Hiring Seasonal Employees

There’re certain periods of the year where business levels are much higher than usual for a few weeks; or even a few months! Conversely, there’re periods of the year where business levels are much lower than usual. Instead of having to layoff certain employees during this period, or cut all of your employees shifts down, an alternative that can work for everyone is the hiring of seasonal employees. But what is the best way to go about it?


Firstly, you’re going to need to know when, and for how long, you’ll be needing these seasonal hires. Alongside your own personal experience, having data available from the last few years of business will help you in planning when you’re going to be needing these staff and how much you’re going to be able to offer them in terms of hours per week.

Next you need to ensure that you give yourself enough time to find, interview, and research the candidates for these positions. You’ll probably want to have the job post up at least 2 months, ideally 3 months, before you intend to have them start working; this period should also take into consideration the time required to train said employee for whichever position you need them in i.e. a line cook or a server is going to take a considerably longer amount of time to train than a dishwasher or back waiter.


There’re three methods which you can use to recruit seasonal members of staff:

  • Job sites and local job posting boards. Here you’ll find people searching for extra cash whom could be extremely willing to take a seasonal position.
  • Reach out to old employees and see if they’re willing to lend you a hand for some extra cash in their pocket. The benefit of selecting an old employee is that you already have a rapport with each other and you know how well they work.
  • Ask your current employees for any referrals they may have of friends or former colleagues of their own whom are maybe looking for some work. It is best not to hand this option out to all of your employees. Instead you should extend your feelers out through your most trusted and hardworking members of your team simply because likes attract; so they’re the most likely to bring you competent and motivated staff whom are similar to them in work ethic and motivation.

When posting your advert or offering out the position to any of the above groups of people make sure that you openly state the terms of the position you’re offering i.e. the amount of hours they can expect per-week, as well as when the position is expected to end. If there is going to be the potential of an extension to becoming a full-time year-round employee be sure to include that in the advert or conversation too; this can be a great incentive, not only for them to take the position but also to make them work hard.

Be honest and the right people will come. Don’t give false information or make any empty promises, this will only threaten your relationship with this new employee, as well as jeopardizing your relationship with your full-time staff members.


As mentioned, when planning out these new hires allow adequate training time for the position which you’re hiring for. These employees are not going to be around for a longtime so utilizing them to the best of their ability for the time that they are with you means ensuring that you prepare them for success. Planning out their training properly, and pairing them with a highly competent, preferably longterm employee, in that position will enhance and improve their training expereince; whilst also ensuring that they’re getting the highest possible level of training.

If you focus well on each of these points when considering seasonal employees you’ll find that the process is not only much smooth but more successful too! You may even have them knocking on your door at the same time next year, before you can reach out to them yourself.