Small Business Hiring Tips for the Holiday Season

Monday, November 02, 2020

Planning for the holiday season is always stressful for small businesses. There are always  uncertainties, not the least of which is staffing for the busiest sales period of the year. With annual profitability hanging on just two to three months of sales, businesses are wise to leverage recruitment software for small businesses.


We’re living in an era of employee empowerment and the competition for hourly staff is fierce. More and more, hourly workers are opting for salary positions, gig work, self-employment, or even early retirement. The trend is leaving small businesses unprepared for the holiday season. 
Deloitte is predicting that holiday sales will be up between 7% and 9% this year, and online sales 11-15%. The National Retail Federation (NRF) revised its annual forecast for this year, projecting that retail sales will now grow between 10.5% and 13.5%!
This year’s holiday season could deliver the highest sales numbers for small businesses in decades.

The challenge of course is the right level of staffing for the holiday season. The good news is that recruitment software for small businesses can simplify the process and help you hire the right seasonal workers.

Our tips to help your small business navigate the holiday hiring season:


Understand the current hiring landscape


You won’t be the only business owner competing for talent to fill vacancies for the coming holiday season. To achieve your hiring goals it’s critical to have a good understanding of the current hiring environment. LinkedIn publishes yearly stats on the most in-demand roles. This year, they report that hourly roles in retail, like sales associates, are some of the most sought after in the U.S.


It’s also wise to stay informed through industry research like the NRF’s Monthly Economic Report, or the National Restaurant Association’s industry studies and reports. The more information you have at hand, the better prepared you are to compete for the staff you need to achieve your business objectives.


It’s also important to have a clear understanding of the talent you need to hire to get through the holiday season and the talent that would be nice to have. Be clear about non-negotiable skills that are key for success and deadlines for hiring and training.

Stand out from the competition


It’s not enough to be a good employer. To stand out from the competition and shorten your hiring process, be clear about the benefits you offer. Remember, although being able to earn more than a minimum wage is certainly a top priority for workers, they’re not just looking for more money.


Consider the environment you provide employees. People want to feel good about where they spend so much of their days, and they want to feel it’s a safe and healthy workplace.


Employers must assure that employees can remain healthy at work — if employees become sick they have to miss work or show up for work and infect other employees and customers.


Health should be a top priority for all small businesses. It’s both a public health matter and a smart business decision.


Is there potential for becoming a full-time employee? This can be a key factor in an applicant making the decision to accept a job offer. Convey clearly, from the beginning whether or not there’s the possibility of a permanent position.


Think Like an Applicant


In a time where so many people are anxious about their health and their financial future, we can’t overstate the importance of compassion.


You can’t hire everyone. But you can take a few moments to customize your emails or jot down a few bullet points of helpful feedback before you get on the phone to inform an applicant that you’re going in a different direction.


According to, if done right, giving feedback to applicants you don’t hire can create goodwill toward your business and help keep the option open. That person might even apply again in the future if they’ve gained the skills they were missing or you have a different opening they might fit.


When is Tech Worth It?


Writing informative, readable job descriptions sounds doable in theory. So does giving meaningful feedback to candidates and managing regulatory requirements, but it can feel like too much to coordinate when you’re running a small business.


For over-stretched business owners and hiring managers, cloud-based recruitment software for small businesses can be a valuable tool. Being able to see all your job listings, active applicants, scheduled interviews at a glance could help you make the most of your time.


Let Heartland Hire simplify recruitment


To lessen the stress and complexities of hiring for the holiday season, Heartland Hire’s easy-to-use dashboard will help you reclaim the time you previously spent digging through emails to find interview appointments and resume attachments with intuitive small business solutions. Heartland Hire’s cloud-based recruiting software lets you more easily scale your hiring efforts, keep up with regulatory compliance requirements, and give candidate options like text-to-apply and mobile application forms. Holiday season planning is stressful enough, let us simplify your hiring process with effective tools.

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for nearly 1,000,000 businesses on a mission to sell more, keep customers coming back and have more time to focus on building a remarkable business. Learn more at