How Christmas casuals could remedy the widespread labour shortages

The recruitment of employees for the 2022 Christmas period was a busy and time-consuming process. As labour shortages continue and the holiday season comes to a close, it’s time to think about how to keep high-performing Christmas employees.  

In the past, the need for long-term employment for Christmas casuals was minimal due to limited permanent positions. However, the industry has changed, and maintaining the labour force is more important than ever. Employees who have exceeded expectations or even performed the role to a satisfactory level should be considered for a permanent position. 

How can businesses maintain Christmas casuals?

Hiring managers need to consider the benefits of Christmas casuals and ensure they are satisfied in the workplace. Here are tips for maintaining Christmas casuals throughout 2023.

Importance of upskilling 

The festive season is the busiest time of the year for the retail industry. This year will also be the first time in two years that we have had zero covid restrictions compounding the intensity. Upskilling your employees is important in order for them to develop stronger problem-solving abilities and enhance their productivity to perform better in the position.

Throughout the season, Christmas casuals have developed skills that will be transferable throughout the year. It’s important to continue this training to encourage continued growth and development for casual staff – in turn creating a more-favourable work environment.

Identifying talent and recognition 

While it’s all well and good maintaining Christmas casuals, it’s important that we identify talented employees and recognise those that are worth keeping before offering them a permanent role. Tools like WorkJam allow managers to track the completion rates of training modules. This provides management with an indication of the employees who are motivated, qualified and show the intent of wanting to stay in the role and with the company. 

Part of the brand 

A key retention technique is ensuring employees feel embedded in the brand – open communication is key in achieving this. Platforms like WorkJam allow for two-way communication between management and employees. By ensuring that employees feel recognised, managers can better gauge employee sentiments towards a permanent position.


In response to the pandemic, employees across the country want flexible working arrangements. This can be difficult for frontline employees, however, can be as simple as the ability to work across multiple locations or fill shifts. Providing a digital and flexible shift experience like WorkJam not only provides employees the opportunity to pick up additional hours, it allows them the chance to work in closer proximity to their home.  

The time invested in onboarding employees and introducing them to your business can divert resources. Hiring your Christmas casual employees on a permanent basis, or even to just remain on as a casual is a great idea if they’ve performed well throughout the festive season.

Christmas employees have been introduced to the people of your business, they understand the position and technology used. On top of that they have dealt with customer hysteria during this busy period, which has set them up with the required skills and experience for a successful career in retail. Operations and hiring managers should consider casual employees and the important role they play in reducing labour shortages throughout 2023.

Andrew Myers is the Managing Director APAC at WorkJam.