Essential Tips for Hiring Successful Seasonal Workers

October 3, 2019 - 4 minute read

Tis the season to begin planning for the holidays. Human resource teams often face significant hurdles when it comes to hiring and engaging seasonal workers, though they make up an essential part of the team.

These employees are tasked with helping when the workload seems overwhelming, during peak seasonal times of year, and are often the unsung heroes who help carry the brunt of the work alongside their full-time team members. Plus, they do it all without the prospect of continuous employment with the company.

Often times employers and full-time colleagues spend less time engaging temporary employees, which can lead these workers to lower productivity rates, reduced morale, and can even affect a company’s bottom line. Try taking the following steps to ensure holiday employees contribute towards your team’s success:

Find Qualified Candidates

Finding the right candidates can be challenging. Hiring students home on school break or people looking for supplemental income are typically a fit, but you may want to consider other groups ripe for holiday employment, including:

  • Retirees: Part-time or seasonal work may be attractive to retirees, and they may be able to return for more than one season (unlike college students who may have moved on).
  • Customers: Your best customers may be interested in working for you temporarily to earn employee discounts or support your business brand. If you select customers who are already brand advocates, they will be naturals at preaching the benefits of your products.
  • Employee Referrals: Your employees may have friends or family looking for temporary work. These people may also become a natural fit within your team, and feel comfortable quickly, needing less time to adjust and excel.

Make the Most of Pre-Boarding & Onboarding

Just because an employee may only be with you for a short time, doesn’t mean you can afford to skip this step. Being clear with directions, including simple things like who your temporary workers will report to, and what the breakdown of their days will be, can make them feel more comfortable and improves the likelihood they’ll continue to show up for work. It’s also helpful to share training documents and product information in advance to give this team the time they need to be prepared.

Rather than waiting for day one, you can create situations for engagement the moment an employee is hired. This is particularly important in industries in which employees are scattered in different places in various desk-less roles, such as retail, food service, and hospitality. Far from being a captive audience in front of a desktop computer, these employees are an audience to be captured, and quickly. The sooner you’re able to make them feel connected and a part of your work community, the sooner they’ll feel engaged, and the less likely they’ll be to start looking for a more rewarding work experience elsewhere.

Treat Them Like They're Part of a Unified Team

Holiday workers may feel like outsiders among your full-time team, especially when they’re working among full-timers. When new seasonal workers join your team, take a moment to show them around and introduce them to colleagues they’ll be working with.

Additionally, HR teams can foster connections by using platforms similar to popular social networks that encourage professional interactions with coworkers, managers and even the executive suite when appropriate. The more interaction seasonal workers have with their new colleagues, the more connected they will feel.

Congratulate them on a Job Well Done

Recognition motivates people and it gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment in their work. This is especially true for seasonal employees.

Engaged employees understand that their tasks are vital to their company's mission and appreciate knowing that they have played a part in their company's success. Creating engagement through sales benchmarks and work goals is a simple but effective way to maximize the productivity of temporary employees. When these employees join your team, share quantifiable goals they should work towards during their time with your organization. Check in with employees frequently to discuss those goals to foster progress.

To learn more about how to get the highest productivity and engagement from this segment of the workforce, download our latest research study -- Seasonal Workers: The Hidden Fuel of the Gig Economy.

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Corie Capodiferro

Written by Corie Capodiferro