One of your clients’ biggest business opportunities of the year is peak season.
Whether it happens during the summer months from May-August and/or the winter holiday season from October-December, it can be a stressful time, but one that is ripe with opportunity.
With peak season comes a major challenge: hiring additional staff to handle that increased foot traffic. Factor in the ongoing competition between businesses to fill open positions in the middle of a labor shortage, and you have a recipe for stressed out business owners.
As an ISV, you can help your customers skip the staffing stress and get the most out of their peak season. How? By equipping them with the tools to build an informed strategy to find, win over, and keep talent so they don’t miss out on sales opportunities for lack of staff.
We’re talking about tools like data analytics.
Analyzing payments data isn’t just great for learning about consumer behavior. When it comes to staffing strategically, customer data is one of the best resources around. Point of sale (POS) analytics reports can provide your customers with valuable information on key decisions like defining how to time their peak season hiring window and identifying just how many seasonal employees they’ll need to bring on board.
The bottom line: Letting your customers walk into peak season without analytics technology means letting them make an important business decision with one hand tied behind their backs.
Keep reading to learn how to help your customers ace seasonal staffing — from setting data-driven hiring goals, to successfully executing their recruitment strategy, and more.
Helping your customer hire the right team
When hiring for their busy season, customers can feel a little anxious about getting help in the door as soon as possible. Consulting the right data can help speed up the process of finding the right help and making smarter staffing decisions that pay off in the long run.
Whenever a consumer makes a payment through a point of sale (POS) system, they’re generating data. Valuable data, like sales amounts and consumer spending behaviors.
By adding tools to your software offering that organize and analyze transaction data, you can help your customer harness that knowledge to gain key insights into their peak season needs so they can make informed, data-driven hiring decisions.
Let’s dive into the various ways analytics can set up your customer for peak season success.
Define the roster
Before your client can build out their seasonal team, they need to know just how big their roster needs to be. Thankfully, they don’t have to guess. This is the first place where analytics can come in handy.
To kick off the recruiting process, your customer can start by going over POS sales reports from prior peak times like summers and holiday seasons. How much did sales volume, total visits, or the average ticket typically increase during those weeks or months compared to the rest of the year?
Checking the sales numbers against their existing staff list will help them determine precisely how many additional workers they’ll need to bring on to maintain a good employee-to-customer ratio, minimizing wasted resources and maximizing sales.
If your customer has multiple locations, they’ll want to be sure to pull sales reports for each location. The data might tell a different story. Comparing their cross-chain performance will allow them to customize their staffing strategy accordingly.
Write a winning position description
After using data to determine how many new employees your customer needs to bring on for peak season, next comes the work of winning over the talent.
Just like your customer should be clear on the number of employees they’re looking for, they should also be clear about their expectations for the additional staff they hire. While it might seem easier to recycle generic job descriptions, it’s best to dissuade them from doing so.
They’ll have better luck finding what they’re looking for with an ad specifically tailored to seasonal jobs.
For example, if they’re only looking to bring a new employee on for a few months, have them label the job description as a “seasonal position” or “temporary.” They should clearly define the timeframe and hours the new employee will be expected to work, whether it’s a part-time or full-time position, the environment they’ll be in (in-person vs. remote), if the job is entry-level or advanced, and any specific skills they should possess before coming on board.
If your customer isn’t sure what exactly that temporary time frame looks like, analytics reporting features can help them find out.
With analytics technology, your customer can break down POS sales reports by month, week, day of the week, hour, and even by holiday. Looking at data like the date, time of payment, and amount per transaction within these various windows will allow your customer to uncover precisely when they see peak business — down to the busiest days of the week to the busiest times of the day.
From there, they’ll be able to list on the job description what their seasonal staffing needs are, including the start and end dates of peak season, the times of week they need the most help, and whether perks like flexible scheduling are possible.
Explore different hiring channels
Your customer’s recruitment strategy doesn’t just apply to the expectations they set for candidates in the job description. It also matters where they’re looking for those candidates.
Using an internal recruiting channel, like rehiring from their past roster of seasonal workers, can be one of the most effective routes for finding experienced workers. This is another place where analytics can come into play.
