A Guide to Hiring for the Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, many businesses and organizations prepare for long days, high demand, and busy schedules. Most of the yearly revenue for customer-facing businesses comes from the holiday season, so companies must be ready to meet customer demands for this crucial period. Business owners should take action to ensure that their teams can handle their operations. 

Without preparing for this time by hiring capable staff members, companies risk being unable to keep up with consumer demand and losing out on customers and business opportunities. Furthermore, more business means more work and strain put on long-term employees during the holiday season, leading to burnout and poor retention. 

For these reasons, it is important to consider your seasonal hires before the holiday season is upon us. Read on to learn the best practices that customer-facing businesses should follow when hiring seasonal staff members for the holiday shopping season.

Understanding Seasonal Hiring

So, what is seasonal hiring, anyway? Well, seasonal hiring is the practice of onboarding seasonal employees to assist with business operations during certain times in a year when they are busiest. However, it is crucial for employers hiring help for busy seasons to remember that a “seasonal worker” is different from a “seasonal employee.” 

According to the IRS, a “seasonal employee” performs in recurring work periods that begin each calendar year at approximately the same time. Usually, a seasonal employee is hired into a position where the customary annual employment is six months or less. They are considered permanent employees placed in non-duty/non-pay status and recalled to duty during the business’s busy periods, per pre-established conditions of their employment. Still, seasonal employees are not considered eligible for “full-time” benefits even if they are expected to work 30 or more hours per week. 

On the other hand, a “seasonal worker” is defined in certain U.S. Department of Labor regulations as someone who performs labor or services on a seasonal basis. According to the IRS, someone may be considered a seasonal worker if hired by an organization that is regarded as an Applicable Large Employer (ALE). A business employer is considered an ALE if their workforce exceeds 50 full-time employees, which includes their full-time equivalent employees (employees who work 130 hours a month). If the employee works 120 days or fewer during the year, they are considered seasonal workers and can be excluded from the FTE count when determining ALE status.

Regardless of whether the individual you hire is considered a seasonal employee or a seasonal worker, they will likely be a person whose schedule only allows them to work during a certain period. For example, a student returning home from college for the holidays may seek out a seasonal position to fill only during their break from classes.

A company’s “busy season” can change based on the type of business they run. For example, a boardwalk surf shop may hire more staff members to help them during the summer, when they experience more customers seeking their business throughout the warm sunny months. On the other hand, an office supply store may experience its busy season in the late summer and early fall as students prepare for school. Of course, most customer-facing businesses see a rise in demand during the winter holiday season as consumers visit their stores to purchase gifts and take advantage of holiday deals. Shipping and handler job positions are also commonly hired for the holidays, as handlers are required to help shipping companies make product deliveries throughout the holiday season.

Why is Hiring Workers for Holidays Important?

Hiring workers for holidays sets prepared businesses apart from unprepared ones. Unfortunately, failing to prepare for the busy holiday rush can leave your organization looking irresponsible to consumers and unable to meet customer demand. Too much work and not enough workers during busy seasons can also lead to overworked and burnt-out employees who choose to quit, resulting in staffing issues and even less capacity for business operations. With even fewer staff members to perform the duties necessary to meet customer demand, customers will likely turn to other organizations to fulfill their needs. Maintaining a strong and capable workforce is necessary to avoid slow operations, inability to maintain business operations according to demand, and loss of customers.

Benefits of Hiring for the Holidays

Hiring for the holiday season can benefit an organization in more ways than one. After all, having a sufficient workforce can significantly affect your business, and this is especially true during the holidays. Below are some positive ways seasonal hiring can impact your business.

1. Flexibility

Hiring extra seasonal staff for the holidays can improve your business’s flexibility throughout the holiday season. During the holidays, many different occasions and celebrations occur where people gather together to spend time with loved ones, often for days at a time if traveling is involved. Of course, this means that employees are likely to want time off, leaving businesses scrambling to ensure they have enough staff members to keep operations running in their absence. However, hiring extra seasonal staff members can enable businesses to provide more flexibility to their workers as they arrange their work and holiday plans.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Believe it or not, hiring staff for holiday seasons can be more cost-effective for businesses in the long run than choosing not to. This is because seasonal staff can support companies in their operations and enable them to meet high consumer demands and make the extra earnings that come with them. Therefore, hiring these staff members can allow businesses to bring in more than enough money than they would be able to earn without their help.

3. Increased Productivity

More staff members mean more productivity, and more productivity means more output for businesses during their busiest seasons. By producing more work, organizations can attract and maintain a more extensive customer base and generate more income throughout this time. The holidays can be a very lucrative time period for customer-facing businesses, and hiring extra seasonal staff for the holidays can prepare your workforce to maintain the productivity levels necessary to meet this demand. 

4. Increased Staff Morale

When staff members are a part of a solid and capable team, they usually experience less burnout and more job satisfaction. Therefore, increased staff morale is a great side effect of employing extra seasonal staff for the holidays. Your workers will be able to avoid feeling stressed and overworked by the holiday demand and instead can feel supported by their fellow coworkers – and management. 

