You know we're just coming out of a recession, right? Have you kept track of how many people are still unemployed? You should, because right now it's a business owner's market for picking the best qualified person for your job opening. Better yet, you can offer them peanuts for pay.
Your busiest month of the year is right around the corner. Do you need to hire more staff to help out? Please, before you say "no" let's try a little test.
1. Are you the only full time employee with only 2 part time employees? Hire another part-timer quick!
2. Track how much time is spent on all phone calls for 2 weeks. Double that number. Can your current staff handle that much time on the phone and also properly service their normal duties and the increased holiday foot traffic?
If not, hire someone else.
3. What are your extended holiday hours? Talk to your staff now and make sure all the shifts from Black Friday through December 31 can be covered.
If not, hire someone else.
Hiring a temp for the holiday season is different than a full time person. You don't need someone GIA certified, but you better find someone who has customer service experience. That is to say, find someone who knows how to maintain a smile when a customer is yelling at them on December 23rd.
This is a stressful time of year for shoppers, and they get less friendly with each phone call they make, with each email that goes unanswered for more than 3 hours, and when they get to a store and find a locked door.
Finding a temp holiday employee is easy. Just post a holiday help wanted ad on craigslist.org. Include in your post that the position is for mid-November through December 30.
Also include that the temp will be responsible for all gift wrapping, answering the telephone and making the customers feel welcomed as they walk in the door. They need to be competent enough to pick up your store routine and understand your products within one week.
They need to know where different products are in the store so they can lead people to them and introduce a sales associate. Your holiday employee needs to reassure the customer that the sales associate is the best qualified to handle their needs.
Your holiday employee also needs to know how to find answers when phone calls come in. Don't let them put a customer on hold for someone else to answer. Instead make sure they know how to find an answer and report back to the caller without needing another employee on the phone.
If you are in the USA reading this, you will want to consult your tax advisor on the next bit of advise. We suggest you pay the employee normal taxable wages through December 24th. If you run payroll every week their last official paycheck will be December 31, which means you have to give them a W2 for 2010.
Then, assuming you pay them less than $600 per week, if you keep them on staff for the last week of December you could pay them on a 1099 basis. In the USA you do not have to report payroll or 1099 wages if under $600. So come 2012 you won't be burdened to mail out a W2 for a single week's wages.
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