3 Ways Your Onboarding Isn’t Setting Seasonal Hires Up for Success

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, a crop of talented seasonal employees received job offers from your competitors. And that means the highly coveted pool of seasonal retail talent just got even smaller — a situation that’s only intensifying as the U.S. unemployment rate continues to hover around a near-historic low of 3.7 percent.

It’s no surprise that many retailers are trying to get ahead of talent shortage by hiring for the holidays earlier. Kohl’s started staffing seasonal positions for 500 stores in mid-July. That’s double the number of locations it hired vs. last year. And Target announced in mid-September that it would hire more than 130,000 temporary workers for the holidays. To attract the best and brightest from a seasonal talent pool that’s becoming more kiddie-sized each day, retailers are under pressure to increase hourly pay, with many also offering additional perks, from casual dress codes and discounts to signing bonuses and gym memberships. While these strategies can work for attracting quality associates, keeping them engaged and productive is another matter entirely. The famously high turnover rates in retail are even higher among part-time hourly store workers, and it hits your bottom line pretty hard when they leave. Retailers can expect to pay 16 percent of annual salary to replace an associate, which means it costs over $3,000 to replace an associate earning $10 an hour.

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