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Holiday hiring: an inside look into what seasonal workers want

Oct 15, 2019

The holiday season seems to start earlier every year, and with it comes the pressure to hire enough seasonal help. As you prepare for increased demand - more packages to mail, more customers to help, more patrons to serve - it’s time to ask the pressing question: do you have enough workers?

Bluecrew kicked off the festivities early this year by surveying hundreds of hourly workers to understand how they’re thinking about work this holiday season. We wanted to know what types of jobs they’re looking for, how many hours they want, what hourly rate they expect, and more, and we’ve put it all together for you in Festive and Flexible: A Visual Guide to 2019 Holiday Hiring. Some of our findings were surprising, and others reinforced messages we’ve seen before about what matters most to those looking for work.

Here’s a little preview of what we uncovered:

Flexible schedules are the top factor for hourly workers

When searching for a holiday job, a flexible schedule is the most important factor for workers: 36 percent of our survey respondents ranked flexibility as their top factor. This says a lot about what shift workers are prioritizing as they seek additional work and what types of jobs will be most attractive. Workers ranked flexibility above hours, the company, and even pay rate, so if you’re struggling to hire the right people, adding more flexibility into your scheduling may be the way to go.

The time to start hiring is now

More than 63 percent of workers surveyed were planning to start looking for seasonal work before October, and nearly half of those said they would begin searching during the summer months. While there are still workers looking for the right fit or for more than one holiday job, many are already well on their way to accepting employment elsewhere. If you haven’t begun hiring, there is no time like the present to evaluate your needs and get started.

Seasonal workers are hungry for hours

In our survey, 38 percent of workers reported looking for 26 hours or more each week at their seasonal jobs. Individuals like these who are willing to take on larger holiday workloads can be great resources for companies in search of dedicated workers. Meanwhile, those looking for fewer hours - like the 16 percent of respondents who wanted to work 15 hours or less - are ready to fill smaller, one-off gaps.

As employers continue ramping up for the holiday season, it’s critical for companies in every industry to understand what workers want most to avoid being short-staffed. With this knowledge, the search for the talent you need will be that much easier. Take a deeper look at what hourly workers are looking for this holiday season in our Visual Guide to 2019 Holiday Hiring.

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