Peopletrail Logo

Preparing for the Upcoming Seasonal Hiring Wave

Hands holding up binoculars. Seasonal hiring concept.

Seasonal hiring is a tricky balancing act.

Volume, quality, quick time-to-hire, temporary positions…

These can be difficult things to mingle together successfully.

When considering that the average nationwide ‘time-to-fill” is around 25 business days, and the busiest season for most retail/consumer goods companies spans from Thanksgiving to Christmas (roughly 30 days), temporary hiring can become challenging and frustrating very quickly.

We’ve outlined a few key preparation methods to help organizations get the most out of their seasonal hiring.

Due Diligence Reduces Turnover

“A home run is much better than two non-consecutive doubles.”

This is a concept that rings particularly true with heavy hiring.

At times, the need for workers is so pressing that any frequent contact with the ball (any hire at all) seems like a productive effort. However, taking time to slow things down in order to get a solid, out-of-the-park hit can be the difference between a win and a loss in the long run. Even when hiring in volume.

Remember, two non-consecutive doubles are two hits and four bases. A home run is one hit, four bases, and a score. Aim for more home runs in your hiring instead of a high volume of average to below-average hits. In most cases, you will create less work, save more money, and drive better results for your organization.

A good way to improve your home run percentage is by being more deliberate in pre-employment screening efforts. Invest a little time and energy into each candidate and better inform each and every decision you make.

Consider a Temp-To-Hire Structure for Seasonal Employees

Perhaps your organization hires a number of seasonal employees to accommodate end-of-year demand. 

What if some of these seasonal employees become tremendously valuable? Do you have a process to identify this and retain such employees after the busy season? Are there metrics and incentives to track and reward efficient, capable temporary employees? If not, you can be doing your organization a disservice.

Within almost every wave of temporary hires are workers who outperform permanent staff.

Implementing a performance-based temp-to-hire structure is a great way to get the most out of your entire workforce while incentivizing temporary employees with a possible permanent position.

Break It Up a Bit

Many organizations that hire in large batches during the winter months find themselves overextending, struggling to fill positions in time.

It can be much more effective to break one large clump of hires into smaller batches that are systematically interviewed, screened, and onboarded starting weeks before the busy season reaches its peak– a steady “ramp-up,” if you will.

Organizations that batch hire at a weekly or twice-monthly cadence often find themselves with the necessary resources and less headache.


Seasonal hiring can be overwhelming and stress even the most capable hiring infrastructures. However, there are ways to hire to maximize success and improve organizational health. If you focus on home-run hitting, retain standout seasonal workers, and conduct batch hiring steadily and systematically, the busy season will be no match, and the health of your organization will undoubtedly improve. 

Learn more about Peopletrail’s pre-employment screening solutions.

Share our Blog