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Challenges Faced by Seasonal Employees in the Hospitality Industry

Posted on June 12, 2024

As the hospitality sector adapts to evolving market dynamics and customer expectations, effectively managing seasonal employment becomes increasingly vital. Although seasonal employment offers numerous advantages, recruiting and onboarding temporary staff presents significant issues. This article addresses seasonal employees’ common challenges and provides practical advice for overcoming them.

Challenge 1: Insufficient Compensation

Many individuals seek temporary jobs for extra income. However, seasonal employment in hospitality is often associated with low wages and limited career opportunities. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers have left the industry for more stable jobs.

This perception deters potential workers, particularly younger individuals looking for extra summer money or long-term career growth. Recruiters already struggle to attract and retain talented seasonal staff, and the lack of competitive salaries and clear career paths exacerbates this challenge.

To address this issue, employers should offer competitive wages and attractive perks such as completion bonuses, employee discounts, flexible schedules, and career development programmes (in the end, you need to pay only 25% of the standard contributions). Even if seasonal employees do not stay long-term, providing opportunities to acquire crucial skills will benefit both parties.

Challenge 2: Inflexible Working Conditions

Hospitality companies rely on motivated seasonal employees to provide flexibility and efficiency during fluctuating periods. However, this flexibility should be mutual. Seasonal employees also expect flexibility from their employers. Failing to accommodate this can negatively impact staff performance, motivation, and morale.

Work-life balance has become a major topic in recent years. Overworked employees on the brink of burnout are detrimental to any organisation. Remember that seasonal employees often juggle other commitments such as education, family, or another job. Set clear expectations from the start and offer flexible schedules (and possibly locations) that allow them to earn extra income without sacrificing their other responsibilities.

Challenges Seasonal Employees

Challenge 3: Inadequate Training

Seasonal employees need to become productive quickly, which is a significant challenge and a pitfall at the same time. New hires often feel overwhelmed and thrown into the deep end due to the limited time available for training, leading to inconsistent service delivery. The result? Unhappy customers are not getting the service quality they want and deserve, and unhappy employees feel lost and unprepared.

Develop concise, effective training programmes focusing on essential skills and knowledge, enabling seasonal employees to be productive from their first week. Whether your temporary employees are with you for a few months or years, your customers expect consistent service quality from whoever they encounter.

Utilise technology to deliver training efficiently. Training can begin even before day one through digital platforms where new hires can access compliance courses, procedures, instructions, and useful information about recipes and tasks. Introduce them to their teammates online to foster a sense of belonging.

Challenge 4: Ineffective Engagement

Seasonal employees often do not feel fully integrated into the permanent team during their temporary employment. This can result from various factors, such as exclusion from main communication groups, activities, or training opportunities.

Effective onboarding is crucial for seasonal employees, who must quickly become productive. Treat their onboarding process and work journey as you would for full-time workers. Make them feel included from day one by introducing them to colleagues, organising meet-and-greets with managers, and pairing them with experienced mentors or buddies. Give them all the necessary information, resources, and tools.

A comprehensive onboarding and training programme helps new seasonal employees understand their roles, company culture, and expectations. Integrating them into your team and communication channels and offering similar advantages fosters a sense of belonging and engagement, leading to less friction with full-time staff, better performance and higher retention rates.


Lower wages, inflexible schedules, insufficient support or training, and limited involvement contribute to a lack of motivation among seasonal workers, making it harder for hospitality and HR managers to attract and retain talented staff. 

Implement the tips in this article to improve working conditions, offer professional development opportunities, and create a supportive work environment where hard work is recognised and rewarded. You will benefit from skilled, motivated, and engaged workers.

MobieTrain’s platform can help you overcome seasonal employees’ challenges. Want to know how companies like yours do it? Request a free demo, and we’ll show you!