What staff do you need for the Christmas peak?

With Salmon predicting that Black Friday is set to become the UK’s first ever £1bn online shopping day, iForce expects to despatch around 146,000 items on that one day alone, which represents a year-on-year rise of 23.5%.

PeopleTo achieve this iForce is almost quadrupling its workforce from its permanent number of 750 colleagues to around 2600, taking on around 1,850 temporary warehouse colleagues to reinforce operations ahead of increased activity during Black Friday and in the lead up to Christmas itself.

The additional warehouse colleagues will be spread across iForce’s operations with each one undergoing an initial two-day induction programme delivered by iForce’s dedicated Training Academy. This will include instruction on how to process the 450,000 item returns that iForce estimates will flow from this year’s Black Friday sales alone.

What plans do you have for the coming peak season? Are you asking your existing employees to work longer hours and perhaps commit to extra hours at the weekends or will you be taking on additional staff? Will you rely on family and friends to help out, recruit from gumtree or use traditional employment agencies?

For smaller businesses it’s tempting to simply work every hour of the day and half the night as well, but driving yourself into the ground might not be the most sensible strategy. At some point every business will need an extra pair of hands so make sure you know where you’ll be getting help from before it’s too late.