Seasonal Talent: Keep Business on Track and Strengthen Your Team

Companies in the retail, hospitality and travel industries need additional staff to support a welcome holiday seasonal increase in business.

We love the new opportunities this time of year presents to the state’s job seekers and also understand that hiring seasonal employees requires important considerations for employers.

If you’re just starting the process of hiring employees for the holiday season, the first thing to remember next year is to start the process earlier. It might even be a good idea to set a calendar reminder so you can plan ahead. Preparation is the key to success in business, and hiring seasonal employees is no different. By getting ready for your busy season months in advance, you give yourself time to screen, hire and train your seasonal staff without missing a beat when the seasonal rush gets underway.

In the meantime, here are a few additional tips to maximize the likelihood that your seasonal hires will be great additions to your team.

Set Realistic Hiring Expectations

It’s important to clarify the difference between the type of employee you want to hire and the type of employee you need to hire. For instance, let’s say you own a small toy store. In a perfect world, you would like to hire an employee who is great with kids, has several years of experience, and has held management positions in the past. That specific candidate might be difficult to find if you’re not planning well in advance. You may consider focusing on hiring someone who is trustworthy, on-time, and has a great demeanor with your customers, especially for a seasonal position. A strong hire will be able to learn the specifics of your business model, but you can’t always teach someone how to be great with customers.

Make More Informed Hiring Decisions

Typically, the best employees are referrals from current employees. One surefire way to encourage employee referrals is to offer a referral bonus for a successful hire. Typically, your employees know what you look for in a potential hire and they might even be able to help with training. Most employees do not want to recommend someone who will reflect poorly on them, or slow the team down at a crucial time of year.

One way you can save time on training is rehiring last year’s temporary team members. This isn’t always feasible but if someone did a great job last year, it may be worth contacting them to determine their availability and interest in working another holiday season.


Seasonal employees may hope their temporary position turns into a full-time position and business owners don’t always maximize that potential. Use this career motivation to help get the best out of your team. Be honest and open about the possibility of moving into a full-time position. The entire busy season can be viewed as an extended job interview. You’ll be able to experience the employee in action and ensure they’re a great fit for your team before making a permanent hire.

Hiring short-term or seasonal employees has its challenges but the potential for finding a great person for your team, as well as ensuring your level of customer service even at the busiest time of year never wavers, makes it a great opportunity for your business and your new temporary team member. If you need help recruiting or hiring seasonal employees and full-time talent, reach out to the local workforce development board near you.

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Chris Hart IV

President and CEO, CareerSource Florida Inc.

As the chief executive for CareerSource Florida Inc., the state’s public-private workforce policy and investment board, Chris Hart IV is at the center of efforts to connect employers with qualified, skilled talent and Floridians with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity. A former two-term member of the Florida House of Representatives and small business co-founder, Hart also has served in leading economic development and policy roles within the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development and Enterprise Florida Inc.

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