According to NRF, the retail industry annually hires between 700,000 and 750,000 seasonal workers for the holiday season. There is no reason to think that 2016 will be any different, with many retailers already ramping up their recruiting efforts for the November and December sales push.
Having a successful holiday sales season is critical. For many retail categories, Thanksgiving and Christmas sales can make up as much as 30% of their annual revenues, with the peak season of other retailers taking place in the spring. However, for those retailers whose busy seasons do revolve around the holidays, a poor holiday season can be devastating, making it nearly impossible to hit annual targets.
While retailers can't control market conditions or the weather, they can control the productivity of the workforce during the big seasonal push by ensuring these workers have the access they need to training, tools, and systems on the first day or even prior to their first day, so that they can hit the ground running.
Technology delays can even cost retailers the very workers they spend so much time and effort to recruit, hire, and train. Unlike full-time employees that are likely to be more forgiving and not looking to make waves on day one, seasonal workers tend to develop less loyalty towards employers, making more likely to walk their resume across mall and accept a job at a competing store.
Yet, while seasonal workers are crucial to a successful season, the reality is that most HR and IT departments lack the automated tools and processes to quickly, efficiently, and securely create the necessary accounts in relevant point of sale (POS), product catalog, inventory system, online training, and company portals.
Bypass HR Delays with RapidIdentity
Modern IAM solutions, such as RapidIdentity, make it possible for hiring managers to provide network and system access to their seasonal workers on day one or even earlier. Traditional HR hiring processes are typically a linear series of activities that are executed as part of the employee onboarding process, with one of the last steps being a request for systems access. With modern IAM, the hiring manager can create the systems access a seasonal worker needs, so that this can be done at the same time that HR is wrapping up the requisite paperwork, training, and orientation.
Now, let’s look at two scenarios of how this is done using RapidIdentity’s Sponsorship Module.
Scenario One: Retailer Hires Seasonal Workers Directly
For retailers that do their own recruiting and hiring, corporate IT delegates the responsibility of creating a system account directly to a local store’s hiring manager. The store manager then fills out a simple form in RapidIdentity’s Sponsorship module; inputs each worker’s first name, last name, and department; lists him or herself as the sponsor; and adds the contract end date. This last piece of information is critical to ensuring each worker’s account is terminated when they leave the company, and all access to applications and systems is deprovisioned, eliminating the chance of leaving orphaned accounts open.
Once the Sponsorship form is submitted, the hiring manager receives an email with the account credentials for the worker. Pre-established business rules automatically grant the correct system and application entitlements based on the worker’s designed role. So, on day one, or really even weeks in advance, the hiring manager is able to provide the seasonal worker with temporary login credentials. Once the initial login is completed and new passwords are created, all granted systems are pre-populated in RapidPortal, a federated single-sign-on portal.
Yes, it really is that easy. There is simply no need to wait on HR to complete all of their processes before sending a technology access request to IT. With RapidIdentity, it just happens, effortlessly and without the involvement of IT. Once the HR process has been completed and the seasonal worker is added to the corporate employee system, RapidIdentity can be configured to automatically identify the new account and merge it with the person’s existing sponsorship account, preventing the creation of duplicate accounts in downstream systems.
Scenario Two: Retailer Hires Through a Staffing Agency
For retailers who lack the luxury of their own internal recruiting resources, RapidIdentity can also grant zero day access to seasonal workers recruited and hired by staffing agencies. In this case, the retailer has a single contract with the staffing agency, and there’s a good chance the retailer’s HR is completely hands-off when it comes to these seasonal workers’ onboarding.
Once again, the hiring manager uses the RapidIdentity Sponsorship Module to generate an account for each employee, which automatically provisions all of their pre-defined system access, as in the first scenario.
The difference in this scenario is that the seasonal workers are not paid directly by the retailer, which means there will not be an existing system of record in the retailer’s HR HRMS or any other department. However, RapidIdentity can be configured to act as the authoritative information system of record for these seasonal workers, as well as any other external system users, such as contingent workers, partners, and contractors. RapidIdentity provides the staffing organization the delegated ability to create those accounts and assign them to the appropriate retail store manager through the Sponsorship module.
And, as is the case for regular employees, the full identity lifecycle for each worker can be completely automated, including provisioning, deprovisioning, and identity management changes, such as adding new roles and making group access-level changes. All activities associated with each account are captured for audit purposes, including the date, time, and approver of each entitlement granted.
In both scenarios, system access can easily be granted on day one—or even weeks before—without any involvement or delays from HR or IT. And, with RapidIdentity’s time-based expirations and one-click revocations, the moment a seasonal worker’s contract expires or is terminated, all system and application access is removed. No orphaned accounts. No ex-employees with system access.
Benefits of a Zero-Day Onboarding with RapidIdentity
- Improved employee onboarding experience, which reduces seasonal worker defection and turnover.
- No orphaned accounts or entitlement creep, thanks to automated deprovisioning based on role / group changes and time-based expiration.
- Workers hit the ground running, with system access the minute they arrive.
- Hands-free account creation and system access for IT.
- Reduced Help Desk call volume due to SSO and end user password resets.
- Increased strong authentication options for seasonal workers with privileged accounts.
Maximize Your Holiday Sales with Zero-Day Access for Your Season Workers
RapidIdentity makes zero-day system access possible by circumventing painfully slow and error-prone manual HR and IT onboarding processes, while providing full visibility and oversight into all accounts and access created, modified, and revoked. As a result, office, warehouse, and local store floor workers and managers are immediately contributing to a retailer's top and bottom line.