Regardless of whether there’s an inflatable turkey in your yard or an elf of your shelf, holidays captivate us. We surrender to a flurry of activities and greater spending. For employers that expect to drive margin-increasing sales this holiday season, providing stellar customer service is essential. That’s why creating a strategic seasonal hiring and onboarding plan is smart business.

With these 7 strategies for holiday hiring, you’ll quickly discover how to attract stellar employees who learn faster, perform better, and sell more.

1.  Take a fresh look at your hiring process. Like any behavior that becomes routine, seasonal hiring practices can become stale. Don’t get caught in the trap of, “Last year, we did it this way.” Experience can be a great teacher, but observing current market trends and staying relevant may be your key to hiring success this holiday season.

2.  Revisit your staffing goals. Carefully review your seasonal hiring needs. Maybe this year you need more emphasis on greeting customers. Or do you need more problem solvers to assist guests with questions or returns? Understanding your specific needs will guide you in selecting the people who will best serve your customers.

3.  Treat every applicant like a customer. The image you project during the hiring process makes a powerful statement about your business. Today’s applicants expect more. Why not give them a truly engaging, interactive experience that highlights your company and values? Applicants that are engaged and excited about your company are more likely to connect with your customers—and they’re more likely to become customers themselves!

4.  Put your best screening tools first. Hiring includes a series of steps. And not all steps are equal. Often businesses make poor hiring decisions simply because their steps are out of sequence. For the best results, place the most accurate and objective tools first. Even if those tools have a higher direct cost, you’ll save more in the long run by pinpointing the best candidates early on.

5.  Save time and expand access to quality applicants. If you’re spending hours conducting phone or in-person screening interviews, you’ll likely be burned out by Thanksgiving. No shows, delays, and over-runs add to the stress and hassle of interviewing. Virtual interviews are a new and effective solution that will expand your access to quality candidates and let you take control of your time, schedule, and results.

6.  Switch to just-in-time learning. With the holidays just around the corner, you can’t rely on traditional training to get your people up and running quickly. Classroom training and “information dumps” just don’t cut it when you have limited time to introduce new employees to your company, processes, and products. With simulation-based learning tools, new hires can practice and perfect their skills with virtual customers before they ever interact with your real According to Chief Learning Officer magazine, simulations help people master content and new behaviors 40-70 percent faster than with traditional training methods.

7.  Don’t miss hidden potential. With every hiring push comes an equal opportunity for current staff to shine. Yes, hiring is your primary goal, but why not seize the opportunity to discover and develop leadership potential? Once your seasonal hires are on the job, be sure someone is watching for people with superstar potential!

With a relevant and strategic hiring plan in place, you can relax this holiday season, knowing that each of your employees has what it takes to improve service, boost sales, and dazzle your customers.