When considering previous employees, your customer can view analytics reports from when a specific employee was working during last year’s peak season to measure their business’ total transactions, average highest and lowest selling days, and their strongest sales time segments of each day. By measuring this data against the employee’s shift schedule, your client can determine if the store did well while they were on the clock.
These reports provide valuable insight into analyzing a previous peak season employee’s performance and helping your customer decide whether to bring them back this year. If it looks like the employee was consistently contributing to strong revenue days, your customer may even want to think about offering them a permanent position.
One more internal avenue for your customer to explore is asking for employee referrals. Creating an employee referral reward system can help increase incentive for current employees to get involved in seasonal employment efforts.
Beyond internal routes, it’s also a good idea for your customer to look at external hiring tools to promote their seasonal job openings.
Peak season brings a major change to the hiring landscape: students home for break. To adjust to the demographics of this hiring pool, they might need to change up their usual job posting routine to meet younger seasonal job seekers where they are. Using multiple channels can help cast a wider net and increase visibility.
Here are a few places for your customer to consider posting seasonal job ads:
- High school job boards and fairs
- College job boards and fairs
- Social media and online job boards like LinkedIn
- Local job boards
Encourage customers to not cut corners on this step! Skipping due diligence of thoroughly interviewing and screening a candidate before hiring them is like inviting a stranger into their home.
In milder cases, failing to vet a candidate could mean adding a teammate who’s not well-suited for the position, and as a result, doesn’t perform at the level they’d hoped they would.
In worse cases, it could mean hiring someone who will do their business harm through property damage, theft, fraud, causing a negative customer experience, or driving other employees away with inappropriate behavior.
Here’s another way to look at it: Hiring the wrong person is a waste of time and resources. The average cost of a bad hire is around 30% of that employee’s first-year earnings. Now, concentrate that down to the typical three-month time frame of seasonal work, and that’s practically a sunk cost.
Being careful about hiring decisions pays off.
If the candidate passed the initial screening process but your client is still unsure about them, they can start by bringing the candidate on for a shorter trial period before inviting them to be an official team member.
A great way for your customer to track the candidate’s performance is to look at their reputation management analytics during that trial period time frame. By including this module in your software offering, your customers can easily view reports on their business’ reputation, including the latest reviews customers are leaving on various platforms and changes to their average rating, to discern whether their trial employee is helping or hurting.
For example, if that average rating score goes down and customers are leaving negative reviews about the service they received during the new employee’s trial period, that’s important information for your client to have when the time comes to make an official hiring decision.
A final word of advice
This pointer doesn’t have to do with analytics, but it’s just as important: Remind customers to follow the legal guidelines.
Hiring a temporary employee doesn’t mean your client is off the hook for knowing and following legal requirements. When bringing on seasonal workers, they still need to keep records, collect taxes, and verify candidates’ eligibility to work in the U.S.
Encourage them to make a point to find out whether their new hire will qualify for overtime, healthcare, and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program as well.
Remember, there are state-mandated limits on age and how many hours an employee can work for many job types. Have your client brush up on local labor laws to make sure they’re up to date.
Your technology offerings can bring it all together
When it comes to providing customers with the data to make informed peak season staffing decisions, POS data is a great place to start. Even better, Global Payments Integrated has a few analytics tools that can help.
Our web-based applications include several coordinated modules that allow businesses to analyze payment card data, local market intelligence, and online and social media metrics to deliver key insights into their business needs.
We have two solutions that offer intelligent analytics capabilities, including the Analytics module of our Customer Engagement Suite and our Analytics and Reputation Management tool. Depending on which one your integration supports, either can provide your customers with valuable insights, like:
- Comprehensive “must know” data presented through a user-friendly dashboard
- Breakdown of new vs. repeat customers and their shopping habits
- Data like number of visits, sales, and average ticket
- Spikes and dips associated with unique events
Global Payments Integrated also offers a powerful Semi-Integrated Solution: a POS family with monitoring and reporting capabilities built to centralize online and in-store transactional data, giving your clients a better understanding of how to hire staff to match their customer volume.
Contact us today to learn more about our solutions and which one is right for your unique software offering.