Holiday shopping

The Christmas shopping season will be here soon. It’s critical for business owners to reach out to seasonal workers well before the competition has a chance to hire them.

Although the summer season sees the largest boost in seasonal employment, the winter holidays also see a big boost in temporary hiring.

And now with college kids back at school and beach towns quieting down, it’s time to start thinking forward in case you need to hire seasonal workers for the winter holidays.

Whether you call them seasonal workers or temps or contractual employees, it’s critical to reach them now, well before your competition has had the chance to hire them, leaving your business in jeopardy of being short-staffed for the holiday rush.

When is a good time to advertise for seasonal/temporary workers? Give it a minimum of a three month lead time.

College students may have a reputation of being procrastinators when it comes to studying for tests and writing papers. However, many university students would love knowing that when the semester is over, they can earn money during the winter break (or summer break).

You can post temp jobs at local university career centers. Print out flyers and tack them to bulletin boards around campuses and local coffee shops and other places of business students frequent.

But don’t just pin your hopes on filling temporary jobs on college kids. Advertise your openings for retired baby boomers. In fact, there are job websites specifically for the 50 and over set, such as,, and several others.

Craigslist and LinkedIn are also tried but true platforms for posting seasonal employment opportunities. You can also place print ads in your local weekly entertainment magazine or newspaper.

What to include in your temporary/seasonal job ad

Make sure the ad is very specific about job requirements, especially physical requirements. Will heavy lifting be necessary? If so, that may limit otherwise qualified retired baby boomers.

And what are the hours? Are they flexible? Is there potential for permanent hiring? If not, make sure to reiterate the opening is seasonal or temporary (if possible, mention the duration of the temporary employment). And if you offer any benefits, be sure to make mention of it as well as the pay range.

Where to advertise temp jobs

Some businesses that rely on temporary or seasonal workers year after year form relationships with staffing and recruiting agencies.

Although it costs money to use the services of a hiring agency, if you have limited bandwidth for doing the hiring yourself, much less even write the job ad and post it, an agency can be well worth it. This is especially true if you have several positions to fill at once.

If you only need to hire, say, two or three workers, an agency might be unnecessary.

Outside of using an agency, there are other ways you can get the word out about your temporary hiring needs.

For instance, you can post job vacancy notices at post offices, libraries, churches and other places of worship, as well as community centers and last but not least, your own place of business.

And if you really are close to some of your customers, ask them if they have any friends who would like some seasonal work.

A customer might surprise you by saying that he or she could use some seasonal work.

In addition, ask your current employees if they can recommend any reliable, hard-working seasonal employees.

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