Seasonal hiring can be stressful because of the shortened hiring and employment time frame layered over the stress of the busiest retail season of the year. The National Retail Federation estimates retailers will hire between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal workers this year. If you’re hiring seasonal workers, consider these tips.

Most seasonal workers are looking for additional cash during the holidays, not executive positions, so make the application and interview processes short and focused. Have them fill out your application and one round of interviews should enable you to identify attitude and trustworthiness so you can move forward.

Don’t lead people on
For those employees who may be seeking permanent employment after the holiday season, don’t make commitments you may not be able to keep. Retailers should always be recruiting but don’t link the temporary job with future hiring. That’s a separate process.

Make training consistent and scalable
Each employee should start with the same basics, either in a group training sessions on web-based training. Small-group training is difficult when you’re hiring a wave of seasonal employees. Web training can simplify the onboarding process and ensure each employee receives the same basic training.

Poorly trained seasonal staff can affect how your customers perceive your store, so be sure temps receive the same basic training as your permanent staff. (See helpful training resources at

Have plans and tools to inform temp workers about schedules, work announcements, and other information they need to know. Use checklists and handouts and show employees where to find the most updated information.

Schedule in advance
Avoid time conflicts for seasonal employees by letting them know weeks before their shifts when they are scheduled for work—not days—so they can make arrangements and clear up conflicts early. Temp workers may not have the same loyalty as permanent workers and can be fickle if surprised.

Protect permanent employees
Don’t use temps to displace loyal permanent employees. Permanent employees should receive the same hours as before the holiday rush and if you must send someone home at slow times send a temp home.

Everyone is a customer
How you treat seasonal employees affects their impression of your store and your brand. Making temp work as enjoyable as possible helps you build brand advocates for your company.

For more information or help, contact CBA Member Services at