Five Tips To Help You Hire Temporary Holiday Workers

Holiday season also means hiring season for companies across the U.S. Right now, one hundred thousand seasonal workers are getting started with new jobs…and that’s just at Amazon. Meanwhile, enterprise-level companies like UPS, Kohl’s, Target and others are increasing their employee rosters by just as many workers, if not more.

Hiring temporary holiday workers

Small to mid-sized companies are getting in on the act too, especially in retail. Deloitte’s annual forecast for the holiday season projects retail sales to grow by as much as 5.6% from a year ago, and total holiday sales—excluding automobiles and gasoline—to reach $1.10 trillion between November 2018, and January 2019. The same report projects online sales to rise by as much as 22% during the period, translating to $134 billion.

Whether you’re a bustling downtown shop, a busy suburban outlet, or an online store, you’ll need people to help manage the volume.

The solution for many businesses is to hire seasonal workers. But what about the steps involved in recruiting, vetting, onboarding, and bringing them into your culture?

Below, you’ll find five tips to consider when you’re hiring temporary workers during the holidays.

 


Hiring can be tricky any time of year, especially in a candidate-driven hiring environment. Read our Spotlight, “Matching Your Recruiting Efforts with the Candidate’s Experience,” to gain valuable insight into ways you can enhance your recruiting efforts.

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Solve holiday staffing needs

There are plenty of reasons to hire temporary workers, whether it’s during the holidays or otherwise. They can help you add flexibility to scheduling, avoid paying overtime, and keep full-time staff from getting burned out. During the holidays, additional workers can help you handle seasonal demand.

Here are five tips to help you successfully bring temporary workers into your holiday employee mix.

1. Start early 

If this article is causing you anxiety, then it might be because you’re running a little behind on the hiring front. Don’t fret (but do keep in mind that next year, you might want to start a little sooner).

A good time to start the holiday hiring process is right around the end of the third quarter. For instance:

  • Whether you’re a manager or in HR, the end of the third quarter is a good time to check in with employees, and begin to prepare for any potential vacations that will create shortages.
  • You can also mark the end of Q3 as a good time to circle back to sales numbers from last holiday season, and revisit how well your staff handled an increase in customers and sales.

2. Consider working with a staffing agency

For many businesses, this is the most important tip when it comes to hiring during the holidays. They’ve already decided that a staffing agency is the way to go when they need to hire seasonal workers

  • A staffing agency generally pre-screens the employees they place, which can help you ramp up quickly with qualified workers.

However, staffing agencies often come with a cost. They often charge more than it would cost to hire the workers directly.

So, before you choose whether or not to work with a staffing agency, weigh the pros and the cons around costs.

3. Let employees know you’re looking for holiday help 

Do your current workers hold the key to help you fulfill your holiday staffing needs? It’s possible that they do. But you’ll never know if you don’t check with them first.

  • Checking with your current workers can be one of the top free ways to advertise a job opening.
  • A word-of-mouth candidate can bring the added benefit of already knowing about your company. They might have an inside view into your culture, and being familiar with someone on your staff might help smooth their transition into work. This can be particularly important when you consider tip #4.

4. Remember that culture matters

It’s okay to be intentional with holiday workers when it comes to your culture. Sure, some temporary hires will be less committed to your company and your culture than others. However, you still want to leave a positive brand impression on your temporary holiday hires.

  • Make sure that you and your team members express gratitude for their work. This might seem like a small thing, but it can pay dividends when your temporary employee reflects on your company, or posts an employee review on a job site such as Glassdoor.
  • Plenty of full-time employee start off as holiday workers. It’s possible that some of your holiday hires had been passively keeping an eye on your company, and saw a holiday job as a great way to get in.

5. Trust your applicant tracking system (ATS)

Your ATS can help make all the difference when you’re recruiting, hiring, and onboarding in a candidate-driven market. The same is true when you’re hiring holiday workers to help you solve seasonal demand.

  • Save time when you use your ATS to post seasonal job openings on job boards.
  • Lean on your ATS to create an application process that is simple for job seekers to complete and send.
  • Sync up your resume scoring system with your ATS to help filter resumes when they come in. This can be especially helpful when you receive dozens of resumes in a short amount of time.
  • Use your ATS as a go-to tool when your temporary holiday hires need to complete essential onboarding paperwork.

Many holiday hires will be gone from your employee roster by the middle of January. However, when the holiday hiring process is smooth for you and for temporary workers, you might discover that the ideal candidate for your next full-time position is already at a nearby work station, helping a customer, and enjoying the holiday season as a member of your team.


myStaffingPro’s applicant tracking software can help make the right hire, any time of year. The software supports the hiring process, from requisition through retention. Contact one of our representatives today, and find out how we can help you get more out of the hiring process.

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