How to manage Christmas holiday requests at a recruitment agency?

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, we’re into December and you cannot walk 5 steps without hearing That song with Maria Carey warbling at full tilt…

Depending on the sector, the recruitment industry can be a challenging one at Christmas. If you’re in the Education sector then you may be one of the few who can put their feet up but spare a thought for those in the hospitality and catering industry – they can see a 40% increase in demand for temporary workers.  Construction sites typically shut down for a couple of weeks over the festive season but for some sites this is also a perfect time to get some project work completed. Transport networks often use the Christmas period to carry out essential maintenance works that are unable to be carried out when the lines are busy. Regardless of the industry, it’s a time of year with no norms and without an organised structure throughout the week, businesses can soon become affected.

Holiday Requests

One of the key issues at this time of the year is internal staff taking time off and workers and clients taking annual leave, just when you need them most!  We all like to take time off over the Christmas and New Year and as a recruitment agency, you will have the task of ensuring you work out a fair way to grant annual leave to your employees. Be proactive and check who has holiday remaining as oppose to waiting for holiday requests to roll in, but be sure to have a backup plan if you have to deny any incoming holiday requests. Alternatively, why not talk to the employee and see whether they are prepared to roll any remaining holiday over to 2018? 

Temporary Workers Sickness

Managing temporary workers sickness is also important – with an increase in office parties, after work drinks and general socialising you can often expect to see an increase in sore heads the following morning and you’re more than likely going to experience a spike in staff phoning in sick. This consequently causes a hit on your hours and profit margin! Be prepared for these phone calls and make sure all of your employees are aware of your company sick policy.

Paying Workers around Christmas 

Making sure workers are paid on time around Christmas can make or break an agency's  reputation and often the first thing to go wrong is ensuring time sheets are signed off.  Workers are often caught up in the festive buzz, after work drinks, parties, shopping or preparing themselves for Christmas that time-sheets are often put on the back-burner and as a result are not signed off in time. Whether you have an internal payroll function or use an outsourced back office function these departments have to stick to prescribed times to ensure payroll is completed. It’s important to send out a message well in advance, warning employees of payroll deadlines and payment dates to avoid the inevitable phone calls. We all know wages are an extremely emotive subject!

Manage Expectations

Being clear about holidays over the Christmas period at a recruitment agency, managing expectations and ensuring all employees follow the same sickness policy is vital for not only the workplace harmony but also the operation of the business.

Here at Quba Solutions, we offer an extensive range of services suitable for recruitment agencies such as managing payroll, back office solutions, and E-Timesheet functionality. Why not contact us today to discuss how we can we can support your agency over to the Christmas period.