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Top 3 pieces information to ask returning workers in 2022

Introduction

Make sure you collect the right information

Ask about starting times, roles and get general feedback

Track responses in spreadsheets

Tracking all your workers’ responses

Conclusion



Introduction

We know that locking in returning workers will be a critical part of your seasonal hiring plan. But how much information do you need to get from a worker in order to secure them for the season? Turns out, you only need three pieces of information. And one of those may not be for every employer.


The more questions the worker needs to answer, the higher the risk they will not respond at all. In this post, we explain that locking in returnees is about knowing when people are available and which jobs they want to do. Once you have this key data, you can simply send them a link to PICMI which gathers their personal, bank and IRD details and signs them up to lock them in.

We cover the data you need and the steps to follow based on what real growers use. To help you design your own approach, we’ve also included a diagram, email templates and spreadsheet templates to help you track the responses and combinations.

What/Who are Returning Seasonal Workers?

Are they different from non-returning (new) workers?

What are benefits of re-hiring (versus hiring)?


Make sure you collect the right information

One of the most significant distinctions between returning and new employees is that your primary interest is in their availability and what job they want. You will have assessed their suitability and eligibility to work when you previously employed them. Assuming none of those conditions have changed, you now know they can do the job.


Once you know who wants which job, PICMI can take care of the paperwork by sending a link to their email address.


Let’s quickly work through an example so you can see how it all fits together.



Ask about starting times, roles and get general feedback

Example: you are a grower who has people starting in one of two periods (in this case November and December) and also you need to know which role (of two) they want. That's two simple questions that lead to four options. You also want to get any feedback for improvements.


Asking for feedback on improvements may seem unusual but it can:

  • alert you to reasons that people may be reluctant to return

  • tell you what workers are being offered elsewhere

  • show workers that their opinion matters which means they are more likely to turn up and to stay.

Knowing that someone doesn't want to work is just as important so that you don't waste time. So we need to know if the person doesn’t want to come back and also, just in case, provide the option to be contacted again in the following season.


Take a look at the data (values) we capture when contacting a person to invite them to return. A couple of small questions that provide a lot of business knowledge.



Summary of Information to gather

Name

Question

Values

Description

Interest

When are you available to start?

November December Sorry, next season I’m not coming back No response

These answers (first four) come from the worker. The last is from tracking the person.

Role

What role do you want this season?

Thinner/Picker

Thinner/Packer


These answers come from the worker if they have selected that they want to come back.

Feedback

We are always looking at ways to be better

This answer comes from the worker but there may be no answer—usually there is!

Track responses in spreadsheets


Regardless of the approach, the data you need to save looks a spreadsheet and you need to record:


  • Person

  • Contact details

  • When contact was made

  • Answers to all the questions


Tracking all your workers’ responses

Some people like lists and some people like diagrams. So we’ve included a diagram of all of the combinations of all the responses our example is gathering. This might help you design your own approach. Just remember that often every new question adds more complexity. So think carefully before including in order to keep your approach simple. Take a look and see if that makes sense and then let’s get into the three ways you can do this!


Conclusion

Returning seasonal workers can be a great asset to your business, but it's important to make sure you're collecting the right information. In this post, we’ve outlined three pieces of explicit information to gather but also shown that tracking contact (or the inability to) is also important. To put this into action, read about three different ways to collect this information and select the right approach for you.


PICMI perfectly fits with locking in these workers because it enables you to export details on your previous workers. Once you have contacted your workers, PICMI also sends a large volume of email invites to sign up returning workers. Finally, it allows you to track who has accepted and how many vacancies are remaining.


Good luck, and let us know if we can help!