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3 Tips for Hiring Great Seasonal Employees

Human Resources

Whether you're in tourism or retail, many industries ebb and flow depending on the season. The increased demand may be welcome, but it can come with more work, especially when hiring and retaining seasonal employees.

What can help some businesses hire and retain great seasonal employees? One strategy is to think about the bigger picture.

Begin Preparing Months in Advance

If you know your busy season always happens in December, begin preparing at the end of the summer. This is the time to start thinking about questions like:

  • What are your busy season goals?
  • What types of roles/positions do you need to fill?
  • How can you streamline training to be both effective and fast?
  • What tax obligations will you have for these seasonal employees?

Beginning to answer these questions early can help you understand your needs before the season hits.

Focus on Sourcing the Right Candidates

You wouldn't go to the hardware store for milk. With seasonal workers, it's important to focus on going to the sources where you can find the best candidates for your type of business.

Think about the big picture for your recruiting. Where have you found your best hires? What has or hasn't worked for you?

Still stumped? Some online recruiting sites can be tailored to the seasonal market. In addition, local universities, community colleges, and high schools can be great resources.

Reaching out to career centers or guidance counselors can help you connect with potential talent to fit your business. And once you do start finding those candidates, remember to ask the right questions.

Plan for Potential

Seasonal hires fill a short term need, but these hires could also become a pool of potential talent for future positions. To find great performers, first be sure to define what good performance means to your business. Is it how they deal with customers? Do they need an ability to think on their feet? Determining both the tangible and intangible job-related factors can help you spot talent among these workers. By the end of the season you may have a better understanding of which people are best suited for a regular position with your company.

Second, be sure to let seasonal employees know there may be an opportunity for regular employment. You will likely not want to promise it at the beginning to all employees. You can, though, let the great performers know they may be considered for a regular role as positions open up.

Seasonal spikes in business can be a great opportunity for increasing revenue and profits. By thinking about the bigger picture for your business, you may have a greater ability to hire and retain the right seasonal employees for your business.


This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.