The Parker Blog:

Why Seasonal Hiring Should be on Your Mind Now

Zoe Stamolis has been in the staffing industry for decades – and two of those decades alone have been right here with Parker. She’s our go-to expert on seasonal hiring, with many seasons managing our on-site program at Nintendo of America under her belt. When asked about her seasonal hiring plans for 2017, Zoe already has her ducks in a row. If your ducks aren’t even in the pond yet, let alone in a whole row, don’t panic. You can beef up your peak time hiring strategy with these tips from the master herself.

Where do you start when it comes time to build your seasonal hiring strategy?

“I start thinking about it immediately after peak season ends,” explains Zoe. “I keep track of the numbers revolving around each of our contact center classes – applicants, pre-screens, interviews, and hires – to create a ratio. This ratio is going to help me create benchmarks and goals for future hiring.”

Let’s break down the math…

So what does a hiring ratio end up looking like? It’s a quick calculation based on historical numbers that give you an idea of what you’ll need to produce for the next hiring round. For example, if in her last hiring round,

  • For every 100 applicants, she found 75 were qualified for a pre-screen call
  • From those calls, she found 50 made it to the interview process
  • From the 50 interviews her team conducted, she hired 25 customer service reps

Zoe’s ratio of applicants to hires here would be 4:1. If Zoe knows her ratio is 4:1, she can create tangible goals and key numbers to hit for herself and her team, based on the number of seats she needs to fill. In this example, to get her 25 hires, Zoe would need at least 100 applicants.

How do you think the current Seattle market is going to affect seasonal hiring in 2017?

“I have to increase my ratio tremendously, and work twice as hard for fewer candidates. As is true for most organizations seasonally hiring in the area, you’re going to see fall off. Expect it, and factor it into your strategy.  There’s just so much opportunity out there for job seekers right now. Unless you’re staying in constant contact with your candidates between the interview and hire stage, they’ll receive and take other job offers.”

Zoe quickly adds in a silver lining – “However, these people still offer opportunity by way of referrals. Take the minute to pick up the phone and ask them who they know. The best source for candidate referrals are people who already have jobs – whether they’re in your organization or not.”

What advice do you have for those either new to seasonal hiring or looking to change their seasonal hiring strategy?

“Constantly adjust,” says Zoe. “What we were doing here at Nintendo five years ago isn’t what we’re doing today. As time goes on, you must tweak your strategy to adjust to new technology and a new generation of workers.”

A strategy is a must, but where companies struggle is learning when to let go of a strategy that isn’t working anymore. Zoe continues, “You may have to adjust your strategy mid-peak. Do it. If it’s not working anymore, it’s okay to let go. The best thing you can be is flexible, so adjust and move forward.”

Where’s a good place to get inspired when your current recruiting tactics start to age? Zoe says the answer is in your top seasonal performers; Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask them questions like:

  • Are there specific websites you use / favor to look for work?
  • What motivates you to apply for specific roles over others?
  • What key information do you look for first in a job description?

Asking them questions allows you to build out a candidate profile; use this to your advantage to build out new, fresh tactics that may attract even more top performers to your organization.

How can staffing agencies aid companies with seasonal hiring needs?

In addition to the obvious benefits of saving a client time and resources – which correlates to saving money – Zoe says a true staffing partner will work hard to understand what the client’s ideal candidate looks like.

“It’s our business to understand and build a candidate profile and culture fit; we do this by visiting a client’s office, interviewing who they consider their top performing employees, and (in the case of a call center) listening in on some calls. It’s a staffing agency’s job to know exactly what the client is looking for; that way, we quickly hone in on the candidate search and discover the best hires for the organization.”


Whether it be filling seats in your call center to administrative vacation coverage, you don’t have to go into the busy holiday season alone. We have a strong track record of fulfilling peak hiring needs with organizations across the Seattle area – including Nintendo of America – so let us fulfill yours.

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