Don’t Skimp on Seasonal Employees: Emotional Intelligence Competencies That Matter Most

Oct 04, 2016

Don't Skimp on Seasonal Employees

The holidays are around the corner! For many of us this conjures up images of Santa Claus, shopping, and sugarplums dancing in our heads. But many business owners are focused on something else: hiring seasonal employees to handle the holiday rush. Although the impulse may be to hire whoever comes through the door, it's critical to still use a formal interview process and pre-employment assessment to ensure they are a good fit for the job and company culture. After all, seasonal employees with a bad attitude could mean a rotten holiday season for your business.

Hiring seasonal help during the holidays is most common for retail, restaurants, hospitality, and distribution companies (think Amazon or UPS), but seasonal employment actually happens year-round ​in a variety of industries—tax preparation, ​education, pool service, landscaping, and construction, to name a few.

Regardless of the industry or time of year, it's important to approach seasonal hiring with a plan. Beyond reviewing résumés and checking references, a good indicator of potential performance can be revealed by measuring emotional intelligence competencies, such as decisiveness, organization, reasoning, and empathy. This can be done via a pre-employment assessment, such as the ZR Profile, which is easy to administer and typically takes 20 minutes to complete. Because emotional intelligence analyzes how a person thinks versus his or her personality or behavior, the results can make or break a candidate's chance of getting the job.

When used in the seasonal employment process, here are the top three emotional intelligence competencies to look for in a candidate.

  • Service skills—We don't know of any business that doesn't value customer service. Whether it's answering the phone, greeting customers at the counter, or responding to online inquiries, the abilities to communicate well, find solutions, and maintain a positive attitude are imperative.
  • Work ethic—During the busiest time of the year, one of the worst things that can happen is for an employee not to show up for work. Determining that a candidate is dependable, trustworthy, and willing to fulfill job duties are good things to know.
  • Leadership—Many business owners may view seasonal employment as short-term or temporary, but it's also a good opportunity to find a permanent addition to the team. Identifying candidates ​who go above and beyond and have the ability to influence others is icing on the cake.

So, there is no need to ask Santa Claus to bring you good seasonal employees this year—identify the right candidates for your company culture through pre-employment testing and measuring emotional intelligence competencies.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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