HR challenges

To Hire or Not to Hire? Seasonal Hiring in the Time of COVID-19

December 03, 2020

Increased shopping and sales, extended hours, additional inventory to manage during the holidays typically means hiring seasonal help for businesses. But this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live and how we work, and the holiday season will be no exception.

Even though things are different this year, it does not mean the holidays have been cancelled. In fact, this year most people have begun their holiday shopping much earlier than usual, possibly expecting another shutdown or just wanting to avoid unnecessary contact with the public. This brings up an important question for employers, “Should I hire more staff this holiday season, or not?”

The changing climate of COVID-19 is causing uncertainty for businesses that typically hire seasonal help. Most businesses plan early for seasonal help and begin their hiring well in advance. However, with the risk and fear of another potential shutdown due to a second wave, many are wondering whether it’ll be necessary or even worth it to hire for the holidays.

Service industries have been operating at reduced capacity, and will likely continue to see a decrease in demand. Restaurants on the other hand have adapted to outdoor dining and take-out options to increase the number of patrons they can accommodate. Salons have already limited the services they can safely offer but will ultimately face reduced business from those who normally book appointments for holiday events. Organizations must still plan how they will handle employment and staffing during this time, even if it means limiting or reducing their staff, rather than hiring for the holiday season.

Icon - Male sitting at desk with Christmas lihgts and a tree

Even if businesses cannot operate at their full capacity, they should prepare for some sort of holiday rush, whether in store, online, dine in, or takeout. Many will still need help to support those operations. Each business must decide what is right for them, but there are a few considerations you should be thinking about and planning for when it comes to hiring for the 2020 holiday season. Download our FREE Holiday Hiring During a Pandemic Guide for more information to support your decisions, including restricted occupancy considerations, laid off employees, shift increases, and more.

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