Holiday Season Hiring: A Guide to Building Your Seasonal Team

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As we embrace the festive spirit, retailers are getting ready for a holiday shopping surge. Projections hint at a 3.5% to 4.6% uptick in sales this year, setting the stage for a merry and bustling season of gift-giving and joyful shopping experiences.
holiday season hiring


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Holiday Hiring Strategies

If your company usually brings on seasonal hires, these tactics can assist you in navigating seasonal staffing during times of economic uncertainty.

Look Internally First

Thinking about filling extra shifts? Why not consider offering them to your existing team?

According to Marina Vaamonde, owner of online house marketplace HouseCashin, some employees may be eager to take on more hours during the holidays for some extra cash. If your current team can handle the expected uptick in workload, you might not have to look beyond your current staff or hire as many temporary workers.

However, be prepared to train your team in the art of the ‘holiday hustle,’ advises Eric Elggren, co-founder of leather accessories company Andar. Developing skills in upselling, quick decision-making, and multitasking is crucial for holiday retail workers. If your existing staff has mastered these skills, you may find that you won’t need to bring on and train as many additional workers for the holiday season.

Lean Toward More Flexible Positions

When you’re navigating uncertain staffing needs and foresee a lighter workload than usual, agility is key. Bringing on part-time or temporary workers provides the flexibility to adapt quickly.

According to Arno Markus, founder of iCareerSolutions, this approach allows you to adjust staffing levels based on fluctuations in customer traffic. If demand surpasses expectations, you can ramp up hours for part-time workers willing to take on more.

Moreover, embracing this strategy aligns with the trend in today’s workforce, where flexibility is highly valued. It not only meets your business needs but also offers a desirable work arrangement in an economy where flexibility is a top priority for employees.

Hire Strategically

When gearing up for an unpredictable spending season, having a few strategic moves in your hiring playbook can make all the difference. One approach is to consider bringing on seasonal workers with diverse skill sets.

According to Kimberley Tyler-Smith from Resume Worded, hiring individuals with experience in various areas of the company allows them to handle extra responsibilities as needed. This versatile approach ensures you have the right people to tackle diverse tasks during the busy season.

In the scenario of hiring fewer workers, thorough candidate screening becomes crucial. As Phi Dange, director of the home service company Sidepost, points out, in a slower economy, there’s a larger pool of applicants for seasonal jobs. Being discerning in your hiring process is key to securing the best possible employees for your seasonal team.

Don’t Skimp Too Much

Scaling back on your hiring efforts might not be the best move when you’re in need of support. Target is maintaining its seasonal hiring goal at 100,000, mirroring last year’s figures, while Macy’s is opting for fewer hires compared to 2022.

Adrienne Couch, a human resources analyst at, emphasizes the significance of seasonal team members during the holiday season. Beyond just numbers, they play a crucial role in creating memorable experiences and meeting customer needs, contributing to the overall festive atmosphere.

Has Seasonal Hiring Been Adequate?

Reflect on your historical seasonal hiring practices as well. Dragos Badea, CEO of Yarooms, a hybrid workforce management company, notes, ‘I’ve yet to find a retail store that successfully hires an ample amount of seasonal help. This often results in overworked seasonal staff and regular employees feeling overwhelmed. Adjusting your hiring strategy based on regular patterns against slower demand could prove beneficial in the long run, reducing holiday attrition and maintaining a more sustainable pace during the peak season.’

An Economist’s Viewpoint on This Year’s Seasonal Hiring

As we dive into the holiday season, the retail sector takes the lead in shaping seasonal hiring patterns. The dynamic interplay between consumer behavior and evolving retail strategies plays a pivotal role in shaping the hiring landscape for firms.

According to Santangelo, the surge in “online shopping” is a prime example of consumer behavior impacting the retail landscape. The rise of e-commerce has not only opened up new job opportunities but has also led to a shift in the types of roles available. This transformation is influencing hiring decisions not only for traditional retailers but also for online businesses, creating a dynamic and evolving hiring environment during the festive season.


As the holiday season approaches, retailers anticipate a 3.5% to 4.6% sales boost, setting the stage for festive shopping experiences. Navigating seasonal staffing amid economic uncertainties involves strategic approaches—internal talent utilization, flexibility in hiring, and a focus on experience. Insights from industry experts highlight the need for thoughtful adjustments, acknowledging the value of seasonal team members.

A historical perspective emphasizes the importance of aligning hiring strategies with regular patterns. Economist Santangelo underlines the impact of online shopping on evolving retail roles, shaping a dynamic hiring landscape. In essence, a blend of adaptability and strategic hiring is key for a successful and joyful holiday season.

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