‘Tis the season for building your holiday staffing plan, so we’ve rounded up the biggest trends to watch for as employers move into the close of the year. Our staff located in over 45 cities across the United States weighed in, sharing what they’re hearing and seeing.

The biggest takeaways? Staffing will continue to be tight. Company leaders need to be strategic and creative to fill holiday staffing needs and stay ahead of the competition. 

Here’s What to Expect for 2023 Holiday Staffing

Easy applications and fast hiring 

Keeping it simple is the name of the game in hiring. Candidates want the application process to be easy and the hiring/onboarding process to be quick. Employers are using QR codes and text-to-apply systems to get candidates into the funnel quickly. The LGC team is seeing this strategy at stadiums, in elevators, and on social media. 

Once hired, candidates are looking for faster and/or remote onboarding with self-assessments to speed up the process of getting to work and getting paid. With so many businesses competing for a small pool of applicants – especially leading up to the holidays – it’s important to do everything you can to facilitate a simple and quick hiring process. Ease and efficiency is how to win the holiday staffing game.

Last-minute squeeze

Holiday staffing may feel like a game of chicken, with candidates waiting until the last minute to apply, putting employers in a scramble to fill positions. Even with the volatility of the economy, candidates are so confident about finding jobs that many aren’t in a particular hurry to apply. But, as stated above, once they do apply, they want the process to go quickly. 

Employers need to be proactive in reaching out to potential candidates to attract them to their businesses, and then sell them on the advantages of joining their team. Staffing companies – whose full-time business is looking for great talent – are always on the lookout for great talent. They can bring quality candidates to you before the last-minute rush. 

Short-term hiring for long-term needs 

Traditionally, holiday staffing means bringing on temporary employees who would be laid off at the end of the season. Now that staffing has become a year-round challenge, many employers are looking at fourth quarter hiring as a way to identify high-quality team members to keep on in the year ahead. The holiday season can be used as a trial period for employees, and those who perform well can be offered a job as a permanent member of staff. 

More focus on back-end operations 

When thinking about holiday staffing, the first roles that come to mind are customer-facing jobs, such as food servers, retail clerks, and hotel front-desk staff. While there is always demand for those positions, we’re seeing more interest this year in hiring back-end staff.  

Warehouses are increasing temp staff usage for Q3 and Q4 to hit quotas and finish the year strong. In hospitality, we’re seeing an uptick in demand for cooks and culinary personnel. The shortage of culinary professionals long predates COVID-19, and this year out team is getting a lot of requests for candidates to fill those positions. Restaurateurs would rather be able to produce food and then figure out the front of house staff. If no one can make the food then why have servers who don’t have meals to deliver to tables? Customers go to a restaurant to eat, and even the best customer service can’t substitute for good food.   

Automation, self-service, and AI 

The hospitality and service industries are moving in a clear direction: if a position doesn’t 100% need to be done by a staff person, it will be eliminated. Cashiers are a great example – if there can be a self-checkout option, there will be. 

Self-service at restaurants, including online ordering from the table or a kiosk, are on the rise. Hotels are increasingly using reservation platforms, contactless check-in, and other technology tools to reduce the need for staff. Some restaurants have QR codes at their tables for customers to order and pay directly. Wait staff simply drops off food and drinks. 

Travel uncertainties 

Holidays are often a big travel time, but this year, the outlook isn’t quite so clear. Travelers wary of canceled and delayed flights or priced out of the market by high fares and rising gas prices may shift their holiday plans to places closer to home. That outcome could be a boost for local businesses looking to host events and bring in more family and work celebrations. Those opportunities will call for increased staff, and restaurateurs will be working hard to fill those positions. 

Key Takeaway:

Savvy employers will start looking for top candidates now for holiday staffing. Using tech tools like QR codes and text-to-apply will help streamline the process and attract job seekers looking for a simple application and hiring process. Staffing professionals can help identify high-quality candidates and make the process much easier on employers during the busiest time of the year. 

About LGC 
Building long-lasting partnerships since 2003. LGC places temporary and permanent staff with clients (like you!) nationwide to fill open positions on your team. During our partnership, we’ll work closely with you to understand your needs and put a plan in place to accomplish your hiring goals. Find out why we’ve been the go-to nationwide holiday staffing solution for twenty years.