Patrice Rice featured in Business News Daily

Seasonal Hiring: 6 Tips for Employers


This article was written by Saige Driver and originally featured on  the Business News Daily’s website. View the original article here.


The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year. But if you are a business owner, it can also be the most stressful. Business picking up during the holiday season is great, but days like Black Friday can put a strain on the employees who are left doing the extra work.

Many small businesses combat this by hiring seasonal help. However, there are some important things to consider, as regulations for hiring short-term workers differ from hiring regular full-time employees. No matter what stage of growth you’re in, here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for short-term workers.


Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tilr, suggests creating a seasonal hiring strategy, just as you would for other business initiatives.

“It’s easy to get behind with a seasonal hiring strategy and having a timeline of who needs hired by when, but holding your internal team accountable to the strategy can define your success,” she said.

It’s important to start the hiring process early, because you want adequate time to train your new employees. For example, if you need extra staff for the holiday season, start advertising for it as soon as summer is over, said Steve Pritchard, HR consultant for giffgaff.

“You need to be realistic about how long your seasonal staff will need to get to grips with their responsibilities, and it’s better to be safe than sorry,” he said.


Worker classification is an incredibly important part of taking on any hired help. Depending on the type of business you run, you may have a choice between bringing in a regular employee and an independent contractor.

“Whether it’s long- or short-term, judge your demand and decide which [type of worker] you need,” said Steve DelVecchia, founder of online staffing platform Adaptive Professional Solutions.

A worker’s status is usually dictated by the level of control the employer has over the individual’s daily tasks, as well as the worker’s overall contributions to the business. The key difference is that employees are listed on payroll and covered by a company’s benefits and insurance, whereas contractors are not. This can make a huge difference in the time and money you spend bringing a particular worker into your business. [Are you familiar with these important business labor laws?]


Companies increasingly use social media to find the best and brightest full-time talent. C.J. Reuter, advisory board member for social recruiting solution Work4, said that social media can also be a great recruiting tool for employers who need seasonal help.

“Leverage what your marketing team has already done to market yourself as an employer on social media,” Reuter told Business News Daily. “Social media shows [candidates] what it’s like to be there. You can publish photos on social networks showing the behind-the-scenes, day-to-day culture. It’s more believable, especially to the younger generation.”

Since seasonal hiring tends to be very geo-specific, you can use social media to find qualified candidates in your local area and reach out to them throughout the year, Reuter said. This will put your company on local workers’ radar when they’re looking for a part-time seasonal job or internship.

Patrice Rice, CEO and founder of Patrice & Associates, advises using social media and word of mouth to find potential seasonal employees. “Do not underestimate the power of word-of-mouth recruiting,” she told Business News Daily. “When recruiting candidates, be clear on the length of the assignment as well as the responsibilities that come with the position.”


Since seasonal hires are frequently part-time and will only spend a few months with you, it’s easy to forget what this means for your insurance policy. Don’t assume all your workers are automatically covered.

“It’s important to look out for all workers, regardless of employment status,” said Steve Carlson, vice president of select workers’ compensation for Travelers Insurance‘s small commercial department. “Think about what insurance coverage you need and don’t need, and what the cost will be [if you don’t have it].”

Carlson advised speaking with your insurance agent about the types of employees you’re taking on – part-time, full-time, paid interns, volunteers, etc. – and finding out what that means in terms of your local labor laws. Depending on their status, employees may not be covered by your workers’ compensation policy, so you’ll need to research the proper steps to take should they be injured on the job.


Although they will only work with you temporarily, you and your seasonal hires should get the most out of that time. Once you’ve hired the right people for the position, train them efficiently and well so they can do the best job possible.

“Bringing someone new on is about training them and making sure they understand what’s involved in the job,” said Scott Humphrey, director of technical services in Travelers’ risk control department. “They’re eager to do a good job and get something done as quickly as possible, but as an employer, you want them to take their time and do it right. Supervise them and give them feedback about what to do and not do – the same way you would treat any employee.”


