With the busiest months of the year coming up, it’s time to start preparing for the holidays. Consumers spent $500 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2018, up 15% from the year before. So, you may be thinking of ways to boost the digital assets on your ecommerce site, like hosting a mobile experience or reimagining site structure and design. But what about those non-digital assets? If you think you’re going to need seasonal employees, it’s time to start hiring.
Out of stock: Seasonal help
If you think hiring can wait, here are some numbers from your brick-and-mortar competition: In 2018, Target and Amazon planned for almost a quarter-million seasonal employees as early as September. Let’s not forget the hundreds of thousands more needed by courier services and shopping malls. In Monster’s weekly list of the top 100 companies with the most new jobs, the number one spot has more than 1,300 vacancies. And many of the top five spots have a strong online presence.
Remote work is working for workers
Technology has been changing the traditional landscapes for work and workers. Ecommerce is a direct result of this change, and remote opportunities are one of its key appeals. So there really has never been a better time to expand your team remotely, whether it’s to fulfill seasonal or permanent roles.
We already know how 3 in 4 workers want flexible schedules, but only 18% get them, according to a 2018 Small Business Pay and Benefits Report. 57% want the option to work from home, but only 8% get it. But the employees who get flexible schedules and work-from-home privileges are experiencing real benefits.
When asked about their productivity and performance, over half of remote employees surveyed say their work is “above average” — and their bosses agree. 59% of employers say their remote workers’ productivity is above average.
So, what are the most ideal positions for your ecommerce business?
1. Chat support
Customer support comes in many forms, and there’s a new favorite in town: chat. There are many reasons why chat serves up the right kind of support. Most importantly, it has proven successful in conversion, which leads to increased revenue.
2. Bookkeeping or accounting
To not utilize a bookkeeper or accountant year-round is like eating only one thing at the buffet. Staying on top of your business’ transactions during the busiest time can mean uploading your books to your accountant on Jan. 1 because all the records are in such good order. This is possible with the right help.
3. Campaign marketing
Successful holiday campaigns start in September and October, says Sarah Sanchez, manager of Performance Social at CPC Strategy. Jim Huffman, a marketing consultant at Packlane, echoes this, adding how the madness is always crazier than you remember. The right talent will help to personalize and strategize your business for the right audience and channels.
Unwrapping legwork and executing early
The key, as with anything, is to start early and follow through. You would never optimize your site or mobile app one day before Black Friday. The same applies to hiring. The gig economy has made specialists available to operations of all sizes and industries.
Seasonal recruiting is also beneficial beyond the busy periods. Both the employer and employee get to experience the role for a limited time to see if it’s working and whether it’s worth continuing. You could very well hire for the season but end up with a more permanent headcount, and that’s a win-win for all parties.