Labour shortages are nothing new for businesses in blue collar fields, but the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic factors have created even more burden for employers. Peak seasons, whether it's construction during summer months, manufacturing for holiday retail sales, or anything else, can put a lot of pressure on your workforce. From hiring international talent to building your employer brand, discover five tips for hiring at high-volumes to support peak season production requirements in your business.

project your seasonal needs early

Waiting until you need employees to fill positions is not an ideal process. Even highly efficient recruiting processes take some time, and new employees need training and practice to meet daily productivity demands. Plus, when you're pressured to rush the hiring process to meet today's (or yesterday's) needs, you're more likely to make poor decisions.

If you can hire — or start the hiring process — before a peak season, you cut down on these issues. No one has a crystal ball, but many companies do have business analytics. Look at your data to answer questions such as:

  • Do you usually experience a peak at certain times of the year?
  • Are there market forces at work that might lead to a likely peak?
  • Does your business have a new service line or product coming out that could drive up production needs?

The more you know about your business and the market, the better able you are to predict potential peak seasons so you can plan ahead. And the earlier you start, the less crunch there will be when hiring time comes. 

hire immigrant talent

Peak seasons for you may be peak seasons for the competition. Everyone scaling up hiring at the same time can quickly drain the local or even regional talent pools. Hiring immigrants is a proven way to get around labour shortages. Immigrants often have many of the same or equivalent skills as Canadian-born talent, letting you bring newcomers into the fold to expand your workforce.

More than 20% of the population of Canada is foreign-born. By proactively addressing such audiences with your job post messaging, you can increase the number of potentially qualified candidates that apply. Making efforts to create inclusive onboarding and training processes can also help you keep top immigrant talent after recruiting and hiring.

cast a wider net with job postings

Whether you're looking to invest in immigrant workforces or you simply aren't getting enough applicants from your normal hiring channels, scaling up for peak season may require expanding your search. First, think about where you normally hire and where you don't. If you always use job boards, for example, consider other ways you might connect with talent, such as job fairs or new immigrant employment centres. Or, you can reach out to Randstad, where we have a huge database of pre-vetted candidates ready.

build your employer brand

Casting your net is obviously important when you're looking to hire, but consider this: Is your employer brand a beacon that brings the talent to you? A strong employer brand helps reduce the burden of hiring because it ensures people are looking to work with you, increasing the chance they'll see your job openings and apply.

Make sure you’re offering the right impression so candidates want to work for you. That means ensuring your company is attractive to candidates before and during the hiring process by taking actions such as:

  • Investing in employee morale. Word of mouth from your current employees can make a difference in how people in the community feel about your business and whether they're interested in working for you.
  • Writing inclusive job descriptions. Job postings that are welcoming to a wide variety of people help ensure all people who are qualified feel comfortable applying for and accepting a position from you.
  • Creating friendly, efficient onboarding processes. Make sure your onboarding and training processes work for everyone you hire, especially if you're hiring immigrants. You may need to make adjustments for factors such as language barriers or cultural differences.

work with a recruitment partner

International talent is a great way to address labour shortages for Canadian businesses. Download our guide to hiring immigrants to meet peak needs or other hiring requirements.

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