On Work and Scheduling

Nothing makes the year seem shorter than it is than doing a work schedule. Specifically, four weeks’ worth of schedules, taking us from Labor Day until the first of October. It’s not even the end of August, and I can tell you who will be working when on October 1st. Working the schedule that far out made sense–the last week of the month we’re holding our annual managers’ conference in Las Vegas–and I wanted to put at least some ideas for that week on paper to allow me time to think about how best to staff the store that week.

For that matter, nothing makes you realize your hiring needs than doing four weeks’ schedules.
I wouldn’t consider my hiring needs urgent, but when your staff consists mainly of college students your scheduling flexibility drops to almost nil once the semester starts. And yet. Somehow I’ve managed to staff the store the next weeks creatively, perhaps even artistically. It’s like Tetris, fitting the blocks together adroitly as they fall.

The one hole I have, the one hole I need to fill, is on Thursdays. Other than myself and my assistant I have no one available on Thursdays.

Some managers look upon hiring as a chore. It’s not, not if approached with an open mind, a patient mind. All too often managers starting looking for people when they need people because someone quit, was fired, got sick, took another job, et cetera. That’s the wrong time to begin the hiring process because a manager is in desperate straits at that point, because a manager will hire just to fill the spot rather than evaluate his needs, short and long-term, and plan accordingly.

I’ve conducted several interviews in the past two or three weeks. I told one applicant today I was taking a pass on his application. I have two calls tomorrow to make–people I won’t be offering positions. I’ve had two promising applicants–one I need to call tomorrow to set up a second interview, the other isn’t immediately available. Hiring, it’s a never-ending battle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *