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How to Attract and Retain Seasonal Employees

The foundU Team
October 13, 2022
7 Min Read
Tips For Recruiting & Retaining Seasonal Employees

The holiday season is a great opportunity for hospitality and retail businesses to maximise sales. But it also brings a need to recruit seasonal employees. And with the ongoing talent shortage, this will be a major challenge for businesses without a recruitment or retention strategy.

A staff recruitment and retention strategy is more critical than ever. But where do you start? What are the most effective ways to recruit seasonal employees for your business? What can you do to ensure they stick around?

Keep reading for five strategies you can use to attract and retain seasonal employees.

Mind map showing how to recruit and retain seasonal staff

Recruit seasonal employees with long-term appeal

Hospitality and retail businesses often hire short-term, seasonal employees during the holiday season.

However, according to Bryce Welker, a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, the key to setting your business up for success is to hire employees with the experience and traits you want in long-term team members. By doing so, you avoid less-motivated workers who are less concerned about the impact they leave on your business.


Offer more than minimum wage

As Australia continues to struggle with a lack of skilled workers, our hiring market remains fiercely competitive.

You may be able to influence a candidate's decision to work for you by offering a higher hourly wage. A higher wage may also help retain seasonal employees for a longer period of time, and encourage them to return in the future. This will save you time and energy on recruiting new hires.


Set-up a successful onboarding experience

Employers can win over seasonal employees by providing a successful onboarding experience.

According to research by Indeed, 40% of new employees quit within six months of starting a new role. The best way to ensure those employees stay? Ensure they are welcomed with a successful onboarding experience. And by a successful onboarding experience, we don't mean days of emails back and forth, lost documents, or complicated procedures. It should be fast, efficient and able to be done anywhere, anytime.

Nicky Sloan, Chief People Officer at City Venue Management, understands the power of a successful onboarding experience all too well.

"With the implementation of foundU, we have been able to streamline the employee life cycle," Nicky said.

"This has given our human resources team the ability to focus on people, as opposed to admin. The employee experience has improved overall, with all touch points now efficient and simple. Even employee happiness has improved - we've removed the pain points and complexity to their onboarding, rostering and payment processes."


Lean on permanent employees for referrals

Ever advertised a job and heard nothing but crickets? Consider filling your pipeline with referrals from your permanent employees.

Your permanent employees may have friends or family who are looking for seasonal work to supplement their income. You could also offer a referral program, with bonuses for staff who refer successful hires. It's a smart way to reduce recruitment costs, improve candidate quality and increase employee engagement.


Create a positive employee experience

It is crucial that your business attracts and retains the right employees. No matter the season.

According to a study conducted by Gallup, an engaged workforce can increase productivity by 21%. It can also reduce turnover by 65%, and increase profitability by as much as 22%.

But the most exciting part? It’s easy to enhance your employee experience. You could:

  • Provide your staff with earned wage access. This could give your employees more control over their finances, reduce stress and give them focus to perform better at work.
  • Automate your payroll to take it from hours to minutes. If you have different staff working different hours, automating your payroll could help to make sure they get paid accurately and on time.
  • Implement scheduling apps and clock in, clock out solutions. These could increase your efficiency and help you make better business decisions for the holiday hustle and bustle.

Beyond technology, you could also introduce new training strategies to ensure your new staff upskill fast without feeling unprepared. This is something The Mex Restaurant and Bar have trialled with great success.

“To make up for a lack of experienced wait staff, we have increased the number of tables that we provide counter service and smart device ordering to, while reducing the areas we offer full table service to," said Dane Jackson, The Mex's Co-Owner.

"This has allowed us the benefit of being able to introduce new and often inexperienced team members to our operation without impacting service standards. We can get them up to speed and train them in a much more balanced way, rather than pushing them in the deep end before they are ready.” 


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