How to Recruit Great Seasonal Candidates During the Holidays

The holidays of 2023 hold great promise for employment opportunities. For instance, economists are optimistic about the prospects for teen employment as businesses ramp up their hiring efforts for the season.

This blog post will share actionable and original tactics to help you stand out as an employer and attract top-notch seasonal candidates during the holidays.

Understanding the Seasonal Landscape

To recruit great seasonal candidates during the holidays, it’s key to understand the seasonal landscape. This means knowing what’s happening during these times and how it impacts jobseekers. Candidates during the holidays might be students looking for temporary work or people seeking extra income while taking time off from their regular jobs.

Recognize the Mindset and Motivations of Candidates During Holiday Periods

Recognizing the mindset and motivations of candidates during holiday periods is crucial for effective recruitment. For example, many college students are looking for flexible job opportunities that fit within their break or other commitments. They want to earn money or gain valuable work experience while still having time for internships, travel, or spending time with their loved ones.

Identify the Benefits and Appeal of Seasonal Positions for Candidates

When recruiting seasonal candidates, it’s crucial to identify the benefits and appeal of seasonal positions. For candidates, seasonal jobs can provide extra income during their time off. These positions also offer opportunities to learn new skills and gain industry experience. Some companies even provide perks like employee discounts or flexible working hours.

Explore the Potential Challenges and Misconceptions That May Deter Candidates from Applying to Seasonal Positions

However, challenges and misconceptions may discourage candidates from applying to seasonal positions. Some might think seasonal jobs are only for those without specialized skills or that there are no opportunities for growth. It’s best to communicate the potential for skill development to address these concerns. Additionally, dispelling misconceptions about temporary positions by showcasing how they can lead to long-term opportunities or networking within the company or industry can help overcome these challenges and attract more candidates.

How to Recruit Great Candidates During Slow Months

During slow months, such as the holiday season, recruiting great candidates can be challenging. However, there are strategies to overcome this obstacle and attract top talent:

1. Leverage Nontraditional Recruitment Channels

Instead of relying solely on traditional job boards, consider exploring alternative platforms where high-quality seasonal candidates can be found. This could include LinkedIn, Facebook groups, or industry-specific online communities. By tapping into these channels, you can expand your reach and connect with potential candidates who may not be actively searching on conventional job sites.

Being visible in the places where candidates spend their free time is another key aspect of nontraditional recruitment. While it’s important not to be overly pushy or intrusive, creating a presence in the spaces where candidates relax and engage in their hobbies can help generate interest.

For example, if you’re recruiting for a hospitality position, consider participating in local events, sponsoring community initiatives, or partnering with relevant organizations. This way, you can showcase the company’s culture and work opportunities while organically attracting candidates who align with seasonal staffing needs. Building genuine connections can yield excellent results during slow months.

2. Craft Irresistible Job Descriptions and Recruitment Messages

Writing great job descriptions and recruitment messages is key to attracting great candidates during the slow summer months.

Highlight the unique aspects and perks of the position, such as flexible schedules or opportunities for skill development. Emphasize the positive work environment and any potential career growth prospects, and make sure to include relevant keywords and skills to attract qualified candidates.

When it comes to recruitment messages, be compelling and concise. Communicate the value proposition of the seasonal position and how it aligns with the candidate’s goals and interests. Use a friendly and engaging tone that captures attention and makes candidates feel excited about the opportunity. Personalize the message by addressing the candidate by name and mentioning specific qualifications or experiences that make the person a strong fit.

3. Make Seasonal Candidates Feel Special with Personalized Messages

Using recruiting text messages can be an effective method for engaging seasonal hires on a more personal level. It allows quick and direct communication, making candidates feel valued and appreciated. When using text messaging, choose a reliable platform that ensures prompt delivery and provides features for personalization, such as including the candidate’s name or referring to specific details from their application or interview. Make sure these platforms allow for quick integration with your applicant tracking system.

Obtaining consent and building an opt-in list for text messaging communication is crucial to ensure compliance with relevant regulations. Seek explicit permission from candidates to receive text messages, and provide clear opt-out options. Personalized text messages during summer and holidays can make seasonal candidates feel valued, engaged, and excited about the opportunity to work at your company.

