How To Retain Seasonal Employees

by | Jun 18, 2014 | Blog, Employee Relations

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or

8 Ways To Make Seasonal Employees Come Back For More!

Seasonal Employees Summer CashThe thought of hunting for new seasonal employees each year may seem like a daunting task. Perusing though countless lackluster applications, looking for those special enthusiastic few who are hoping to be lucky enough to snag some extra cash this summer is a reality that many employers must face, much to their frustration. However, this momentous job can be made much simpler by doing one simple thing- retaining your seasonal employees.

Although this may seem counterintuitive at first, it really does make quite a bit of sense for your company in the long run. One of the first steps is to make the transition of thinking of them as truly “seasonal employees” and not “just the temps”.  These are employees you want to return season after season, so you want to invest in them.  Having a skilled staff with whom you feel comfortable to help run your business is a key component to any organization’s success.

When speaking in terms of seasonal employees, doesn’t it make much more sense for you to have a pool of applicants who are reliable and already trained from which you can pull? Of course it does! You can eliminate most of the problems that are usually tied to hiring and managing seasonal employees by maintaining a returning staff year after year.

There are a few things we recommend to hang on to those keepers:

1. Put Yourself Out There.

If you typically recruit high school and college students to fill your seasonal openings, consider casting a broader net. Reach out to other prospects by putting your positions online, or going to third party hiring services for help. Spread the word through friends, neighbors, and others you do business with, and your most obvious referral source: your current employees!

2. Remember that money talks.

Compensation can always be a motivational factor with employees, especially those who are only temporary. Offering things like end-of-season bonuses can be great incentive for those seasonal employees to return again.

make seasonal employees feel part of the team3. Be A Team Player.

No matter if your employees are seasonal or not, making them feel like valued members of the team is one sure way to help ensure they stick around. Although these short term employees may not have the same long term impact and career path within  your organization as your traditional members, make an effort to show them the same amount of love.  If you can create a sense of community for your seasonal employees, they will be more invested, and more likely to return for the following season.

4. Be “That” Place.

Make your business a place where people like to work. If you provide a workplace that is uplifting, fun, and flexible, employees will look forward to coming to work each day and returning to the company each year. Keep in mind things such as training, work-life balance, and teamwork, and consider ways to make them positive. Offer exciting perks, prizes, and parties. You will earn a reputation as a great place to work, which will result in a higher number of applicants hoping to get in on the action.

5. Just Ask!

When the end of the season rolls around, take a little time to interview your seasonal employees. Ask them questions about what would bring them back next year, would they be interested in returning next busy season, and what matters to them in the workplace.

Keep in touch with seasonal employees6. Keep In Touch.

Stay in touch with seasonal employees throughout the year. It’s so easy to let these people know you are thinking of them even when they aren’t currently working for you. Doing little things like sending birthday cards, emails, postcards, and invitations to staff parties can all have an impact on retention and help to nourish a long-term relationship.

7. Give Rewards!

Offer some nice incentives to those who return. Employees will be happy to return if they come back to a promotion, a higher wage, or training for a supervisory role. Make the incentive a little sweeter each year the employee comes back.

8. Keep Your Friends Close And…

Lastly, keep an eye on your competition. It’s always important to keep an eye on how your rivals are conducting business, and it’s no different when it comes to seasonal staffing. Before you begin hiring, doing some research as to what competitors are offering for wages, benefits, perks and other compensatory factors will help you get a leg up. Keeping your offerings equal to or better than your contenders and seasonal employees will have one more reason to pick your company again and again.

Spending some time to keep your seasonal employees around can really help to relieve some of the headache associated with the seasonal hiring process. It makes sense to hold on to those workers you’ve already hired, trained, and built a relationship with. Make your company stand out from the crowd and their decision will be easy! You can use this guide as a starting point to develop your own retention program. Give them a reason to keep coming back for more!

Download Our FREE Resources

A list of our useful HR resources