5. Potential Long-Term or Return Workers

Another significant aspect of hiring extra seasonal staff for the holidays is the possibility of long-term or returning workers. If you develop a good professional relationship with your seasonal staff members, you may be able to bring them onto your team as long-term employees. Alternatively, staff members who can only work during certain periods within a year can return in future years to fulfill their seasonal role, which can cut down on overhead costs that would otherwise be spent on hiring and training new seasonal workers. 

How to Hire Seasonal Employees for the Holidays

If you are considering seasonal employment but don’t know how to hire for the holidays, there are a few critical pieces of advice that you should follow. Read on, as this resource will provide an overview of some of the best practices when it comes to hiring for the holidays. 

1. Start Hiring Early

Any experienced employer knows that hiring early is crucial when bringing on new seasonal staff members. Onboarding new staff members requires time, as businesses must advertise the position, interview potential workers, select quality candidates, and train their new employees. Therefore, leaving all of this until the last minute could mean subjecting your staff to work without help during the busy seasons as you still search for candidates or train your new employees. To avoid putting extra stress on your team during busy periods, you should instead begin the hiring process far enough in advance that your seasonal staff will be finished training before the holiday season takes place. 

2. Know Where to Advertise

The secret to finding quality staff members is to advertise your open positions appropriately. This means utilizing suitable advertising channels when advertising their holiday openings. The following segment includes different advertising channels and the pros and cons to consider when choosing which one to utilize to attract seasonal staff:


  • You can easily reach out to a lot of recipients at once to inform them of your open position.


  • You may have difficulty reaching suitable prospective candidates depending on who you email.
  • Emails can seem impersonal and often go ignored


  • Advertising your open positions instore is a free way to spread the word about your openings


  • Only those who visit your store in person will be informed of the position using this method. This could mean missing out on potential candidates.
  • Out-of-town seasonal workers, like students, may not be present early enough to see your in-store advertisement and apply and train for the position before the busy season begins.


  • Job boards reach many potential applicants looking for seasonal jobs


  • Posting on job boards means competing with the other job descriptions, and your post may be overlooked
  • Job boards are often oversaturated with under-qualified workers


  • Social media posts and advertisements can reach a broad audience


  • Not all viewers will be seeking out seasonal employment opportunities, which would be a waste of effort.
  • Social media advertisements may require employers to pay extra to be seen by more


  • Workers on the Adia on-demand staffing platform are pre-vetted so that you can hire with confidence.
  • The onboarding is simplified and occurs within the Adia platform.
  • Whether you are considering a staffing agency in Atlanta, a staffing agency in Miami, or a retail staffing agency, staffing through Adia can help you easily find qualified candidates in the right location for the right work.
  • You can find tons of local, qualified candidates fast!


  • You may have difficulty choosing from the large volume of well-qualified candidates!

3. Use the Contacts You Already Have

Another inexpensive way to get the word out about your open seasonal position and access reliable candidates is by asking your staff members for their recommendations. Your staff members are familiar with the demands of the job and may be able to connect you with other professionals who are capable of filling a seasonal role. Additionally, try contacting previous staff or holiday workers, as you can trust that these employees will be able to succeed in a seasonal position at your business.

4. Offer Fair Wages and Benefits

Offering fair wages and extra benefits is essential to hire a high-quality worker. Offering decent pay and extra (like employee discounts, etc.) to holiday workers will communicate to them that they are important members of your workforce. This may also make them more willing to return for future seasonal work opportunities.

5. Create an Effective Onboarding Process

An effective onboarding process sets your staff members – and your entire workforce – up for success. To be effective, an onboarding process should involve swift and thorough procedures for conducting background investigations and acquiring employment paperwork from your new staff member. An effective onboarding process should also provide suitable training to your new staff members to ensure they have the proper knowledge and capabilities to act successfully in their seasonal roles.

It is necessary to have a very well thought out and reliable training system in place. However, training brand new staff members can be challenging and time-consuming. Fortunately, businesses can acquire pre-trained new employees for their seasonal holiday positions by hiring with Adia. The Adia on-demand staffing solution not only pre-vets all of the workers on their platform but also allows employers to connect with fully trained staff members. In addition, hiring a staff member that is previously trained in a similar role through Adia can minimize the need for extensive onboarding. 

Are You Looking for Holiday Staff? Hire With Adia!

Having a strong team of staff members during a busy season is crucial for businesses to succeed. By hiring seasonal staff ahead of time, business employers can maintain a reliable workforce that is capable of meeting consumer demand, generating revenue, and positively representing their company during the holiday season.

If you’re looking for a fast and straightforward way to hire qualified seasonal staff members for your business during the holidays, try hiring through Adia. Adia’s on-demand hiring platform works by connecting employers with pre-vetted workers looking for jobs. You can find qualified and pre-trained individuals to fill your open holiday positions and quickly onboard them through the platform. So rather than going through the lengthy process of looking for staff, try staffing with Adia for a fast and reliable hiring experience this holiday season.

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