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2018 Holiday Hiring: 3 Tips for Seasonal Recruiting Success

September 14, 2018
iCIMS Staff
3 min read

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: holiday hiring season.

All indicators point to a positive holiday shopping season: the economy is strong, the NRF expects retail sales to increase a minimum of 4.5 percent over last year and the OECD reports consumer confidence is at a 10-year high.

Thanks to this outlook, job seekers have a variety of seasonal employment options at their fingertips from jobs in retail sales and customer service to restaurant, hospitality and transportation roles. While job candidates are enjoying a boon of options, employers have it a bit more difficult this holiday season. In 2017, top employers including Amazon, Target and Fedex hired nearly half a million seasonal employees according to Adecco.

While 63 percent of employers plan to add jobs in the second half of 2018 (CareerBuilder), available workers are scarce. The strong economy and historically low unemployment rates are putting pressure on businesses to compete for top talent.

How can employers break through the challenges and attract the best talent for the 2018 holiday season? Consider leveraging the following recruiting trends and strategies when creating a seasonal hiring plan:

  1. Start seasonal hiring early. Businesses like Fedex, Macy’s, Kohls and J.C. Penney started running ads in August and September – months earlier than in years past. Time is of the essence as the average time-to-fill is about 42 days. However, quality talent isn’t going to wait that long, data from Officevibe shows that top candidates are off the market in just 10 days. In order to keep the process moving, consider moving to a robust recruiting technology to help you manage the hiring process more efficient and cost-effectively.
  1. Communication is key. It is critical to keep an open line of communication throughout the hiring process. Job seekers invest a lot of time and often become frustrated when they don’t hear back from potential employers. In fact, 76 percent of people say not hearing back after submitting an application is more frustrating than not hearing from someone after a first date.

Employers need to take advantage of all opportunities to engage with prospects during the critical holiday hiring season. Candidates are consumers and talent is (literally) walking in many businesses’ doors daily; get in front of these potential candidates with in store advertising offering ‘text-to-apply’ options. Texting is the preferred form of communication for many job seekers, with 86 percent of people agreeing that it would greatly benefit the job application process.

TextApply by TextRecruit, an iCIMS company, enables job seekers to text-in and apply from anywhere, while helping employers save time and improve efficiencies by capturing applicant information and automating responses.

Introducing text recruiting into a talent acquisition strategy can help greatly improve communication and the candidate experience – creating a more favorable brand impression overall. During the holiday season and beyond, candidates who are satisfied with their recruitment experience are two times as likely to become a customer of the hiring organization compared with candidates who are dissatisfied.

  1. Tap into passive job seekers. Passive candidates offer an untapped source of top talent. While these folks aren’t actively looking for a new job, 51 percent would consider one if the right opportunity came along.

Mining for talent within your own database is also advantageous, as temporary workers often take similar jobs seasonally. In 2017, Snagajob reported that 51 percent of seasonal hires were workers from years’ past.

iCIMS candidate relationship management (CRM) software can help employers take a proactive approach, keeping prospects engaged via email campaigns in the months and weeks leading into the holiday hiring season. Employers can create talent pools and easily keep job seekers up to date with company news and when holiday job openings are posted.

Connect also helps hiring managers keep talent pools full for when the unexpected happens during their busiest time of the year. Temporary workers tend to have higher turnover, 15 percent of holiday hires don’t make it through the season.

To learn more on how to tackle the challenges of holiday hiring, watch iCIMS and Text Recruit’s webinar on high volume hiring.

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