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Billy Giordano . 2 minute read
HOSPITALITY STAFFING

5 Seasonal Hiring Mistakes You’re Probably Still Making

Restaurant and recreation industries experiencing seasonal fluctuations yearly isn’t anything new. While hiring for these volume peaks and valleys seems pretty straight forward, there are a few unexpected challenges that are easily avoidable with the right perspective, and tools of course. 

From customer-facing positions to kitchen support and logistics roles, it’s easy to overlook important parts of the hiring process and miss out on quality candidates. To help avoid these mistakes, here are five common hiring blunders we often see being made during the seasonal hiring process and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Lack of Season-Specific Hiring Strategy

Using the same hiring process for short-term and long-term employees is not effective. Hiring seasonal talent requires a different approach, including creative sourcing, screening, and onboarding methods that are tailored to the needs, schedules, and capabilities of seasonal workers. By developing a specific hiring plan for seasonal workers, you can attract and hire the right candidates for your needs at that moment.

How to avoid: Consider the lifestyle and urgency of your ideal candidates when creating your application process. Make it mobile-friendly and easy to navigate for college students who may be home for winter break.

Mistake #2: Inadequate Needs Assessment

During the busy holiday season, it’s easy to lose focus on what your business actually needs beyond extra help. Overlooking the training and onboarding process for new hires can be time-consuming and costly.

How to avoidConduct a thorough needs assessment to determine the number of employees needed and how they can complement existing processes. Hiring support for current staff can help them handle high-traffic times while minimizing the training required for seasonal workers.

Mistake #3: Waiting Too Long to Start Hiring

Starting your seasonal hiring process earlier than you think can give you a competitive edge. Restaurants and other companies are scrambling for seasonal talent, so starting early can help you secure the best candidates.

How to avoid: Consider making your seasonal hiring strategy a year-round endeavor to stay ahead of the competition. Invest in a hiring platform that enables fast, mobile applications and automates the hiring process.

Mistake #4: Hiring Only for Seasonality

While hiring seasonal workers to handle extra tasks is important, don’t overlook the potential for longevity. Seasonal hires have the potential to bring positive change to your current roster and can be assets over time.

How to avoidWhen interviewing seasonal workers, consider their long-term goals and whether they align with your company’s goals. Be transparent about the possibility of keeping them on staff after the seasonal period has ended. For annual recruits, establish a workflow to connect with them and hire them easily every year.

Mistake #5: Neglecting Long-Term Hiring

Investing in long-term hires starts with sourcing. Set up your hiring parameters to filter for candidates who are seeking short-term or contract work with the potential for an extension after the contract ends.

How to avoid: During the screening and interviewing process, discuss the candidate’s career goals and consider whether you may have a more permanent position for them in the future.


In conclusion, seasonal hiring can be challenging, but with a system in place and a focus on avoiding common mistakes, you can attract and retain quality talent how, and when you need it. 

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