Your Go-To Guide for Seasonal Hiring & Hiring During the Holidays

The holiday season comes with its unique set of challenges. From managing a calendar full of year-end get-togethers to staying motivated with a less-than-full tank, it can be a demanding time. For some businesses, the holidays mark their high season, and their biggest challenge is hiring as many helping hands as possible ahead of the holidays. However, for other organizations, maintaining your recruiting process during the holiday lull can be particularly challenging.

While it may initially seem difficult to navigate holiday hiring challenges – whether they come before or during the actual holidays – it does not have to be a daunting task. In fact, it can be quite beneficial to boost your recruitment strategy leading up to the holiday rush and continue hiring through December. With some strategic planning and creative approaches, the holidays can be a fantastic opportunity to attract and hire both temporary and full-time candidates.

Here are the best practices experts recommend to help you navigate hiring and the holiday season.

Seasonal Hiring and Recruiting

Alison Roller, HR Morning, in Hiring for the Holidays: What to Know About Seasonal Hiring in 2022

On getting the most out of seasonal hiring, Roller with HR Morning shares “In a volatile world, seasonal hiring is a weighty decision. Use these three tips to make the seasonal hiring experience good for your company and seasonal workers.

  • “Make a good impression: The holidays can get hectic and seasonal workers may feel isolated or disconnected from the company during their time. A whopping 83% of workers report they won’t return to their previous seasonal job, according to a report from Snagajob. Treat holiday workers with respect and cultivate a welcoming environment to make sure they come back next year.
  • “Know what workers want: To attract top talent, it’s important to understand what seasonal workers want out of an employer. Seasonal workers in 2022 want benefits like weekly payouts, flexible scheduling, sign-on bonuses and potential for permanent hire, according to Snagajob.
  • “Prioritize the candidate experience: A good candidate experience is essential to attracting top talent, so you may want to consider streamlining your seasonal hiring process to help the application process and interviewing go as smoothly as possible.”

Stephanie Vozza, Square Up, in How To Hire Holiday Help for Your Store

Taking a look at retail store rushes during the holidays, Vozza with Square Up shares, “Most retailers look forward to the spike in sales the holidays usually bring. Whether your business is brick and mortar, online, or somewhere in between, hiring seasonal workers can help you serve your customers better during the holiday rush.”

Vozza also  provides the following helpful tips for seasonal hiring in retail:

  • Include holiday-specific details
  • Post positions early
  • Use social media
  • Ask for employee referrals
  • Identify the right candidates
  • Flexibility
  • Experience
  • Enthusiasm
  • Create a post-hiring onboarding plan

Rudri Bhatt Patel, Legal Zoom, in Tips and Tricks for Holiday Hiring

Patel with Legal Zoom explains, “Holiday seasonal hiring was for decades a simple process—people needed extra income, and companies needed more employees for the busiest shopping season. Retailers are anticipating a high need for seasonal employees while some businesses are also expecting worker shortages.”

Patel lists the following tips from experts:

  • Post your job ads as early as September
  • Leverage your current roster
  • Set clear expectations
  • Use your employees’ network
  • Prepare for the worst
  • Don’t skip training
  • Focus on transferable skills
  • Eliminate onboarding obstacles
  • Emphasize safety

Lin Grensing-Pophal, SHRM, in Holiday Best Practices 

Looking at seasonal hiring and how to be a great place to work all year long, Grensing-Pophal with SHRM shares “First and foremost, organizations need to take steps—year-round—to ensure they are great employers. That’s foundational to being able to attract and retain talent and will go a long way toward ensuring that job offers are accepted. There are also some additional steps that companies are taking this year to beat the competition for seasonal talent.”

Grensing-Pophal also speaks to the following must-haves:

  • Cast a wide net
  • Speed up the hiring cycle
  • Consider what you can do to sweeten the pot
  • Retain staff throughout the season
  • Minimize compliance risks

Ajay Aadhithya Chandrasekaran, ZOHO, in A Guide to Seasonal Hiring for the Hiring Season

Chandrasekaran with ZOHO provides tips and insights on beefing up your team during the busy season – whether that is a temporary employee or a short-term employee — stating, “Every business in your locality will be looking for workers, and some of them are bigger brands with a longer reach and deeper pockets. To attract the best talent to work for you, you need a plan.”

Some of the ways Chandrasekaran shares to plan successful seasonal hiring are:

  • Identify who you need and what you need from them
  • Start early
  • Go where they are
  • Have an onboarding procedure
  • Let them go with gratitude

Claire Hastwell, Great Place To Work, in 4 Ways to Engage and Motivate Seasonal Workers

Hastwell with Great Place to Work speaks to the issue of being understaffed during the holiday season stating, “Retailers must reform how they engage and motivate seasonal staff. Since many businesses are currently understaffed, even before the holidays begin this year, treating seasonal employees well could be a golden opportunity for longer-term hiring and employee retention.”

Hastwell provides these four tips for inspiring your contract workers this holiday season:

  • Connect seasonal employees to a purpose
  • Let seasonal employees know there is an opportunity for growth
  • Recognize great work
  • Be flexible

Vivian Wang, FSR Magazine, in 7 Tips for Hiring During Holidays 

On seasonal hiring, Wang with FSR Magazine shares, “It’s already one of the toughest labor markets in decades, and restaurants—already struggling to staff enough for typical days—are now faced with staffing up even further in anticipation of holiday traffic that has already started. Seasonal hiring is especially competitive, as some employers temporarily increase pay rates and offer other types of benefits in order to attract temporary seasonal workers.”

