Retaining the Best Talent During the Holiday Season


Look, we’ve all heard the stories about shipping delays and backlogged orders. Most of us have experienced the inconvenience first-hand in the form of empty store shelves or “out of stock” blurbs on retailers’ websites. Over the last few months, economic observers have warned that shoppers will need to start their holiday shopping early—like, Labor Day early—to hedge for the limited availability of popular holiday gifts (and good luck to you, buddy, on remembering where you’ve hidden them).

With all the media coverage of a snarled supply chain during the holiday season, it’s surprising that little attention has been paid to the fact that recruiting and retaining the best talent for a seasonal workforce will be even more challenging this year. After all, we’re still in the thick of the Great Resignation. Salaried and hourly workers have made it clear in their exit interviews that work-life balance matters, which is why many of these workers are now joining the gig economy as highly-skilled contractors who
value their time.

Furthermore, because an increasing number of companies are relying on these contractors, especially as their seasonal workforce, that means that the competition for the best and brightest workers will be fierce this holiday season. So how do you recruit the best talent for your seasonal workforce this year and expand your talent pool in the years to come?


Seamless Onboarding

From the moment a contractor accepts a new assignment, your company should be prepared to create a seamless onboarding experience for your seasonal workers, just as you would for your W-2 employees. Not only will this be the optimal time to discuss things like scheduling or invoicing, but it is also a great way to introduce your company to your contractor. By giving your contractors a strong sense of your company culture, you are preparing them to reflect your company’s brand, on and off the clock.


Inclusive Team Building

Ideally, you’ll want to blend your seasonal workers into your regular workforce. When your contractors are treated like valued members of the team, they will feel like they are contributing to your company in a meaningful way. They will form relationships with employees in your regular workforce and acquire new skills. They can also use these connections to build out their professional networks, which can help them generate references and leads for future opportunities.


Incentivizing Performance

Contracting doesn’t have to be a completely transactional relationship. If your contractor or temp worker goes above and beyond your expectations, that should be recognized. In fact, retailers will often extend employee discounts and sales incentives to their seasonal workers—they know these incentives will engender goodwill and result in more sales for their company. An invitation to join your company on a full-time basis could also be an effective incentive, as could the promise of preferential hiring during the next seasonal peak at a higher rate of pay.


Prompt Payments

Making sure that wages are competitive will often be the best way to recruit new talent; making sure that payments are prompt will enable you to retain talent in the years to come. Look, most contractors sign up for seasonal work to earn extra holiday cash. However, if they are paid weeks into the New Year, they’re not exactly earning holiday cash at that point. You can build loyalty among your seasonal contractors when you make it a priority to ensure that they are not only paid for their work—but that they're paid on time.

Adopting a payment processor solution like Gig Wage can help you streamline your payments to contractors during the busiest time of the year. And by taking care of your seasonal workforce, you are positioning your company for success, with many happy returns in the new fiscal year. So whether you pay contractors only during the holiday season or all year round, if you're ready to streamline your contractor payroll process, visit our website to get started.

Written by

Erin Lee