Top tips for recruiting the best Christmas staff

With Christmas fast approaching many businesses are recruiting for temporary staff to deal with the increased trade this time of year brings. Here Richard Haaker, Associate Director at recruitment consultancy, Macildowie, explains how to attract and recruit the best temporary staff.

With unemployment at an 11-year low, the competition between businesses to recruit seasonal staff is getting tougher. Thousands of temporary Christmas jobs are advertised at this time of year with Boots, Game and Next among the big names currently looking to fill roles, and the retail sector is just the tip of the iceberg. Many bars, restaurants and delivery companies are also searching for the right candidates.

To ensure your company stands out in this crowd and attracts the best candidates, it is really important to make your business, and your vacancies, desirable to prospective employees. Aim to impress them and make them want to work for you, rather than any other company out there.

Employer branding comes into play heavily here. You need to consider what impression of your company you project, and ensure it looks like a positive place to work. When doing this consider who your ideal candidate may be and tailor your recruitment marketing with them in mind. Social media will play a key part in this, and is one of the easiest ways to make your brand personable and attractive to candidates.

Additionally, timing is imperative when recruiting the best candidates. Advertise your available positions too late and they will already have found work. Take too long with your recruitment process and someone else may snap them up. It is doubtful they will only have applied to you; so if you find the right person for your business, move quickly. Always remember you are representing your business when you are hiring so even if the candidates aren’t right for you, you still want them to have a favourable impression of your organisation, especially if you are in the consumer sector. It is Christmas after all.

Added pressures at this busy time might mean it is harder to follow the full recruitment and training processes that you normally would. This, however, can potentially have detrimental consequences for both your brand and the recruitment drive. Whoever you recruit will represent your brand in the same way as any other staff member. They should be assessed for suitability to the position and fully trained and inducted to avoid the risk of damage to your reputation through mistakes or poor customer service.

Treating temporary workers like a core part of the team and like the invaluable asset that they are, will also motivate them to work hard for you and may encourage them to come back next year when you start to recruit again. It will also reduce the risk of them leaving before the season is through; leaving you to have to recruit again during your busiest time, or manage short staffed.

Even if you don’t ordinarily use one, it can be really useful to use a recruitment agency for hiring seasonal staff. They will be able to help speed things up by searching out the top talent for you, saving lots of time spent trawling through CVs and sending you the best candidates – taking the pressure off what is already an extremely busy time.

For more information about Macildowie, visit