7 ways to hire holiday workers now


With the competition for talent so fierce, seasonal hiring is even tougher this year. Along with existing supply-chain chaos, we’re nearing an avalanche of consumer demand across all industries, from retail to travel to restaurants at the same time job gains are more sluggish than ever. With the right strategy, though, you can hire ready candidates – and hopefully find quality long-term employees. 

Here are some tips to refine your seasonal hiring strategy and get staffed before holiday crunch time. 

Have a clear job description 
When writing your job description, be specific about the nature of the job, the type of candidate you are seeking, the skills needed and the responsibilities of the position. Be sure to mention the incentives, such as benefits, discounts and flexible scheduling. And if your salary is competitive, say so, and even consider including compensation ranges within the job description (it will get you more applicants!).  

Grow your candidate pool 

Because seasonal workers have to ramp up quickly, there isn’t much time to train. But that doesn’t mean you have to limit your candidate pool to those with retail experience, for example. If a former restaurant server can quickly accommodate patrons’ needs, keep tabs on product inventory and input dinner orders in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, they can surely organize crowds of customers, sort boxes of clothing and handle item purchases. 

Approaching hiring in this skills-focused way grows your talent pool. But it’s not as though you have to rely on those with restaurant experience to readily know to apply for retail jobs. Working with a job platform partner who optimizes AI skills technology will expand your pool for you, and you’ll see the number of applicants in your inbox grow overnight. 

Hire long term 

While you may be laser-focused on hiring for the season, think about whether you may want to transition some temporary roles into permanent positions down the line. If that’s the case, it’s another selling point to add to the job description, so potential employees know there’s a chance they may turn their holiday job into a career.  

It’s also a great time to upskill workers for roles you may need to fill after the holidays. Consider what skills they can build that could prepare them for the next level and assign mentors of you can. Your star seasonal employees will know the ins and outs of your business, plus they’re more likely to stick around if you have trained them and can offer a better position with higher pay. 

Automate your recruiting efforts 

Some candidates just want a seasonal job, and the easier you can make it on them to apply, the better. Work with a job platform that gives you the tools to reach more candidates quickly and lets candidates one-click apply. Enhancements like automated re-engagement emails give your job postings a boost, and mobile-friendly search tools makes casually applying for seasonal work easy. 

Advertise your jobs 

It may sound obvious but targeting your message to job seekers already searching for this type of work is a simple, effective way to attract candidates. Using your unique brand visuals and messaging, display ads using the right AI technology can bring in hundreds more applicants

Optimize candidate sourcing 

Let’s face it, you barely have the resources to hire for immediate positions, let alone start recruiting for future roles. That’s why it’s a smart decision to use outside experts to help screen candidates, so you can focus on more pressing priorities. 

Consider CareerBuilder Source and Screen, which leverages over 25 years of candidate behavior experience and the latest in labor market data to find, screen and deliver to you the most qualified candidates for your open positions. You significantly reduce your time to hire, which not only cuts down on costs but allows you ramp up workers more quickly. 

Take advantage of Q4 

If you really want to get ahead of the January hiring competition, you should post jobs this quarter, before the rush. It's like Zillow. We may not want to move right now, but there's a kind of thrill in seeing what's out there. Job seekers sometimes like to just browse. They have some time on their hands over holiday breaks and they're reassessing their careers. And if they see the job that inspires them to make a move, next thing you know they're hitting "Apply." And you're onboarding them mid-January.  

While your competition is struggling to recruit come November, you can rest assured knowing you’re way ahead of the curve.

Learn more about how you can use Source & Screen to enhance your holiday – or year-round – hiring. 

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