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Shifting Mindsets from Temp to Strategic: How to Get More From Your “Seasonal” Hiring Investments

This time of year, especially for gift retailers, hiring is top of mind. They’re focused on staffing up and onboarding new associates for the busy holiday season ahead.

We’ve written previously about the importance of optimizing your recruiting, interviewing, and selection strategies to better serve your business year round. But when it comes to seasonal hires, retailers often think in temporary terms. Someone to fill the gap, just for the time being.

I’d like to suggest a mindset shift. Hiring is top of mind right now, but what might you do to keep these new team members?

Many retailers today are short-staffed, and their associates are feeling frustrated, spread thin, and overworked. As one associate put it, “One call-out kills our front end and creates chaos. We never have enough people and the whole store suffers because of it.”

Store leaders, meanwhile, are having to manage the floor and navigate scheduling without sufficient coverage in all areas as they struggle to keep morale up and burnout at bay. It goes without saying that customers are feeling the effects of this staffing crisis as well. When there’s no one to help and the staff is exhausted, stressed out, and dreading every day, the customer experience inevitably suffers — and so does the business.

When hiring ramps up, whether it’s for the winter holidays, summer season, or other key times, retailers do the work to recruit, select, and bring in new team members, getting them up to speed and equipped to delight customers and deliver on the brand experience. This is an investment. Why not get more from it? One way to do it is to stop thinking in temporary terms and start looking at it as a strategic opportunity.

Let’s take a look at what you can do right now to not just recruit and hire but also retain and grow great retail associates. And scroll down for additional “stay” strategies your leaders can implement, day in and day out.

Mary Beth Garcia, CEO

P.S. Designed for all levels of leaders and available in online and instructor-led options to accommodate the busy retail environment, our Retail Store Leadership (RSL) program develops the interpersonal skills to create connections, coach, and retain associates who consistently deliver exceptional performance and memorable customer experiences. Get in touch to learn more about it and how it can address your business needs.

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PLEASE NOTE: Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, a recording of this webinar will not be available for distribution after the event, so be sure to mark your calendar and make plans to attend the live session!

Webinar: Keeping Our Team Members and Customers Safe in Today’s Retail World

Tuesday, October 31

12:00 – 1:00 PM ET

Join us for a robust and timely discussion about the retail environment today, with a focus on the safety issues impacting the physical and mental well-being of our retail store associates and customers.


Our panelists of loss prevention, asset protection, and retail learning & development experts will explore proven strategies for creating a safe retail environment amid a rise in Organized Retail Crime (ORC), theft, violence, and associated workplace stress and mental health issues. 


  • Leorn Chatman, Senior LP Manager, Westlake Ace Hardware
  • JD Dillon, Chief Learning Officer, Axonify
  • Paul Jones, Vice Chairperson, Loss Prevention Foundation
  • Michael Limauro, VP of Asset Protection, Whole Foods Market

Moderated by Mary Beth Garcia, CEO, MOHR Retail

Make Employee Retention an Everyday Practice

Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans, the original Stay Interview thought leaders, are the bestselling authors of the manager’s playbook on retention, “Hello Stay Interviews, Goodbye Talent Loss.”

They have generously offered these free downloadable resources for MOHR Retail newsletter subscribers:

🗓️ 30 Ways to Say...Stay: A calendar of conversation starters

🆘 Bringing Wellness to a Stressed-Out Workforce: From A to Z, quick strategies that make an impact

➡️ Learn more about “Hello Stay Interviews”

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