If your business model includes cyclical periods of higher-than-usual demand or regular dramatic shifts in operations, you need a flexible staffing solution. Hiring seasonal workers can be an efficient way to adapt and meet your peak-season requirements. 

To make it work, you need a HR services partner who understands the unique challenges of seasonal employment and who can access workers with the skills you need within your desired timeline.

In this article, we will discuss how Randstad can help you overcome your seasonal demand challenges.

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discover how randstad helped formula 1 team, Scuderia AlphaTauri, navigate their peak season.

download the case study here

when seasonal workers are an essential part of business operations

Your seasonal business has unique challenges. It must have adequate supplies and products to meet demand and trained workers on hand to support a sudden growth in operations.

Inadequate staffing can affect your ability to provide the products or services your business relies on to remain profitable. It can also result in poor customer satisfaction and a damaged brand image. One way to ensure flexibility in your workforce is with seasonal employees.

Seasonal hiring brings many advantages to your organisation, providing the necessary workers to maintain operations or prevent burnout of permanent staff during peak season. And sometimes, as you will see in our case study, seasonal employees bring additional skills to the business. 

Since these workers are only around for the period you require them for, they limit payroll inflation, which can occur when you have too many employees for your needs. They also provide a ready pool of candidates should you wish to expand the size of your permanent team.

understanding the challenges of seasonal workers

While seasonal employees can be an efficient solution to a cyclical business model, they require a good deal of planning and expert management, which is why it helps to work with an experienced HR solutions partner. Some challenges you may encounter include:

accurate forecasting

Determining how many and what type of seasonal workers you need is a crucial first step that can be challenging to even veteran managers. It definitely helps if you’ve been in the business for a while and have last year’s figures. However, you must still factor in variables, which, depending on your industry, could include the economy, world events, climate and supply chain disruptions.

If you haven’t dealt with seasonality before, you’ll have a much tougher time coming up with accurate predictions and may need to rely on industry forecasts and help from experienced partners. You’ll also have to account for working capital and budgetary constraints. Finally, leave plenty of leeway in your figures to allow for higher or lower demands, providing flexibility in your workforce planning.

locating seasonal workers

Once you’ve determined what kind of seasonal talent you require and how many people you need, you must find them. A tight labour market can make this more difficult, as can the need for a unique or in-demand skill set. To combat this, consider expanding your talent pool by searching among other target groups such as students or international workers. 

Partnering with an expert in the recruitment field can provide access to more candidates as well as advanced HR technology to help streamline the hiring progress. Their professional connections with universities and job boards can help you expand your talent search.

integrating seasonal hires

Periods of high demand naturally bring added stress to the business. To create a positive atmosphere of cooperation between seasonal and permanent workers, you must fully integrate both sets of employees.

permanent team

Your permanent staff must adapt to new coworkers and different work dynamics. If adding one employee can change a work environment, think about adding 50 employees at once. Help your regular staff become good managers, mentors and leaders by providing soft-skill training in time management, communication and conflict resolution. Ensure your current team members know and support company policies regarding equal employment and nondiscrimination.

seasonal team

Engaged employees are less absent and more productive, both of which can improve customer satisfaction and brand image. To help your seasonal employees engage, follow these strategies:

  • Foster a company culture of belonging: Whether new or long-term, employees like to feel they are part of a team. 
  • Create a smooth hiring and onboarding process: Start new employees off with a positive experience to help foster a pleasant work environment and remember to onboard and train employees before peak season begins.
  • Provide opportunities for rehire or permanent hire: Letting seasonal workers know they can work again next year or may earn a permanent position gives them the incentive to perform at their best. 

knowledge loss

While many seasonal workers provide entry-level work, some companies need a short-term influx of specialty skills. Organisations with this type of seasonal demand must cope with the inevitable loss of knowledge when these workers leave. Rehiring the same workers is a logical solution; however, the highly skilled worker may move to another, more permanent position in the interim. 

