Best Practices for Hiring Seasonal Employees in 2021

Dec 1, 2021

With nearly eleven million positions currently open in the U.S. job market, companies are struggling to deal with the significant shortage of labor.1 People are more discerning about which jobs to pursue, thanks in part to increases in unemployment benefits in response to the pandemic. (For example, one study found that between March 2020 and July 2020 “a 10 percent increase in unemployment benefits caused a 3.6 percent decline in [job] applications, but did not decrease vacancy creation.”2)

As job seekers increasingly seek to work on a seasonal basis, companies must figure out how to get those individuals to work for them. Organizations have to address several significant challenges to hiring:

  • Lack of flexibility. If job-level statistics reveal anything, it’s that the pandemic changed how most people work. Now more than ever, U.S. workers expect job flexibility, with three-quarters of the respondents to one survey affirming that “it is important to retain flexibility as part of the return to normal.”3
  • Lack of empathy in the hiring process. Few employees will want to be part of an institution that doesn’t empathize with their needs.
  • Alienating language in job descriptions. Qualified candidates often opt not to apply for positions when the postings for them contain “language that is aggressive, gender specific, and discriminatory.”4

Companies need to do whatever they can to avoid bad practices during the hiring process. Additionally, they also must ensure that the application process reflects well on them, or else they (and any prospective candidates) will be saddled with a disappointing active recruitment process — and take a hit to their word-of-mouth hiring, too. Following three key practices can help companies improve their hiring of temporary staff.


Invest In Growth Training

Over 90 percent of respondents to one employee survey said “they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.”5 Organizations that want to recruit quality temporary talent need to align their workplace cultures with those employees’ interests and needs.

This can be especially important when hiring temporary staff. Hiring employees early, well before the seasonal period begins, allows ample time to train recruits and gives companies plenty of opportunities to prove that they’re committed to employee growth.

Keeping employees up to date on their regular “how to do the job” training can boost their performance as well as the company’s profit margin. Investing in meticulous compliance training can also have a significant impact by saving the organization from some hefty fines, lawsuits and worse and improving employee engagement and retention.

Invest in Diversity Training

Companies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their strategies and training are likely to make smarter, more productive hires.6 One way they can achieve this is by highlighting inclusivity in their job descriptions and by using blind resume reviews. Additionally, they can keep all employees (especially recruiters and interviewers) informed on DEI issues such as unconscious bias, microaggressions, harmful stereotypes, and discrimination.

For one of the largest target markets for temporary hiring, young adults, diversity can be a deciding factor when they’re weighing whether to join an organization. Implementing diversity initiatives can help companies attract these socially conscious individuals who care about representation — and about being represented — within the workplace.

Implement Incentives

The pandemic forced people to confront the mortality of those near and dear to them, but possibly their own. It really made people — whatever age they are and whatever time they have left — think about how they want to spend it.

— Paola Peralta

Many people who have spent a significant amount of time at home over the past year and half are emerging from the lockdowns wanting to spend their time more meaningfully. After spending a considerable amount of that time counting bathroom tiles and watching Netflix reruns, it’s no surprise that many people feel an impulse to make every moment count. They’re looking for more consideration and mindfulness in their work, in their workspaces, and in their relationships with management.

Companies need to convince people that working for them — no matter how short their stay — can aid their future careers. To attract and retain talented people, organizations need to offer personal incentives that employees increasingly expect:

  • Flexible hours
  • Stringent cleaning measures to keep employees as COVID-safe as possible.
  • Wellness programs and policies (such as free mental health apps, books, subscriptions)
  • Bonuses and perks (such as gift cards, discounts, lunches)
  • Fun experiences in the workplace (such as happy hours, social gatherings, games, lighthearted social media posts)

Get with the Times

In the many months since the pandemic began, many people have found themselves placing a higher priority on life, community, and wellness, both in their personal lives and in their professional lives. Job hunters now have new criteria in mind when looking for work, and businesses must be ready to accommodate (and even embrace) that new mindset.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2021. “Job Openings and Labor Turnover — July 2021.” BLS website, September 8,

2Ioana Marinescu, Daphne Skandalis, and Daniel Zhao. 2021. “The Impact of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation on Job Search and Vacancy Creation.” National Bureau of Economic Research website, March,

3The Adecco Group. 2021. “Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work 2021.” Adecco website,

4Heidi Lynne Kurte. 2021. “Hiring Managers, Here Are 4 Useful Tips To Create More Inclusive Job Descriptions.” Forbes website, January 20,

5LinkedIn Learning. 2019. “2019 Workplace Learning Report.” LinkedIn,

6David Rock and Heidi Grant. 2016. “Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter.” Harvard Business Review website, November 4,

Written by: Jazz HR

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