Seasonal Employment


The term seasonal employment refers to open positions in an organization that are available for only a portion of the year.  Seasonal employment is a form of temporary employment, whereby the workload occurs only during certain times of the year.


Hiring seasonal employees allows companies to optimize their workforce and align their available resources with their workload.  Seasonal positions are typically full time jobs, meaning the employee works a minimum of 40 hours per week.  However, the jobs are temporary in nature, since the company will not offer these individuals year-round employment.

Companies will hire seasonal employees for a number of reasons, including:

  • Meeting Peak Demand:  For example, the ski industry will hire additional employees when the slopes are suitable for customers.  Amusement and recreational parks will hire seasonal employees during the summer months.  Retail stores will hire more employees during the holidays to assist shoppers.
  • Backfilling Positions:  For example, a call center may hire seasonal employees to answer phone calls during the summer months, when a relatively large number of their employees will be on vacation.

Seasonal employment also provides the employer with the opportunity to screen individuals for full time positions.  In the same manner, a job seeker may accept this type of assignment with the hope of eventually securing a full time, year round job.

Related Terms

apprenticeshipdistance learningentry level job, equivalent work experience, returnship, self-employed