Strategic Tips for Hiring Seasonal Employees

For companies experiencing seasonal peaks, recruiting effective temporary staff is more crucial than ever. Seasonal workers, meaning contractors and temporary part-time or full-time workers, are key players in the success of many sectors, including retail, tech and accounting — but let’s face it, finding qualified candidates for seasonal work can be challenging. Attracting, interviewing and onboarding temporary candidates happens along a faster timeline than traditional hiring, and it can certainly feel  overwhelming to bring on workers for a mere few months or a single project, but it doesn’t have to be. Managing the seasonal hiring quirks with an effective strategy will take the pressure off and put you in the running for acquiring top-notch talent.

Keep in mind that competition for seasonal workers remains significant in the Canadian labor market. The demand for flexible employment opportunities continues to be a major factor. To stay on top of current and detailed statistics, including those on temporary employment, consult the Labour Force Survey results provided by Statistics Canada. Updated monthly, these surveys offer valuable insights into employment trends that are crucial for strategic hiring planning.

Time is ticking so don’t let the best temporary hires get away. Finding the right seasonal workers is crucial for managing workload spikes during peak periods. Here’s how you can effectively search for and recruit the temporary talent you need:

Write a Clear Job Description

Fully describe the job in question. If it’s seasonal or contract, put it clearly in the copy. Best to mention that up top in the job title too. Highlight the exact position, the skills needed and employment duration. Be clear about core duties, compensation and schedule. Specify when you want them to work: evenings, weekends, holidays, overtime, etc. Stand out by offering competitive pay or flexible hours. Add a bonus and you’ve got their attention.

How to Find Seasonal Workers

Utilize Specialized Platforms: Monster is an excellent platform for targeting seasonal workers. Also, consider utilizing career centers on university and college campuses to reach students.

Leverage Social Media and Your Website: Post job openings on social media platforms that align with your target demographic. Ensure your company website has an accessible career page linked directly from the homepage to attract applicants.

Implement an Employee Referral Program: Encourage your employees to share job ads on their social networks. Reward employees who refer successful hires with bonuses or extra days off.

Reengage Former Employees: Reach out to recently retired staff, previous interns, and past seasonal workers. They are already familiar with your organization and can reduce training time.

Involve Your Community: Engage your customers and fans by asking them to refer potential candidates. This can also strengthen your relationship with them.

Review Past Candidates: Contact candidates from past job postings who were overqualified or not selected for the singular roles available at the time. They might be interested in seasonal opportunities for additional income and experience.

By diversifying your recruitment strategies and offering incentives, you can effectively build a robust pipeline of seasonal employees.

Start Hiring Early

You want first dibs on qualified candidates so it’s best to start as early as three months in advance of your seasonal needs. You’re not just looking for warm bodies. You need time to vet and train, and make sure things gel, especially with your existing workforce. Temporary staff interact with your work teams, along with your customers, so the best seasonal hire is not only qualified, but a great culture fit too. Remember having the wrong person is not better than having no person. Attract large numbers by simplifying the application process. Lengthy, complicated job applications are a time suck and turn off young, qualified job seekers. Include an option to apply via mobile.

Offer a Solid Onboarding Process

No train, no gain! While it may seem like a waste to spend time onboarding seasonal employees, it’s not—they’re representing your company, sometimes on the front lines, and you need to get them up to speed on your product(s), brand and customers. Take time to check in and give them plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Setting them up for success drives performance, and results in fewer mistakes and less micromanaging by busy managers. Shorten onboarding windows by pairing new hires even virtually with seasoned employees for a few days—best before the rush arrives.

Reward Seasonal Work With Perks

The last thing you want is someone quitting in the busiest and most stressful time of year. Motivate and engage fix-termed workers by offering an end-of-term bonus or a few creative perks for putting in those long working hours. Think of what benefits would be meaningful incentives—discounts on products or services? Maybe meals or career-enrichment activities? Go with things that can be obtained in a shorter period and used right away. Then consider extending any company discount even after their position has finished so you can count on them next year. Call it re-recruiting with a bonus for you—zero re-training.

Provide a Good Seasonal Experience

Set them up for a positive experience at your company. Poor employee reviews impact prospective candidates, both full-time and seasonal, and hurt recruiting chances along with your brand. Make sure they feel welcome and appreciated, just like a regular employee. Create opportunities for staff to connect, put healthy snacks in the break rooms, include them in the newsletter, and reward them for going above and beyond. Sure they come and go, but they leave a lasting impression on your long-term success and lay the groundwork for next year’s seasonal workforce—and future permanent employees.

Consider Contractors

There’s great talent out there that’s not interested in working directly for an employer or being on the payroll. Contractors are perfect when there’s an uptick in projects, and better still if the seasonal or project work can be done from home. Actually, by making as many jobs as possible work-from-home, you open your business up to dollar savings and untapped talent that could possibly pay full-time dividends in the future.

Post Jobs For Seasonal and Contract Workers

Meeting fluctuations by recruiting seasonal employees and contractors isn’t optional—you want to be good to your team and grow your business. Seasonal work isn’t rocket science—the key is to be willing, able and temporarily super staffed to meet that predictable influx of customers and demand in prime peak times. Ready to post a job now? Our self-service job posting tool makes it easy, and even helps you write your job ad for you.