Businesses worldwide are slowly coming out of the pandemic and have laid all their hopes on the big shopping days this year. Despite the severe talent shortage, hiring managers have succeeded in staffing their stores to some extent. What most of them don't see coming their way is an employee pushing their resignation or, the worst, 'ghosting' during this busy season.

A Statistics Canada report released in 2021 stated that 22 percent of Canadian businesses surveyed expect "retaining skilled employees" will be the biggest obstacle over the next three months. The sectors most concerned about retention were retail (32%), accommodation and food (31%).

As scary as it sounds, managers need to be prepared during these unpredictable situations and still hit their seasonal revenue goals.

Here are 4 ways to be better prepared for your high turnover months

1. Create a positive employee experience

Sometimes, businesses can get very busy doing everything but creating a rewarding experience for their employees. The busy season can burn out employees, some feeling tired or having little energy to concentrate at work. To build a great employee experience, you need to understand what matters the most to your people. During these unprecedented times, workers are increasingly looking for ways to develop emotional connections between social distancing and feelings of isolation. Mental health thus becomes an inevitable and a priority factor to consider. 

A great employer identifies these behavioural patterns and creates extraordinary experiences at the workplace. Yes, these are 'great' revenue months, but never without a great team.

2. Compensate fair

Here is the easiest way to see this 'keep their salary and benefits competitive, and they will not explore other employment options.' How is this a surprise? 

In 2021, we are seeing an increase in labour wage rates from 10% to 40%. Unfortunately, signing bonuses or hourly premiums based on attendance won't compensate for wage increases. If you're not paying your employees reasonably, expect them to be gone before you know it. 

3. Develop a robust potential candidate pipeline

What is the likelihood of an employee leaving during your busy season? Do you have a structured plan to face a high employee turnover and still beat your sales targets? These are the questions every business should ask themselves.

It's essential to build a robust and reliable candidate pipeline in advance to compensate during your high turnover period. Today, the candidate turn-around time is more than ever, and opening jobs in advance for your high-volume titles helps balance an unexpected turnover. A vetted and robust candidate pipeline is not just for a busy season but can be leveraged anytime during the year to cover up talent shortage. 

4. Improve your hiring process

Every effective hiring process should identify the hiring needs, establish clear goals, understand the Quality Candidate Profile (QCP), and hire candidates that are the right fit for the role within the expected timelines. 

One of the most common issues leading to employee retention comes with hiring poor candidates. Vetting candidates considering their employment history and clarifying what to expect from their role can help reduce disruptions. Having a structured and purposeful hiring process can help employers nip this problem in the bud. 

We are in the job-seekers market today. Businesses need to understand the risk that comes with it. Having a solid candidate pipeline to compensate employee resignations and terminations will help overcome the extra cost of overtime labour, advertising, background checks, and reduced productivity. 

An unexpected turnover is beyond the control of any business, and all they can do is be prepared.