3 Ways to Crush the Holiday Hiring Rush
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3 Ways to Crush the Holiday Hiring Rush

‘Tis the season for holiday hiring. Whether you’ve been planning for months–or are just now gearing up for the holiday rush, there’s no doubt that seasonal hiring looks different this year. 


Julia Pollak, chief economist for ZipRecruiter, said, “We’ve not seen the normal uptick in companies posting for temporary help. Overall, it’s a much more cautious environment in bringing on seasonal workers–companies are hanging back and waiting to see what conditions hold.”


Recent data suggests that holiday retail spending will rise this year despite uncertainty in global and local economic climates. This means that seasonal staffing won’t follow the usual equation. The ideal number of employees can change–both day to day, and hour by hour. 


So how can your team crush the holiday hiring rush amidst recession fears, a tight labor market, supply chain woes, and P&L sheet that’s staring back at you?

1. Identify Seasonal Hiring Costs

Knowing that there will be spikes in seasonal demand is not the same as knowing when, or how high those spikes will get. And matching workers to demand can come with a hefty price tag if you over or under-hire. Although hiring a traditional seasonal workforce might present immediate, apparent payroll costs–there are several hidden costs around recruitment, hiring and retention. From job board ads and career fairs to interviews, hiring bonuses and background checks–the time and money that goes into seasonal hiring can be staggering when you crunch the numbers. 


Taking the time to identify the costs associated with the above, then weighing different staffing methods can help you keep costs in check while managing supply and demand.

2. Give the Gift of Flexibility

With food prices rising and the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates at a breathtaking pace, economists are growing more concerned about how strong the holiday shopping season might be this year. And that has many retailers nervous about how much inventory–and extra staff–they should bring in for the season.  Jeff Hewitt, a partner at management consultant Kearney, said “We’re certainly hearing caution and some level of concerns around hiring this year. The more thoughtful companies are thinking about building in workforce flexibility.”


With a clear path being paved from fixed to flexible employment in recent years, the American workforce is evolving at a rapid pace. The Retail Industry Leaders Association said that tremendous growth across the the gig economy—coupled with technology—is empowering individuals to choose when, where and how they work. A statistic that was made evident in our midyear survey, where 73% of Taskers cited flexibility as the main driver for choosing gig work over the traditional 9 to 5 grind.  


To round things out, McKinsey’s latest research shows that flexibility remains the most pressing issue for retailer leaders. “While office workers have seen an increase in flexible work, flexibility remains the most pressing issue for frontline retail employees. In pursuit of more flexibility, many have left traditional frontline jobs to take on gig work. Therefore, retailers must think more creatively about how to offer flexibility on the front lines.”

3. Leverage Gig to Quickly Fill Gaps

Looking to bridge labor gaps this holiday season? Then gig might be your answer.  With inflation driving businesses to look for opportunities to cut costs while still meeting labor demands, Gartner says hiring contingent workers allows HR leaders to access a larger pool of talent without the additional costs of recruiting, benefits, and training. This strategy has made gig workers an appealing alternative to traditional staffing.


Additionally, the Retail Industry Leader Association reported that retailers can significantly expand their talent pools for hourly and frontline associates by tapping into on-demand labor models such as the gig economy. A strategy that six in 10 executives have already embraced.


Hiring seasonal workers isn’t an easy task. Trying to anticipate how many workers you’ll need for short periods of time can be a guessing game. Do it right, and you’ll crush the holiday rush. Do it wrong, and you’ll be explaining why you’re either understaffed or over budget. It’s a complex process that can be streamlined by hiring the help you need, on-demand and on budget.


Talk to our team today and take the stress out of holiday hiring.