It’s important to keep a positive work environment because it keeps employees happy, and cared-for workers are more productive.

“Keep in mind that successful temporary hires may return to the business next season, turn into customers and/or be a good referral sources for the future,” Rice told Business News Daily. “Be sure to build a positive relationship between the business and employee. Think about the different ways that you can value their hard work, such as offering perks like discounts and/or a competitive wage.”

A way to create a positive work environment is to include seasonal help in events and competitions going on in the company to make them feel part of the team, Miklusak said.

“Including seasonal employees in company events that happen during their time with the organization, competitions and/or simple office building practices can go a long way in helping seasonal employees feel acclimated and included,” she wrote.

At the end of the season, have an offboarding program, which allows seasonal employees to give valuable feedback.

“Make sure that you have an offboarding program, including exit interviews,” said Miklusak. “Having exit interviews allows you to recruit for the next season, learn how to improve the experience for next season’s workers and provide departing resources.”


Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

August Testimonials

August testimonials highlighting the hard work and effort our Recruiters and Franchisees put into finding people new career opportunities across the nation.


It has been my recent pleasure to work with Mr. Dan Harris as he recruited me for position with that not only required a very strong operator, but also someone with experience with taking a location from an idea to fully functional concept. Dan sifted through a large amount of my career life and personally sorted it into the most relevant points to illustrate why I was a perfect fit. Since my career is very unique and of course I wanted to communicate my life’s work into my resume, it was vital than Mr. Harris sift through all my work and focus me on this particular opportunity. He was candid, patient and really gracious during the process. I most appreciated his sense of humor and humanity in placing me with this organization. I have in my career hired and managed multiple in house recruiters and human resources professionals for organizations I have operated. Over the years I have watched this vital position of recruiting and retaining quality people diminish into what amount so herding cattle with little or no human interaction or empathy for the talented or individuality of the candidate. Dan us superb at his job and treated me with a respect for my dignity that I have not seen in many years in this ever evolving industry that often times forgets the human part of human resources. Dan Harris you are a true credit to your profession and the entire hospitality industry.

  • Gerard Noonan – Palm Desert, CA


I worked with Margo Kornfeld and appreciated her transparency throughout the entire recruitment process. She was very proactive, helpful, and available from the very first phone call all they way through the offer stage. I’d be lucky to work with Margo and Patrice & Associates in the future.

  • Edwin Dela Cruz – Rockville Center, NY


Alan Bilskie with Patrice & Associates was a tremendous helper in helping me to find the perfect position! He not only assisted with helping look for a job that met my requirements but went above and beyond to set up any and all interviews even helped prepping me for them while keeping in contact with me even after my job placement. Hands down would recommend him along with this company to any who is in need of searching for job placement! Thanks again.

  • Sam Yatuzis – Charlotte, NC


Jackie Farrell has been fantastic. She is very professional and touch based frequently with me, even before I received an offer from California Pizza Kitchen. I would recommend her to anyone I know who is currently seeking employment in the field she covers.

  • Jim Campbell – North Reading, MA


Employed and extremely unhappy, I finally realized my job was going absolutely nowhere. By the time I came to that realization, Paul Connors recruited me and changed my life.

We moved forward and I haven’t looked back since. Within a few short weeks I had not one, but two solid offers on the table.

Paul truly cares about his clients and works diligently to produce results! Thank you to Patrice & Associates and most notably Paul Connors who shoots until he scores! Many thanks all around, I love my new career path and it’s ALL thanks to YOU!!!

  • Nicole Salyer – Bloomington, MN


Click here to get into contact with your local recruiter!

Life after Service in Uniform: The next chapter

US Veterans should be inspired to own their own businesses


As 250,000 American Veterans return home from service each year, it is challenging to make the transition back to civilian life and into the civilian work force.

