10 Tips for Hiring Seasonal Staff for the 2021 Holidays

Hire the right people for the holiday rush

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Are you preparing for the holiday season? Check out these 10 tips for hiring seasonal employees.

As the thermometer drops and the calendar flips over to fall, we realize it’s that time of year again. Time for another round of family gatherings, delicious foods, frenzied shopping and seasonal jobs to post. Despite the Great Resignation, hiring seasonal staff can be stress-free with a few tips.

It’s a groan-worthy task — we know — but this time you have this guide on how to pick the best seasonal employees to keep your ship running smooth.

First, picture the type of holiday workers you want to hire for a short period of time:

  • Is it a college student home for the holidays?
  • A parent looking to make some extra money for gifts and trips this season?
  • A retiree looking for something to do during the mornings?

Considering all of your possibilities helps narrow down the list of things you’ll need to fill these positions.

We know that hiring for the holidays can be overwhelming, so let’s break it into 10 easy steps.

1. Look for someone that represents your company’s culture

Even if they’re temporary, seasonal workers still need to work alongside your full-time employees. They represent your brand and reflect positively (or negatively) on your company. Try asking questions during the interview process that help you determine what type of person they are and how they will act with the rest of your staff. Ask your staff for questions on what they look for in an ideal coworker.

2. Think about your recruitment and interview process

Do you want to host a group or panel interview? Join in on a local job fair, or advertise solo? How many of these holiday workers do you want to retain for the regular season, if any? All of these questions help you prepare for what type of candidate you want to look for, how to advertise the position to them properly, and how to pick from the lot.

3. Make sure you’re advertising in the right place

A good job opportunity does nothing if no one can see it. Consider placing an ad on Facebook or Instagram to promote your job where there will be a higher rate of traffic. Try posting flyers and ads near or around community centers, colleges, high schools, or on websites such as Indeed, Monster, or SnagAJob.com.

4. Ask the employees you’ve already hired

Offer incentives and bonuses if their referral gets a seasonal job with you. You’ve already vetted your employees, so who would know better than them? 88% of employers rate employee referrals as their #1 source of quality candidates.

5. Make your application process mobile-friendly

Let’s face it, most of us are on our phone all day. It makes no sense for your application process to only be compatible with a desktop, or worse, traditional pen and paper.

6. Provide an employee discount

Everyone loves good perks with work, and selling your merch through a discount to these new employees comes as a bonus to you as well. If a discount is out of the equation for your business, try buying breakfast or lunch for your seasonal staff, or hosting a holiday party.

7. Consider hiring a retired seasonal worker

These employees won’t have the same restrictions that college students have, and they have a better chance of lasting on after the rush of the holiday season is over. Retirees offer a wide variety of skill sets and experiences that younger workers might not have been exposed to yet.

8. Offer more than minimum wage

In a competitive hiring market, more and more jobs are offering a higher hourly wage, which makes recruiting the right candidate tougher on the employer. The higher wage will also make it easier to retain these employees for longer or have them coming back for next season, which will save you time in the long run.

9. Start early!

We know this one speaks for itself, but starting early to find candidates puts you in line with more applicants. This will save you a lot of stress and headaches in the future when things get down to the wire.

10. Set expectations

Let seasonal workers know that long-term or permanent positions are available depending upon how well they performed at their job during the season. Offer a returning seasonal job for employees who have school restrictions, or who will be returning to the area around the same time the following year. This will save you time, money, and effort on finding a holiday worker next year.

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