4. Leverage Existing Referrals and Employee Advocacy

When recruiting great candidates during slow months, leveraging existing referrals and employee advocacy can be a game-changer. By tapping into the networks and experiences of your current employees, you can expand your reach and attract top talent.

Here are some actionable tips for leveraging referrals and employee advocacy during hiring:

  • Implementing a referral program with incentives for current employees

Consider implementing a referral program with attractive incentives to encourage current employees to refer potential candidates. This could include specific rewards such as additional time off or even recognition within the company. By providing incentives, you motivate your employees to participate in recruitment and recommend qualified candidates actively.

  • Encouraging seasonal hires to share their experiences on social media or review platforms

Empower your seasonal hires to share their positive experiences on social media platforms or review websites. Encourage them to post about their work, the positive aspects of the job, and the supportive environment. By doing so, they become influential advocates who can attract potential candidates through their authentic stories.

  • Using employee advocacy to amplify the positive aspects of seasonal work

Empowering your employees to share the positive aspects of seasonal work through word of mouth or social media amplifies the reach of your recruitment efforts. By showcasing the benefits, growth opportunities, and supportive work environment, you can generate interest among potential candidates who may not have considered seasonal positions yet.

5. Offer Unique Perks and Incentives to Seasonal Hires

Instead of relying solely on traditional incentive packages, focus on relevant and specific perks for seasonal hires. For instance, create a tiered bonus structure through which seasonal hires can earn extra rewards or bonuses based on meeting specific performance targets or achieving outstanding customer satisfaction ratings. This motivates them to excel in their roles and recognizes and rewards their exceptional contributions.

In addition to performance-based incentives, consider other unique perks that can make the seasonal employment experience more appealing. For example, provide flexible scheduling options that accommodate their other commitments during the holiday months.

Provide opportunities for professional development or access to training programs to enhance their skills and provide long-term benefits. By offering these distinctive perks and incentives, you can stand out from other employers and attract top talent to your seasonal positions.

6. Reach Out to Seasonal Hires Proactively

Don’t wait for candidates to come to you; take the initiative and reach out yourself. Leverage your existing connections, such as former seasonal hires who have performed well or individuals who have expressed interest in working with your organization.

Use various outreach methods, including networking events, career fairs, and online platforms. Actively engage with relevant communities and industry-specific groups to identify potential candidates who may be interested in seasonal positions. Taking a proactive approach and reaching out directly increases your chances of finding great candidates who may not have considered applying independently.

7. Use Targeted Advertising to Reach Individuals on Vacation

You can specifically target individuals in the vacation destination or local area by leveraging platforms such as local PPC ads and ads on local boards. For example, geolocation targeting can ensure your ads are shown to people within a specific area of your business or in popular vacation spots.

Another effective strategy is to partner with local establishments and tourism boards to promote your seasonal positions. By placing advertisements in resorts, in tourist information centers, or even on local event boards, you can catch the attention of those seeking temporary work during their stay. These targeted ads can connect you with individuals actively seeking local opportunities who are more likely to be open to seasonal work during their holiday season.

8. Provide Additional Training or Skill Development Opportunities

To recruit great candidates during the slow seasonal months, offering additional training or skill development opportunities can be a compelling incentive. Consider providing seasonal hires with the chance to acquire new skills or certifications that can further their career and knowledge.

Offering training programs or access to webinars related to the specific job role can attract motivated candidates to enhance their skills. This shows your commitment to their professional growth and development, making the seasonal position more enticing. Providing these opportunities creates a win-win situation in which candidates can acquire valuable skills while contributing their expertise to your team during the seasonal months.

9. Partner with Local Tourism Boards, Community Centers, or Event Organizers

Partnering with these local entities can greatly enhance your recruitment efforts and increase the likelihood of attracting top-notch candidates during the slow months. These organizations often directly connect with the local community and can help spread the word about seasonal job opportunities.

Community centers are also valuable partners that can help connect you with motivated candidates actively seeking employment opportunities. Collaborating with them allows you to tap into their networks and reach a wider pool of potential candidates.


Recruiting exceptional seasonal candidates during the holiday seasons requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. We’ve explored recruiting challenges when individuals aren’t actively looking for work during their holidays and provided actionable tips to attract candidates during these periods.

Alexa Lemzy is Marketing and Communications Manager at TextMagic Ltd.

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