Need Help for the Holidays? Your Guide to Seasonal Hiring


If you own a small business, chances are your sales and workload will see an increase ahead of the holiday season. According to Deloitte, an estimated total of more than $1.5 trillion will be spent during the 2023 holiday season. If you are considering adding additional support during this peak season, here are some tips to find the right temporary talent:

It All Starts with a Job Description

One of the biggest challenges to avoid is a lack of clarity on employment terms. You want to make sure only candidates looking for temporary employment are applying, which saves you from an awkward conversation later about ending the position. Make sure to include the words “seasonal”, “holiday”, or “temporary” in the job title to appear in a keyword search by those looking for this type of position. It is important to also include the specific dates for when the position will begin and end, so that applicants can set appropriate expectations and can plan accordingly for work opportunities after the holiday season. Since these positions will be short-term, be sure to list any specific skills you would like applicants to bring, in order to save time on lengthy training.

Using the Right Recruitment Methods

Because seasonal employment carries a sense of urgency, it is important to pursue avenues of recruitment with more immediate results. Consider sharing the position on sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed, but also consider more informal methods of recruitment to target candidates more specifically with your required skills. Post the job description in local Facebook groups centered on interests that your company aims to serve or groups specifically for people seeking entry-level employment.

Understand that Seasonal and Traditional Hiring are Different

As mentioned, seasonal hiring requires more specific and urgent tactics than traditional hiring might. To avoid acclimation periods and time-consuming training, hire employees with background experience especially similar to the role. By reaching more specific audiences outside of LinkedIn, you can better screen for relevant experience. It is also important to find ways to speed up the onboarding process. Communicate with candidates your sense of urgency when providing offer letters and next steps. Finally, aim for candidates with no current employment, to avoid the two-week window they might need to separate from previous employers.

Conducting Interviews for Seasonal Candidates

With the holidays quickly approaching, substitute lengthy, multiple-step interview processes for more intentional conversations to ask relevant questions. This allows unchosen candidates the ability to pursue other opportunities in time for the holidays, and it maximizes your time as a business owner looking only for a temporary fit, rather than long-term potential. Ensure that you clarify the temporary nature of the position with specific dates, and provide all employment information, including pay, schedule and responsibilities, upfront. Understanding the unique nature of recruitment for seasonal work will position your small business for support and success during this peak consumer period.


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