November 2, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Christmas Casuals

Your go-to guide for hiring Christmas casuals in Australia: legal compliance, retention strategies, and more. Elevate your holiday staffing with our valuable tips.

The holiday season is just around the corner, and for many businesses, it's a time of increased demand, bustling stores, and growing customer expectations. To ensure you meet this demand and deliver an exceptional shopping experience, hiring Christmas casuals can be a smart and strategic move.

Here are our top tips for hiring Christmas casuals!

1. Start Early

One of the most critical aspects of hiring Christmas casuals is to start the process early. The holiday season creeps up faster than you might expect, and you want to have your temporary staff in place and trained well before the holiday rush begins. This means you should start planning and recruiting now to ensure you have a well-prepared team by December.

2. Understand the Legal Requirements

Before recruiting Christmas casuals, it’s important you familiarise yourself with the legal requirements related to awards, wages, and conditions. Compliance with these regulations is essential to avoid legal issues and ensure that you’re providing fair and equitable employment. Some key considerations include:

  • Modern Awards – Make sure you are aware and understand the nature of casual employment engaged by the shift and relevant award(s) including ensuring that your job offers meet or exceed the minimum requirements outlined in the award.
  • Minimum Wage Penalty Rates – Ensure that you are paying Christmas casuals at least the minimum wage as specified in the relevant award.
  • Superannuation – Christmas casuals are generally entitled to superannuation contributions if they earn over a certain amount (the threshold can change over time).
  • Casual Loading – Christmas casuals need to receive casual loading on top of their base pay rate.
  • Record-Keeping - Maintain accurate records of hours worked including timesheets and payslip requirements.
  • Contracts - Provide Christmas casuals with written employment contracts that clearly outline their terms and conditions of employment, including pay rates, and any other relevant details. Make sure the contract is consistent with the award.
  • Termination - Be aware of notice periods and termination conditions as per the award. Understand the obligations when ending employment relationships with Christmas casuals.

3. Craft Compelling Job Listings

Creating a job listing that attracts the right candidates is crucial. In your job description, clearly outline the role's responsibilities, required skills, and qualifications. Highlight any specific attributes that are important for your industry, such as customer service skills for retail positions. Tailor your job listing to appeal to the needs and interests of potential candidates.

4. Use Multiple Recruitment Channels

To reach a broader pool of candidates, utilise multiple recruitment channels. Popular job search engines like Seek and Indeed are a great start but there are also other places to post your job listings including:

  • Local Facebook groups for job hunters
  • Facebook groups for local communities i.e. Sippy Downs Community Board is a great example of a group that targets the local community, and you might have parents, friends, and grandparents see the job post and recommend/share with someone who might be suitable.
  • Put a sign out the front of your business – this is a great way for retailers and hospitality businesses to find staff.
  • Share on our social media pages and ask followers to share the post.
  • Share on noticeboards at your local Universities and TAFE’s
  • Company newsletter – remember, your customers have already shown an interest in your business and might be even interested in working for you!

5. Create an Efficient Selection Process

Develop an efficient and streamlined selection process. Review resumes and applications promptly and conduct initial interviews to assess candidates' suitability. Consider using a mix of online interviews and in-person interviews, especially if your candidates are located in different areas. The key here is to act promptly! We see time and time again businesses waiting too long to contact potential candidates and often they have already secured another position elsewhere.

6. Onboarding and Training

Once you've selected your Christmas casuals, invest in comprehensive onboarding and training. This includes familiarising them with your company's culture, policies, and expectations, as well as specific job training. Focus on customer service training for retail roles and any industry-specific skills for other positions. We have a great Customer Service Toolbox Talk you can download here!

7. Monitor Performance and Provide Feedback

Throughout the holiday season, monitor the performance of your Christmas casuals. Offer constructive feedback and encouragement to help them improve and excel in their roles. Recognising their efforts can boost morale and motivation. Remember, the Christmas holiday season isn’t just called the ‘crazy season’ for no reason. The workload can increase quite significantly for some industries and with those increased stresses, particularly with engaging with customers.

8. Pathway to Permanent Employment

If there is an opportunity for an employee to transition into more permanent employment within the company, clearly outline the path for this with the employee. Discuss the steps and criteria required for them to make this transition.

If there isn’t an opportunity for more work after the Christmas season, consider staying in touch with Christmas casuals after the holiday season. Regular check-ins via email or phone can help keep them engaged and informed about upcoming opportunities.

10. Plan Ahead

As the holiday season winds down, take time to review your hiring and management strategies. Identify what worked well and what could be improved. Use this feedback to create a long-term hiring strategy that ensures you're well-prepared for the following holiday season.

Hiring Christmas casuals in Australia can be a valuable strategy to meet increased holiday demand, but it requires careful planning and execution. By starting early, understanding Australian regulations, and following these steps, you can build a team of Christmas casuals that not only meet your business needs but also contribute to a positive holiday shopping experience for your customers!

Remember, a successful holiday season hinges on the people you bring on board, so invest time and effort into your Christmas casual recruitment and management strategies to make this year's festivities the best yet.

If you need any advice and need help for recruiting employees, please reach out at or 1800 877 747

The information available on this website is intended to be a general information resource regarding matters covered and it is not tailored to individual specific circumstances or intended as a substitute for legal advice. Although we make strong efforts to make sure our information is accurate, HR Dynamics cannot guarantee that all the information on this website is always correct, complete, or up-to-date. HR Dynamics recommendations and any information obtained on this website do not constitute legal advice.

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