What it takes to transform seasonal help into full-time employees

The holiday season is just around the corner, which for business leaders means holiday hiring is in full swing. A new report from Monster, however, found that while fewer workers are opting for seasonal jobs this year compared to last year, they are having an easier time finding these jobs. That more positive candidate experience may create an opening for business leaders to transform this seasonal help into full-time employees.

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This year, 85% of workers plan to work seasonal jobs during the fall and winter, a 4% decrease from last year. In 2022, 27% of workers were deterred from seeking seasonal jobs due to difficulty finding them, but this year, only 16% reported the same challenge.

Significantly, nearly half of those polled say they hope their seasonal job will lead to a permanent or full-time opportunity.

Offer a consistent, transparent experience

So, what can employers do to take advantage of that opportunity to source high-quality, full-time workers?

Vicki Salemi, a Monster career expert, says that employers should set expectations upfront and, most of all, be transparent.

“When training seasonal workers, HR can indicate it may lead to permanent or full-time work,” Salemi says.

This should involve outlining goals for what it would take to land a job, “such as demonstrating a strong work ethic, excellent communication skills, the ability to get along with colleagues, making customer service a priority and more,” she says.

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Salemi adds that employers should gauge interest in full-time employment collectively during training and onboarding.

See also: Why aren’t employers delivering the EX employees want?

For workers who express interest, she says, HR may also want to outline an individual path, exploring the role and department workers would be most interested in and identifying what skills they should focus on developing during the seasonal role.

Also, HR or a frontline manager should check in frequently (weekly or semi-monthly) to assess those workers’ progress.

It’s also important to continuously recognize the efforts and accomplishments of seasonal workers as well as communicate the employer’s interest in their development, such as by offering resources for mentoring and training.

“Rather than from day one saying, ‘We’d like to consider you for a more permanent role’ and then re-appearing on the last day saying, ‘Let’s talk,’ the conversation should start early and be ongoing and fluid,” Salemi says. “This open, transparent communication style will likely encourage workers to approach an employer, too.”

Employers should keep in mind that the employee experience for seasonal workers should consistently communicate company culture, Salemi says—because while the experience can help the employer “audition” workers for full-time roles, seasonal workers are just as much “test-driving” the employer.

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Tom Starner
Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at [email protected].