8 effective hiring strategies and best practices to help you deal with the labor market this holiday season

Editorial Team

6 min read
Two women in interview

Hiring this holiday season in today’s labor market can be tough. Many employees have more choices than ever before— making it hard for recruiters and businesses to attract qualified people.


That means, businesses today need to adapt their hiring practices and change their strategies–what used to work for recruiting employees may not work anymore. 

Here are 8 strategies you can use to navigate the challenging labor market.

1. Target your ideal employee market

Your hiring process can be more successful if you have a target market in mind. That helps you better understand who you want to attract so you can focus your time, attention, and all your efforts on reaching those candidates. Consider the attributes you want job candidates to possess—such as education and experience—and create an ideal candidate profile based on those criteria. 

To help your organization recruit the most qualified employees, you may consider using professional HR services. These outsourced services can help you track applicants and streamline your hiring process. You can also save time—and no longer have to manually process job postings, resumes, applications, and onboarding forms. 

Identifying your job specifications can put you on a better recruiting path and set you up for success. Get ready to hire your new employees by following these simple steps.

  • Review Your Employment Handbook. Your handbook needs to be up to date and current with applicable laws and regulations. A handbook is also a great way to convey your company culture and rules and assimilate your new hires. Review it regularly with an HR professional, who can also help you recruit, onboard, and train your new hires. 
  • Be Prepared for Efficient Onboarding and Training of Your New Hires. Devise training programs before you need them. Make short, inexpensive training videos for primary tasks or create a training manual. 
  • Write Job Descriptions and Create Job Board Accounts. Work with your HR professional to write and update job descriptions for all your positions and be sure that they accurately reflect the work being done in the position. When writing your job descriptions, make them appealing. Include information on why your company is a great place to work to make qualified candidates want to apply right away. 

2. Create an employee referral incentive program

Ask your employees if they know of qualified people who would want to work at your company. Consider starting a referral program to encourage employees to keep an eye out for individuals who would be a good fit at your company and refer them. You can also give employees social media tools to help them refer openings to their contact list. 

3. Create marketing campaigns for social media and your website

Turn your “employer brand” into compelling recruitment campaigns for social media, online newspaper ads, and company descriptions on job boards. Add recruiting messages to your social media accounts. Make inexpensive recruitment videos and post them on your YouTube channel. 

4. Create seasonal “Now Hiring” signage in advance

Attractive window signs, sandwich boards, or take-away cards to have available or to hand out are great ways to quickly let your customers, or passers-by, know you’re hiring. Design these in advance, so they’re ready to go when you need them. 

You’ll have to go a step further, though, because putting a “Now Hiring” sign in the window doesn’t work on its own anymore. Instead, use your signage to compel candidates to apply; showing them why your company is a great place to work. 

5. Create efficient hiring practices

It’s hiring time. You’ve done all the prep work; you have your applicant tracking system, recruiting methods, marketing, onboarding, and training systems ready. Time to put them into action. Consider doing the following things to gain traction on your job postings:

  • Contact your candidate/applicant pool 
  • Post jobs on your website 
  • Post on social media and job boards 
  • Post ads online 
  • Put out hiring signs and cards 
  • Attend a job fair (if schedule fits) 

When you begin to receive applications, start reading through them to narrow down your candidates. Prepare your interview questions in advance. You may want to start with an initial phone screen to narrow the field then proceed with in-person interviews with the hiring manager and any colleagues who you want to take part in the decision-making process. 

As you interview candidates, also consider feedback from the other members of the decision-making team. Once you have decided on your top candidate you can begin to prepare your job offer with the help of your HR professional. 

6. Onboard and train your new hires quickly

Streamline the onboarding process and make your new hires feel at home. Prepare everything they need to do their job—before they begin their first day of work. Set up their workstation, personal locker, uniform, nametag, or any other employee materials they need. Then have them watch or read training videos and manuals. You can also assign new employees to some of your more trusted and seasoned workers for “buddy system” training.

In addition, make sure that new employees review and acknowledge the company employee handbook. 

7. Analyze and improve your hiring process 

Compose a short survey asking for feedback on the candidates’ experience. There are several free online survey creation tools that will help you compose an effective survey. Use the information to improve your hiring process in the future. 

8. Bring in the right technologies

Effective hiring and retention ends with recruiting qualified employees, but for many successful companies, it starts with efficient HR technologies. Using HCM software can help you find your ideal candidates so you can recruit, hire and onboard new employees quickly and efficiently. 

Today’s applicant tracking systems allow you to:

  • Attract, screen, monitor and engage candidates
  • Set minimum criteria to focus on the most qualified applicants
  • Access the data you need for the entire recruiting process from a single interface

With these tools and access to data, you can begin to attract better employees from day one. And combining them with outsourced professional HR services can make your search even more efficient—and help you find the best candidates to fill all your open positions. 

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