How to Get Quality Seasonal Retail Workers

Let’s be honest here, seasonal workers are also short-term workers, which means the hiring process needs to happen very quickly, and very often. If your organization’s traffic fluctuates throughout the year, you already realize the challenge of keeping enough employees on hand to handle the busy season.

Whether it’s the December holiday season or summer break, retailers need to be able to quickly scale their resources to handle the sudden rush of business. The employees who fill orders, interact with customers and manage the extra administrative tasks that busy season brings are the most important of those resources.

For decades, retailers have used seasonal workers to handle the sudden influx of customers. Since those busy seasons also coincide with the time of year when school is out, students and teachers are ideal for these positions. But with low unemployment rates and more retailers, companies now find it harder than ever to win reliable, talented employees away from competitors. Here are a few ways to ensure that your company finds quality candidates and keeps up with demand during the seasonal hire process.

Stand Out

With Amazon recently increasing its wages, companies face more pressure than ever to up their pay. But if you can’t afford a $15 an hour wage, there are other ways to stand out. You could incentivize workers with perks like gift cards and substantial purchase discounts, as Target does. You could also use verbiage in your job postings that showcase your fun, casual work environment. Lastly, how you treat your employees makes a difference, since they’ll tell others about the job and post online about it.

Market Your Opening

If your target audience is younger in age, go beyond sites like Indeed. Post about the opening on your own social media site, as well as in Facebook groups specific to your community. Don’t leave out Twitter and Instagram, as well. Even if you don’t have a young following, those who see the post will share it with people they know who are looking for seasonal work. Word of mouth can be critical to ensuring you amass a stack of applications quickly.

Reward Referrals

Your biggest advocates are your own employees. If you can incentivize them to recommend some of their own friends, you’ll know you’re getting candidates who are likely to be a good fit with your current team. Make sure you structure your referral program properly, including setting strict timelines. You’ll need to make it clear in advance how long the employee must stay before the referrer will be rewarded and what criteria you are looking for in an employee.


Don’t Neglect Due Diligence

Even if you’re struggling to win workers in a competitive market, you won’t do yourself favors if your new hire requires termination the first day or, worse, steals from you. Background screening is a necessity and can help you avoid trouble and ensure you get the right employee the first time. It’s critical, however, to choose a background screening provider that offers a quick, mobile-first process since the majority of candidates accept the first job offer they are given.  

Adding seasonal workers has its challenges, but they can be easily overcome with the right practices. When you do all you can to attract as many qualified candidates as possible, you’ll be able to choose the best of the best. You’ll also be able to create a work culture that makes people want to come work for you.  Let us create a seamless hiring process for you, so you can focus on running your business this busy season.

Topics: Featured

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