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Applicant Tracking Databases for Seasonal Employee Issues May 18, 2011

Posted by Darwin in Applicant Tracking Database, recruiting, small business.
Tags: , , , ,

It doesn’t matter what time of year you’re reading this. There is a seasonal situation looming in front of you that will require the hiring or laying off of employees. The size of your company doesn’t play a part in this, aside from the level of your economic impact on the local community you draw your workforce from. Everyone is affected by the ebbs and flows of consumer purchasing, the price of petroleum in winter or summer, or the environmental conditions that allow some businesses to thrive and others to struggle. If you’re in business, you’re dealing with one or two of these, maybe all of them.  

How can an applicant tracking database help you in times when seasonal employee issues arise? If you’re a seasonal landscaping or snow removal firm it should be obvious. At the beginning of your season, you hire a bunch of new employees. At the end, you let them go. You’ve been using different systems for years to keep track of it all, but how many times have you sat back with a group of your regulars and said, “Gee, I wonder whatever happened to so-and-so. He didn’t apply this year and I can’t seem to find his number.” If you had applicant tracking software, you’d have that number on hand.

Smaller companies can keep track of former employees with paper filing systems or standard databases, but what about those candidates who applied for work before, went through screening and reference checks, and were refused for some reason that isn’t likely to change in a few years? They eventually apply again and you go through the same process, drawing on the money and resources you don’t have to come to the same conclusion. Why waste all that time and energy when you can invest in applicant tracking that will tell you this person is a “Do not Hire”?

Companies that hire large numbers of seasonal employees tend to overlook the small details about the hiring and firing of former seasonal employees. The right software allows you take notes during the recruiting and hiring process. Did the candidate show up on time for his or her first interview or did they reschedule? Were those behaviors present on the job once they were hired? At the end of the season, did the candidate finish up the job or take off a few weeks early to go to school or another job?

These questions are important, especially in a tough economy where potential employee pools are so large. You can continue to do business as usual and just plug in warm bodies until the job gets done, but how much are you losing by doing that? All industries have their superstars and deadbeats. You want the former, yet somehow end up with too many of the latter. Applicant tracking databases can help you avoid that and get you ready for your busy season with the right people by your side. Wouldn’t that be a better and more profitable way to do it this year?



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