment and onboarding processes.” – Melissa Kokai, HR Advisor for Retail Zoo

By streamlining your offer creation (and the wider employee onboarding experience) you can remove the extra steps processing paper creates, and reduce the time to hire a new starter by up to 80%.

Reduce the time it takes to get an offer out to new hires

Remember the thrill when you received your last employment offer?   Those positive vibes can fade quickly in a fast paced retail or hospitality business if you’re not actively engaging your new starters. For Retail Zoo, one of the biggest challenges they faced in their old system was the time it took to get the paperwork to a new hire.

We have a widespread work-force all over Australia and posting new starter paperwork to places like Perth (as the Retail Zoo Support Centre is in Melbourne) meant that it could be 2 weeks between sending the new starter paperwork to the new hire and receiving it back.

This meant that a new hire who is so excited to join us will have needed to wait up to a couple of weeks to begin their first shift, as no one could begin working until all paperwork had been returned.  For new hires receiving offers, HROnboard means that between being offered a job and receiving all their paperwork is only (at most) a few hours away!” – Retail Zoo.

Aim to reduce the time between offer acceptance and start date to minimise the risk of new hires seeking alternative employment. By automating many of the back office tasks, you’ll be able to quickly serve offers and concentrate on ways to engage your new hires.

Build brand loyalty with your new hires

As the peak sales season approaches, retail and hospitality businesses go into overdrive to boost up a talent pool of potential candidates. But once the offers have been made, how do you plan to ensure they turn up on day one?

In Retail Zoo’s case, they understand first impressions count. To help keep new hires engaged,  they’ve built an onboarding experience that matches the team’s commitment to their customers. Having a young, engaged workforce meant they needed to approach onboarding that is modern and memorable.

“We were looking for a solution that made Retail Zoo more professional and would give the first impression that we wanted our new hires to have. Our business is tech-savvy with Apps for each brand, and we wanted our new recruits to experience a better first impression of our brands like we offer to our customers.

This means that excitement levels for the new hire don’t decrease and we can keep our excited newbie engaged!” – Retail Zoo.

In an industry where loyalty can be an issue, have a plan to keep new hires engaged and not looking for another position.  Think about what makes your brand interesting and inject personality into the offer experience that reflects your values.  

Walk in your new hires shoes

Managing a high volume of contracts and collecting the various supporting documents before a new hire starts can be an administrative nightmare. VISAs, RSAs, RSG’s, Working with Children checks, Police & Medical checks – the list goes on!

Collecting these documents is just as painful for the new hire. Copying, certifying and sending hard copies that can be misplaced is frustrating. And giving a new hire a pile of documents to complete on day one is a sure fire way to smother those sparks of positivity your hiring process built up.

“The volume of new hires we have (especially in the lead up to Christmas & Summer) means that we can very easily lose track of the status of new hires.

Paperwork would be the most challenging aspect of recruiting for the retail & hospitality industry.” –  Retail Zoo.

By removing the paperwork from the new hire experience, you instantly create a win-win. The new hire begins their new role feeling great about their new employer and HR teams have instant insight into the onboarding status of new hires.

While the new hires might be helping with your short term seasonal needs, creating an amazing onboarding exexperience hasong term positive benefits.  It can help drive retention, improve loyalty and boost your employer brand for future new hires.

Interested in learning more?

Spring is the perfect time to invigorate your onboarding engagement experience ready for the holiday season. To find out more, book in for a personalised demo with our onboarding specialists or download our free whitepaper – The 5 Pillars of a Great Onboarding Program.

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