Wang gives these 7 tips for efficient and productive seasonal hiring:

  • Respond to inbound interest from candidates immediately
  • Get them in for an interview within 24-36 hours of first touch
  • Provide hiring managers with talking points on how to sell the company and the role
  • The interview is the chance for you to sell them on your company
  • Give candidates an offer on the spot
  • Personally call candidates who inquire but then don’t respond
  • Ask your current team members for referrals

Our Top Takeaways for Seasonal Hiring

If you’re hiring seasonal help, our experts consistently recommend these best practices:

  • Start your recruiting process early
  • Be prepared with interview agendas
  • Prioritize a positive candidate experience
  • Provide timely feedback to candidates
  • Ensure there’s a well-prepared onboarding process
  • Think about long term goals and opportunities

Recruiting and Hiring During the Holidays

Kelsey Banerjee, Zenefits, in 6 Tips for Recruiting During the Holidays

“For companies in growth cycles, time off during the holidays is absolutely an interruption. Not a bad one — but one nonetheless. And holiday recruiting becomes more of a burden than a solution. Not only are in-house recruiters or hiring managers going out of town, but potential candidates also have limited availability.” But Banerjee goes on to share, “The good news is that holiday hiring can actually be easier. Whether you are seeking seasonal workers or talent for a long-term position, holiday recruiting is often less competitive and attracts savvy job seekers.”

Banerjee’s 6 tips for hiring during the holidays are:

  • Start early
  • Be clear and flexible about availability
  • Have patience with yourself and your team
  • Consider same day offers
  • Design attractive offers
  • Prepare for the new year

RecruitCRM, in 5 Best Ways to Supercharge Your Recruiting Strategy in December

On hiring during the holidays, RecruitCRM notes, “December is usually slow for the recruitment industry owing to Christmas and New Years. But does this mean your hiring needs to pause? Not necessarily. Consider this time to be a GOLDEN opportunity! Why? Because this period is usually when most candidates chalk out their plans for the next year, are in search of jobs, or looking to switch jobs in search of better opportunities.”

RecruitCRM lists these 5 ways to supercharge hiring during the holidays:

  • Utilize the free time in hand to interview job prospects
  • Kickstart an employee referral program
  • Use the minimal recruiting competition to your advantage
  • Build a candidate pool of freshers (fresh college graduates)
  • Bring social media into play

Mark Lerner, Media Bistro, in Why You Should Hire During the Holidays

Lerner suggests, “The holidays are actually a great time of year to hire—not just from a business perspective, but from a psychological perspective. As the end of the year approaches, people’s mindsets shift in a way that can be incredibly helpful for recruiting”.

Lerner explains these psychological mindsets that cant benefit you when hiring during the holidays and at year-end:

  • The “pressure to perform” mindset
  • The “good news” mindset
  • The “life reflection” mindset
  • The “holiday party” mindset

Fuze HR in 6 Reasons Why December Is The Best Time for Recruiting

Fuze HR on recruiting during the holidays, “December is the month to take action while the recruiting competition is low. During the holiday season, you might notice activities in the offices are starting to slow down. Most of the people, including recruiters, work activity will slow down and their working pattern will change for the month.”

Here are the 6 reasons why December is the best time for recruiting according to Fuze HR:

  • Some firms do not hire in December
  • Employed individuals are more likely to rethink their future at this time of the year
  • Hiring managers are less active, so the hiring decision will take forever
  • Fewer events are scheduled during the month, so prospects are more available
  • Prospects are easier to contact when everyone is active on social media
  • December is the month of “easy excuse month” for candidates

Robert Half, in Why Recruiting in December Can Give You a Competitive Edge

“The job market in fact heats up significantly in December, with a surge in the number of jobseekers who want to make a fresh start in the New Year. This presents a big opportunity for employers who want to recruit top talent – and in the process, get a step ahead of their competition.”

So what are the top reasons Robert Half thinks make December a great time to boost recruitment activities?

  • Less intense competition
  • More free time
  • Time for a change
  • Increased social media use
  • Leftover budget

Simon Royston, The Recruitment Lab in Ten Reasons to Keep Recruiting In December

While some find December to be a time to wind down and celebrate the holidays, Royston shares these ten reasons to keep hiring during the holidays:

  • Less recruitment competition
  • Not everyone celebrates Christmas
  • Candidates have increased availability
  • Candidates are considering their options
  • You could be about to experience a reduced headcount
  • Social media activity peaks
  • Candidates want a job before Christmas
  • Hiring managers have improved flexibility
  • Better inductions for new starters
  • When was recruitment part-time?

NederliaWhy You Should Be Actively Recruiting in December

“December is actually a great time to actively recruit for new tech talent. Candidates have more time, are badly in need of a pay raise and your competition isn’t recruiting – a perfect trio of reasons to get your recruit on.”

Nederlia lists why you should be actively hiring during the holidays with these points:

  • You’ve got less competition
  • Candidates are more accessible
  • Christmas shopping is taking its toll
  • Candidates are more open to change
  • Connections are all around

Our Top Takeaways for Hiring During the Holidays

Our experts consistently recommend these best practices for hiring during the holidays.

  • Start early to get ahead of competition
  • Leverage your contacts and connections
  • Utilize social media platforms
  • Take advantage of the lull and use your free time efficiently
  • View the New Year as a fresh start

Need help with your hiring and recruiting initiatives this holiday season?

Remember, the key to successful seasonal hiring and hiring during the holidays lies in planning ahead, being flexible, shifting your mindset, being transparent, and adopting innovative strategies. It’s also a time to ensure your goals are in place before going into the holiday season.

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