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Hiring Seasonal Employees for the Holidays

Holiday staffing can be  challenging for business owners. However, retail stores that hire holiday employees  see a 30 percent increase in sales. In some industries, the problem is filling in for staff that need time off during the holiday season. Hiring holiday help can keep things running smoothly during the busiest time of year.

There is more to hiring holiday help than just putting people on the payroll. They need to go through training, as well, so they can perform their jobs well during a season that comes with heavy traffic. Consider some tips for hiring holiday employees to get you started.

What Is a Seasonal Employee?

A seasonal employee works temporarily to meet an organization’s needs during a specific time of year. For most businesses, a seasonal employee means working over the holiday season at the end of the year.

Niche businesses such as Halloween costume stores might consider their “season” to be August through October. Regardless of when you require seasonal work, hiring extra staff can help prevent shortages and keep workflow at its optimal.

Types of Seasonal Work

Seasonal work doesn’t have to mean working in a store selling clothes or at a register. There are several potential seasonal jobs available during the holiday season. For example:

  • Personal shopper – People hire others to do the shopping for them based on the information they provide. It’s a practical role for someone who loves to shop, especially high-end.
  • Gift wrapper – Retail stores often hire a crew specifically to wrap gifts. They may offer the service as a perk for shopping with them, or it may be a paid option. Gift wrappers may also put together gift sets for retail sales.
  • Photographer – Stores need someone who can take holiday pictures, usually of kids or families at holiday scenes such as Santa and his Elves.
  • Sales associates – Retail stores will also look to add to their sales teams. The job might involve working directly with customers, stocking shelves, and checking customers out. Some stores will also bring in customer service representatives to take returns and answer customer questions.
How to Hire Seasonal Workers

It is never too early to start planning for hiring seasonal employees. An excellent place to start is close to home.

Reach Out to Employees and Favored Customers

Stores hiring holiday help can put feelers out with their current employees to see if they know anyone looking for seasonal work. They may have family or friends who are job seekers that they can recommend. Short-term seasonal roles can lead to more permanent employment.

Businesses hiring holiday help might also touch base with past employees who left in good standing. For example, a woman who left to raise a family might be interested in picking up some holiday hours.

Also, put customers to work finding holiday staff. If you have a VIP newsletter or email list, send notices that you are looking for staff to cover your busy season and give them information about the hiring process.

Use the Internet

Technology allows much of the job search to be conducted via the internet. For example, you can host virtual holiday job fairs and post to job boards. Also, set up a page on the website for applying for seasonal jobs.

Put posts on social media highlighting the seasonal positions you need to fill. Use the posts to offer information about applying and the benefits of working for the company.

Don’t Overlook the Importance of a Background Check

Although stores are often focused on hiring part time workers with a short employment period, the importance of a retail store background check should not be overlooked. Seasonal staff are often tasked with handling inventory, cash registers, deposits, and customer experiences. Be sure to protect your business with quick, easy, and inexpensive retail store background checks from KarmaCheck. KarmaCheck allows you to get background check results instantly, rather than days or weeks with traditional background check services. This means that you can spend more time running your business and less time hiring!

How to Manage Seasonal Employees

Once the seasonal staff is in place, create a strategy to manage them.

Keep Training Focused

Train them with the seasonal workflow and needs in mind. Although they are usually hired as part-time employees, they are there to serve a specific purpose. Therefore, keep the training short and direct.

Make sure their training includes specific information about their roles as seasonal employees. What is the length of the assignment, for example? Give them Information about taxes, as well. Are they paid employees or contractors, for example? If the business hires contractors, ensure they understand their tax liability so there are no surprises.

Let Them Know You Value Them

Even though the training is short and sweet, businesses still need to recognize how important these individuals are to the company. Make sure they know their value and don’t treat them differently than the regular staff. Of course, they should have the same considerations, too, such as employee discounts.

Ideally, if they work out well for you this holiday season, you might bring them back for the next few. That makes hiring holiday help and training much more accessible.

Hiring seasonal employees can keep the business functioning well during the year’s busiest seasons. They play a critical role in business, and how you go about hiring them matters.


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