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‘Tis the Season for Seasonal Workers: How to Hire Them

‘Tis the Season for Seasonal Workers: How to Hire Them

The holiday season is just around the corner, and many organizations are gearing up. Whether your organization is preparing to hire seasonal workers in the next few weeks or you’re already knee-deep in the hiring process, it can feel overwhelming and different compared to hiring full-time employees. Here is everything your organization needs to know about seasonal workers and how to hire them.  



What Is a Seasonal Worker?

Seasonal work is a form of temporary employment that happens at certain times, “seasons” of the year. Seasonal workers are typically hired for a window of time to help during busy periods. Seasonal work can span from a couple of weeks to months, depending on the need. 

From the beginning of employment, both the organization and the employee are under the same understanding that the role is not long-term. However, some organizations will hire seasonal workers full-time after the season if they are a good fit. 

The most common time to see seasonal workers is during the holidays at the end of the calendar year. Many businesses, especially the retail industry, are seeing an increase in sales during these times and need extra hands to manage the volume.


What Are Seasonal Workers Looking for from Your Organization?

According to Snagajob’s hiring report, there are roughly two job openings for every job seeker in the US, furthering the pressure on organizations to bring their A-game to recruitment tactics. 

The best way to recruit new hires is to be aware of, and tailor offerings to, what job seekers are looking for. Here are the top benefits seasonal workers reported they are looking for:


  • 69% reported that a seasonal job that offers weekly payouts is enticing.
  • 62% say flexible scheduling is important.
  • 51% would be drawn in by a signing bonus at the start of their employment.
  • 37% would like an opportunity for an end-of-season performance bonus, and 46% would like consideration for a permanent role post-season.
  • 35% are looking for a company discount on products and services.
  • 25% said they are looking for shift meals as an added benefit.


While some of these benefits may feel simple, they can be seen as going the extra mile for potential job seekers. The demand for extra income is at an all-time high with inflation, putting pressure on organizations to provide for their employees, seasonal or full-time.


Tips for Hiring Seasonal Workers

Whether your organization hires seasonal workers every year or is new to the game, there is much to consider throughout the recruitment process. Here are some tips when hiring seasonal staff to ensure a positive experience on both ends.

  • If your organization hasn’t yet done so, it’s wise to start recruiting seasonal workers for the holidays now to get ahead of the curve. Hiring new team members early in the season allows for extra wiggle room to onboard and train properly before they dive right into their work. Plus, recruiting can take time, so it’s wise to account for it. 
  • When hiring, especially during a busy season, it’s important to stay organized with each step. Having a digital hub like BerniePortal’s Applicant Tracking System makes it easy and efficient for hiring managers to read through resumes, communicate with applicants, and move them through each hiring phase. An organized recruitment process not only takes a load off of HR’s plate but is convenient for applicants. 
  • Since seasonal job openings can vary slightly from full-time job postings, it’s crucial to be clear in job postings about what your organization is looking for. Include the hours needed, how much they will be compensated and how often they will be paid out, the length of the seasonal job, and anything else the job seeker may want to know upfront. Being clear from the start will waste less time finding a perfect fit. 
  • Once the season has passed, take the time to reassess and reflect on how things went for your organization. Your team may want to review the return on investment when hiring seasonal workers. You may also assess whether to hire any of your seasonal workers full-time, should you have open positions on your org chart. Seasonal work is a great way to get to know an employee and their work ethic before making a long-term commitment.  


Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics

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