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review our case study to see how randstad minimised knowledge loss for formula 1 team, Scuderia AlphaTauri.

get the case study here

why work with randstad

As an HR solutions expert, we know the struggles seasonal businesses face, from finding workers to locating in-demand skills. And we’ve helped many companies just like yours maximise potential through seasonal employment. Furthermore, by partnering with Randstad to expedite seasonal recruitment, you can work on other critical areas before peak season arrives.

extensive talent pool

Through its years of global work as a talent agency, Randstad has immediate access to a large network of talent. We can help you quickly source seasonal workers with the skills and experience you require, whether it’s customer service staff for your ice cream business or advanced engineers for technical projects. 

As an example, consider our track record with Scuderia AlphaTauri, a Formula 1 racing team. AlphaTauri requires designers and technicians with a specific subset of skills for approximately 6 months out of the year. It had two distinct challenges:

  • finding these highly skilled workers on a timely basis
  • the corresponding knowledge loss when workers left

Randstad’s solution has enabled AlphaTauri to rehire the same engineers and mechanics every year, keeping the knowledge intact. In the off-season, Randstad allocates these workers to other projects.

As you can see from the above example, Randstad’s vast network and local presence can help ensure your business accesses qualified candidates regardless of your industry, from Formula 1 racing to logistics or manufacturing. We’re familiar with international labour laws, including the use of foreign and immigrant labour, and can ensure you’re following regulations on time off, minimum wage and hours worked.

workforce scheduling 

Randstad’s technology can help you optimise workforce scheduling, providing several benefits to seasonal employers. Our scheduling app lets you:

  • communicate easily with workers, from finding availability to requesting shift changes and reporting call-offs
  • reduce overtime through an equitable distribution of work
  • ensure compliance with company policies

In addition, Randstad uses cutting-edge technology to find, assess and vet candidates. This saves time on your end, adding efficiency to the entire process. Each year, we present AlphaTauri with a short list of candidates, so they only meet with the top prospects rather than every applicant.

onboarding and training expertise

Whether you employ entry-level or technically skilled individuals, they need to be trained on company processes and their particular roles within the organisation. Since your time is limited for seasonal employees, it’s critical to have a dynamic training program that can be customised to each position and continually adapted as your company grows. Furthermore, you need a way to train permanent employees to integrate and mentor seasonal workers. Randstad can help create and support training courses to meet these needs.

To illustrate, Randstad collaborated with AlphaTauri on managerial, technical and onboarding programs as well as their Formula Future, an internal academy that works specifically with engineers, highly specialised designers and race mechanics. Randstad oversees the organisation and general knowledge aspects, while AlphaTauri’s specialists provide internal training focusing on racing technologies. 

inhouse services

If you employ a large contingent workforce, you may wish to have an inhouse Randstad team providing expert assistance with scheduling, training and the day-to-day workforce management. Our dedicated account team offers immediate help with any issues that may arise, working directly with your team leaders — saving you time and increasing flexibility. Plus, your inhouse team becomes familiar with how the company works, its culture and its goals. 

At AlphaTauri, our onsite team consists of three individuals who meet regularly with the HR manager and other HR staff and are available anytime for a quick chat or discussion. They can also facilitate interactions with other branches of Randstad, whether it's another department or country, so the HR manager only has to reach out to one person. The consultant handles the rest.

proven track record

Above all, when you work with Randstad, you get a partner that knows the ins and outs of seasonal employment and has a history of fulfilling expectations. Our success with AlphaTauri is just one example of how we’ve helped companies like yours leverage peak season employment to increase efficiency and productivity.

about the author
a bearded man wearing a suit while smiling and looking to the right
a bearded man wearing a suit while smiling and looking to the right

richard kennedy

country director

Richard is responsible for leading the continued growth of Randstad New Zealand. An empathetic and relationship focused business leader, Richard works closely with his talented team of recruitment professionals who are passionate about shaping the future of work.

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