5 strategies to streamline retail staffing for staffing agencies

5 strategies to streamline retail staffing for staffing agencies
June 2, 2024

When holidays and special events roll around, retail businesses need all the support they can get to operate smoothly and keep lines moving. But not every city, town, or tourist destination has a sufficient workforce to cover increased labor needs. That’s why many businesses turn to staffing agencies to find retail workers to fill temporary roles. 

Even still, hectic times of the year can leave staffing agencies scrambling to fulfill all the requests they receive.

Fortunately, taking a strategic approach to temporary staffing needs can allow your agency to work efficiently during peak retail seasons. This quick guide will show you how with five key tactics.

#1 Identify your busiest time of year and plan accordingly

Most retail businesses tend to peak in sales around the same times every year. For the average shop, the busiest and most profitable days are usually1:

  • End of summer, when students return to school
  • During winter holidays, when people are shopping for gifts or using gift cards
  • Mother’s Day 

These are also times when stores need additional workers. However, depending on the area and clientele, these may not necessarily be every store's busiest days of the year. 

Summer vacation destinations, for instance, may see an influx of cash-rich tourists during the hottest months and become relatively quiet during the winter. Other, similar factors may also change what times of year certain businesses are busiest. So, get to know the retailers you’re working with and when they’ll need employees the most.

#2 Take a systematic approach to forecasting demand

Don’t wait for retail businesses to come to you with a headcount of how many temporary employees they’ll need. Instead, be proactive and estimate upcoming demand to ensure workers are ready the moment you get the call. 

Most retail stores average 5.5 employees throughout the year, though this figure may change depending on the demands of the season and the size of the business.2 Review staffing figures from previous years and inquire about how many employees your clients foresee—this will help estimate a ballpark figure for the total number of people you’ll have to supply. 

#3 Offer nearby accommodations to attract more workers

Americans—especially those with lower incomes—are experiencing a housing shortage. Currently, there are only 37 affordable housing units for every 100 low-income renters, meaning many workers may be worried about securing accommodations when moving to a new area.3

This anxiety over housing insecurity can be a major driving factor in why individuals turn down job opportunities—especially temporary ones—that require them to relocate. Getting a new place can require deposits, references, and a lot of other work that many don’t want to put in for a few weeks of employment. 

To reduce housing fears and attract more employees, consider offering temporary retail staff accommodations near their workplace. 

#4 Book employee accommodations 

Providing accommodations for temporary employees can make their lives easier, but it can also lead to more work for your staffing agency as a whole. That is unless you partner with a platform like Hotel Engine.

Hotel Engine makes it simple to book group accommodations for employee retreats, business trips, and, of course, seasonal staff. That’s because when you book reservations through Hotel Engine, you’re assigned a dedicated trip manager who helps guide you every step of the way.

Hotel Engine also has access to nearly every stay in the United States and works with leading international hotel brands to secure rooms around the globe. Your trip manager will find what’s available in your area, ensure you get the best rates on your rooms, and help mitigate any issues that may arise during your workers’ stays.

#5 Consolidate billing for employee lodging 

Offering employees lodging means paying for their stays once their placements are finished. However, if you connect hundreds or thousands of workers with temporary jobs, those bills can quickly become convoluted and messy come checkout. 

To simplify the process, use Hotel Engine to consolidate your bookings and payments. Hotel Engine lets you reserve rooms for as many workers as you need on a single itinerary. You can even book hotels across multiple trips and in different locations to match the needs of your clients and their teams. 

Then, when everything is said and done, you’re presented with a single invoice instead of a towering pile of receipts.

Use Hotel Engine to save time and money when booking worker accommodations

When you reserve hotel rooms through Hotel Engine, you have the full support of our travel managers throughout the process, allowing you to quickly book rooms for groups where you need them, for as long as you need them, and with the exact amenities and services you’re looking for. Plus, you’ll get the best deals and discounts every time with expertly negotiated rates that aren’t available to the public.  

Explore Hotel Engine today to streamline your agency's retail staffing operations and accommodations.


  1. Oberlo. BUSIEST SHOPPING DAYS OF THE YEAR IN 2023. https://www.oberlo.com/
  2. IBIS World. Retail Trade in the US - Employment Statistics 2005–2030. https://www.ibisworld.com/
  3. Center for American Progress. The Rental Housing Crisis Is a Supply Problem That Needs Supply Solutions. https://www.americanprogress.org/

Kerri Lines-Naumann
Article written by
Kerri Lines-Naumann

Kerri Lines-Naumann is the Senior Director of Marketing Operations at Hotel Engine. She spearheads the marketing operations, ensuring seamless coordination and execution among the marketing team. Kerri's commitment to operational excellence is instrumental in delivering impactful campaigns and driving growth at Hotel Engine.

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