June 23, 2023

Hiring Seasonal Employees: 5 No-Sweat Steps to Finding Your Ideal Teammates

Bunny and Santa going through a file cabinet

From wintertime holiday workers to summertime ice cream scoopers, building your ready-for-anything seasonal dream team is key to a healthy business. 

If you’re looking to maximize your busiest season and achieve greater success year-round, you can’t afford to miss out on qualified seasonal candidates.

This simple five-step guide will help you make the most of your peak season.

Hiring seasonal employees

  • Step 1. Plan ahead
  • Step 2. Refresh your job ads
  • Step 3. Pre-screen candidates
  • Step 4. Standardize your interview process
  • Step 5. Learn from what works

What is seasonal employment? Pros and cons for you and your candidates

Seasonal employees work during periods of increased business, with jobs that usually start and end at approximately the same time each year. As defined by the Affordable Care Act, seasonal employees work six months or less, meaning they are not entitled to benefit plans.

Temporary employees, on the other hand, are often hired to take the place of a permanent employee that may be taking a leave of absence, or to lend a hand on a specific project with a set end date. 

While both temporary and seasonal employees work part-time hours for a few months out of the year, often during high-pressure periods, temporary workers fill short-term gaps that are not necessarily due to a direct increase in business.

So how can you find top-notch seasonal staff to help you make the most of your busiest time of year? And why would talented job seekers opt for seasonal work rather than full-time pay?

Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of seasonal employment, both for you and your candidates.

Pros and Cons of Seasonal Hiring for Candidates

Pros

  • Resume builder
  • Pathway to full-time employment
  • Extra cash

Cons

  • Little training
  • Challenging schedule
  • Lower pay, fewer benefits

Pros and Cons of Seasonal Hiring for Employers

Pros

  • Reduced payroll costs
  • Flexible workforce
  • Reduced risk

Cons

  • Lack of relevant training
  • Culture fit challenges
  • Lack of loyalty

Breezy is the visual applicant tracking system that helps keep seasonal hiring fun. Reply to every candidate, instantly schedule interviews, and fill seasonal roles faster with user-friendly workflows that do the heavy lifting for you. Try it (for free!) for 14 days.

5 simple hiring steps to maximize your peak season hiring

Step 1. Plan ahead

You don’t have to wait for the holiday season before you start your hunt for great talent.

For UK high-street retailer John Lewis, a hiring gap of 7K open positions meant starting their seasonal recruitment campaign early. To attract a high volume of temporary staff in time for a busy holiday season, the recruitment team distributed open roles via the brand’s social media channels, Google ads, and on major news networks like the BBC.

Here are are some simple tips to get a head start on peak season hiring:

  • Determine which months are your busiest
  • Create a recruitment plan that launches at least two months in advance
  • Aim to fill position at least two weeks before the season starts
  • Reach out to alumni employees to help spread the word about seasonal work

DIY with Breezy

Whether you’re looking to hire seven or 7,000 seasonal employees, the right recruitment plan can help you attract and nurture a thriving applicant audience.

Here’s how Breezy helps you reach a larger pool of seasonal job seekers:

  • Create a custom Career Portal for all your open positions
  • Build an Employee Portal and ask employees to refer friends and family for open positions
  • Set up a Nurture Campaign to keep incoming candidates engaged until you’re ready to hire
Employee portal job openings

Step 2. Refresh your job ads

The right job posting can help you attract thousands of highly motivated seasonal job seekers. But getting candidates through the door doesn’t end there. 

Here are a few ways to widen the top of your seasonal recruitment funnel: 

  • Distribute your open roles using the best free job boards for maximum traffic
  • Be upfront about the seasonal nature of the position so everyone is on the same page
  • Emphasize perks like employee discounts, flex hours, and advancement opportunities

DIY with Breezy

With Breezy’s library of hundreds of job description templates, you don’t have to write your seasonal job ads from scratch. Once your ads are updated and ready to go, posting on all the free job boards is as easy as clicking a button. 

Here’s how Breezy helps you publish your seasonal openings faster:

Advertise tab in position settings

Step 3. Pre-screen candidates

To make the most of your peak season, you need to be 100% sure every seasonal hire is ready to do the job.

Pre-screening helps you avoid the HR horror stories and hire seasonal workers who get what you’re about.

Here are some ways to level up your pre-screening process:

  • Use a three- to five-question candidate questionnaire to filter the best candidates in
  • Make sure candidates are looking for seasonal work — not a full-time role
  • Follow up on referrals

DIY with Breezy

From AI to help you find the best candidates to automated stage actions that move your top applicants forward faster, Breezy can help you pre-qualify candidates in no time.

Here are just a few ways Breezy makes pre-screening simple:

Hire qualified season staff at speed and scale. Spend more time with your best candidates with easy-to-use features that help you screen the right applicants in. Grab your free 14-day trial to see it in action.

Step 4. Standardize your interview process

As with any other interview, you want to make sure you ask seasonal candidates the right questions, while taking extra steps to avoid hiring bias and show respect for the candidate’s time.

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

  • Schedule the interview based on what’s convenient for both you and your candidate
  • Create a clear candidate scoring system to keep the hiring team aligned
  • Follow up with candidates by email to let them know your decision
  • Ask candidates for feedback post-interview so you can improve your process

DIY with Breezy

From biased interviewers to candidates who ghost, the interview process isn’t always as smooth as it should be.

Here’s how Breezy can help you deliver a great interview experience:

Hiring manager's view of team scorecard

Step 5. Learn from what works

There’s no magic formula for hiring stellar seasonal employees — but with the right insights, you can continue making your seasonal hiring process better year after year.

Start by keeping track of what’s worked well so far:

  • Examine which job boards and other hiring sources helped you find the best seasonal staff members
  • Review your pipeline to understand how long it takes to move candidates from application to onboarding
  • Gather feedback from seasonal employees to identify more ways to attract the right candidates next year

DIY with Breezy

Here’s how Breezy can help you learn from every hiring round:

Time in Stage By Position section of the Pipeline Performance report

Streamline your seasonal hiring with Breezy 

With the right hiring systems and workflows, you don’t have to be an HR wiz to attract the best seasonal team members for your business. 

Breezy’s candidate-friendly job posting, pre-screening, and easy interviewing features are here to help you win the best employees for peak season and beyond. 

Navigate the seasonal hiring landscape with ease. Sign up for your free 14-day trial of Breezy HR.