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3 Ways to Compete for Last-Minute Seasonal Help

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Hiring temp workers this season? You’re not alone. Holiday hiring is expected to hit its highest level since 2015. Retailers like Target, Macy’s, and Amazon are offering competitive wages and perks to attract seasonal talent, adding about 400,000 workers among the three giants alone.

How can you compete?

    1. Give top talent what they want.
      Most large employers are offering temp workers a starting pay of at least $12 an hour. Target reports sweetening their deal even more, adding perks like $500 gift cards and 20 percent discounts on certain items, including fruits, vegetables and workout clothes. While deals like that can be impossible to match dollar-for-dollar for small to mid-sized businesses, you might have more to offer than you think. Be creative: Perks like flexibility, on-the-job training, and performance incentives can go a long way.


    1. Consider the long game.
      With unemployment at an all-time low and Baby Boomer retirements continuing to create huge talent gaps in the labor market, many companies are deciding to turn their seasonal temps into temp-to-hire employees. The trend was observed this summer with up to 10 to 15 times more seasonal employees across all industries being offered full-time employment than in past years. UPS has a history of creating permanent career paths for once-temporary employees—up to 35% of its seasonal hires stick around, including its current CEO David Abney. As it hires 100,000 seasonal workers this year, there’s no doubt the company will be looking for permanent talent among its holiday help. Perhaps you should, too.


  1. Work with a temporary staffing agency.
    At this point in the season and with the current competitive climate, great seasonal help is elusive. But don’t settle. Instead, turn to a staffing partner who can help. We already have a workforce of job-ready, qualified temporary and temp-to-hire talent that’s vetted and ready to jump in to help you as soon as you need them. A temporary staffing agency can also streamline operational, labor and administrative costs by handling recruiting, hiring, payroll and other HR duties just as business starts to pick up. Tasks as simple as listing jobs, interviewing, doing background checks, and setting up payroll can be exponentially difficult to accomplish when the busy season has already hit. Don’t feel like you must do it alone.

For hiring managers in need of seasonal workers, it can be the most wonderful time of the year…or a time when hiring nightmares come true. With a smaller candidate pool to choose from than ever before, you might assume the odds are against you. But if you’re creative about what you have to offer, use this time to consider finding potential long-term talent, and bring in a staffing partner who can provide hard-to-find talent while lessening your administrative burden, you’re in the clear for the very merry season.