Is your onboarding program ready? The holiday rush is coming.

Retailers’ shelves may be brimming with spring and summer inventory this month, but their boardrooms tell a different story: the countdown to the holidays is on. Hopes are high for a standout holiday season, with shoppers eager to get back in stores and return to their shopping traditions. But in a volatile market, efficiency and agility in your seasonal hiring will be key to reaping the rewards of “the most wonderful time of the year.”

As the economy re-opens, hiring seasonal staff is likely to be more challenging than ever. Recruiting early gives employers their pick of top talent. Even more critical, they get a leg up in the onboarding process, with plenty of lead time to develop stellar frontline staff well before holiday shoppers hit the aisles. But even if hiring this month or next isn’t in the cards, that doesn’t have to mean seasonal recruitment chaos for your operations and HR teams.

The time to plan for a high-performing seasonal workforce is now — and that begins with creating an onboarding program that takes them from newbies to frontline performers fast. 

Here’s how smart retailers are getting ahead of the hustle to ensure their seasonal talent is up to speed and ready to drive sales right away.

Set the tone for a stellar season

The rise of e-commerce during the COVID-19 crisis has raised the bar for customer experience, with 73% of consumers reporting that they’ll stop doing business with a brand after three or fewer customer service experiences.

When it comes to meeting these high expectations, how will you ensure seasonal staff can deliver? 

The answer lies in how well your onboarding process sets your sales team apart. For seasonal hires in particular, an onboarding program that’s tightly focused on the things they need to know to start contributing helps them succeed from day one. Then, keep answers to common questions, job aids and other resources at associate’s fingertips after they hit the floor. 

A focused and digestible onboarding experience helps prevent employee error, eliminate confusion and ensure your customers get the best service possible. Best of all, it gives associates a positive, tailored experience they can immediately pay forward to your holiday customers. 

Here for a good time, not a long time

Seasonal staff are with you for 90 days at most, and they happen to be the highest grossing days of the year. You have a tight window to get them primed and ready—and there’s zero time for turnover. That makes it all the more critical to deliver easy, engaging and consistent onboarding.

To keep productivity high, effective seasonal onboarding is built into the flow of their workday, feeding staff critical information in easy-to-digest portions. When staff have access to important content when and where they need it, they can stay on top of product stories, inventory levels, price adjustments and promotions. 

And the key ingredient to successful onboarding? The learning process doesn’t disrupt their ability to perform through the busiest retail season of the year. Axonify takes your staff from seasonal to seasoned in just 3 – 5 minutes a shift. Frontline managers benefit, too, with access to real-time performance data that lets them know, in the thick of the holiday rush, exactly when a new hire is performance-ready.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start planning your seasonal onboarding program. The sooner you get a jump on it, the better. Because, before you know it, the holidays will be in full swing! 

SMARTER ONBOARDING FOR THE HOLIDAY RUSH

Get your seasonal hires up to speed faster—while spending less.

Caily is our resident retail whiz with a passion for CX. She’s spent more than a decade partnering with industry leaders to ensure success in strategic planning and omnichannel execution of national programs—so she knows the deal when it comes to the retail industry.

Let’s work together to drive frontline performance in all the right ways.