Are You About to Lose Workers to Seasonal Jobs with Higher Pay? – 3 Strategies to Retain or Recapture Your Employees

As 2023 begins to wind down, a familiar staffing challenge is resurfacing for industries that are already struggling to keep front-line shifts covered. According to WeCare Connect, a leading provider of employee surveys in the U.S. and Canada, recent data shows a fundamental shift in why people are leaving for new jobs: compensation is, once again, a leading factor enticing employees away from their current employers.

The ramifications of this trend extend far and wide, and certain sectors, namely retail, warehousing, distribution, and transportation, are primed to cash in. As the holidays approach, these sectors, wielding the power of a hefty paycheck for seasonal help, are readying their nets to catch your best workers, especially come October.

Don’t let this dynamic catch you by surprise. The writing is on the wall: they have the resources and the intent to recruit fiercely.

The most straightforward response is simple: ramp up pay or offer seasonal bonuses – and do it now before holiday recruiting starts. But understandably, that’s not feasible for all.

If you can’t increase pay, here are three robust strategies to help you retain your talent, or even win them back, as the year winds down:

Strategy 1: Proactive Hiring
Anticipate the gaps and start your recruitment efforts early. By doubling down on your job postings now, you’re not just preparing for the coming exodus in October/ November, but proactively staffing up to ensure smooth operations throughout the holiday season.

Strategy 2: Flexibility in Scheduling
One of the most valuable commodities in today’s job market is time. If competing on pay isn’t viable, offer flexibility. Explore part-time arrangements, allowing employees the bandwidth to juggle seasonal roles without quitting their primary job. Such gestures not only underscore your commitment to their well-being but might also dissuade them from making a complete switch.

Strategy 3: The Boomerang Philosophy
The grass might seem greener on the other side, but familiarity has its own charm. For those who do leave, encourage their return after the holidays. Highlight the benefits of their established rapport with your organization, their ingrained knowledge of processes, and the comfort of known protocols. As the seasonal frenzy dies down, make their return seamless. Can your company policies allow for a temporary hiatus? Consider options like furloughs over outright terminations.

Today’s workforce landscape, while challenging, also presents a unique opportunity to innovate, adapt, and refine our HR strategies. With foresight, adaptability, and a keen understanding of employee motivations, we can navigate these unstable times effectively.


Cara Silletto, MBA, CSP, is a workforce thought leader, keynote speaker, and author of the book, Staying Power: Why Your Employees Leave & How to Keep Them Longer

WeCare Connect is a leading provider of employee surveys with clients in over 1,300 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. We provide real-time notifications and robust dashboards driving down turnover and increasing engagement.

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