As a business owner and Recruiter, it’s tough for me to say, “Thank you for your service” but I can’t offer you a job because you don’t have the experience required in the private sector (hospitality industry).

My business is Veteran Owned & Operated, and I work hard to hire and place Veterans in great job opportunities…. but there are challenges in getting other business owners to do the same.

As a potential Business Owner, it was tough for me to hear “Thank you for your service” but we will not approve your business loan without more assets or equity. Getting an SBA loan seemed like an insurmountable wall!

I believe that Small business ownership for Veterans is a great opportunity to transfer our military skills – leadership, problem solving, process and systems thinking as well as the technical knowledge gained during our service to our nation. That is why Veterans should be inspired to go from “Boots to business” with support from VA, SBA, and corporate USA. I ask that we address the areas that make Small Business Ownership challenging.


Key challenges to address:

Whether you are a Veteran or Civilian, the key issues for Small Businesses are:

  • Access to Capital. Existing Small Business Owners, and people who want to start new businesses or franchises, need to have access to liquid capital. The process needs to be streamlined.
  • We need to do more to help Americans get into business and help them be successful. Small Businesses (including Franchise Small Businesses) are the #1 Job creators in the USA.
  • “Over-regulate” small businesses. Be mindful not to weigh us down with too many regulations or stipulations
  • Provide more opportunities for Veterans to create and start small business through corporate mentorship and partnership programs.
  • Create and provide more opportunities to employ Veterans when they get out of active service.

Small Business Owners make “America Strong”!

Small business account for 60% of new jobs created annually. For areas in economic transition where manufacturing has vanished it has been the entrepreneurial spirit that has kept local economy in motion. Making small business loans, incubators and accelerators all provide must needed resources for small business. Affordable insurance, benefits and reasonable employment taxes will allow small business to attract the right employees and grow their businesses.

Promoting Veterans to start their own business strengths our relationship, keeps the faith in us, and truly thanks US for our service



This article was written about our superstar retired Army Colonel franchisee Ty Clifton in Virginia.

Meet the Matchmaker for the Restaurant Industry

A recruiting firm founder knows a new job can change everything — even for her franchisees.


Back in 1989, after having worked as a pet store owner, a caterer and the first female captain on the Chesapeake Bay, Patrice Rice realized something: Any given restaurant needs five to seven managers, but finding qualified people is often a struggle. Hotels and casinos are plagued by similar staffing issues. So Rice set out to be the missing link. She launched a hospitality and restaurant industry recruiting firm, Patrice & Associates, and developed relationships with large chains like Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee’s and the Cheesecake Factory. The business took off. Every time one of her more than 500 national clients needs a new manager for a new or existing location, Patrice & Associates is tasked with hiring them.

In 2010 she took the next step and turned to franchising, and today there are more than 100 Patrice & Associates franchisees throughout the United States and Canada. Rice travels around the country one week per month to offer support. “We don’t just give franchisees two weeks of training and say, ‘Good luck.’ We talk to them every day for 90 days,” she says. “My mission statement says recruiting isn’t all about money. It’s about helping people.”

Recruiting isn’t the most obvious thing to franchise. What makes this business appealing to franchisees?

“A lot of franchisees are first-time business owners, and it’s scary. There are three things they worry about: cash flow, how their industry is going to be affected by the economy and territory. We’re a unique opportunity — we have a safety net for all three. One, because I ran this business for 20 years before franchising, a lot of chains were already my clients, so I have jobs for franchisees to work on. Two, in America, the food industry is number one for jobs and for growth. And three, in every other franchise, territory is everything; in my model, they have a territory, but they can work the whole country.

Plus, we have very low startup costs, and franchisees can work from home. All you need is a telephone and the internet. There is no inventory to buy, no lease to sign and no employees to hire. I have a franchisee with an RV who travels the country.”

What do you look for in a franchisee?

“You have to have zero phone reluctance — plus sales experience, or sales ability. You have to be proactive. If that’s not the franchisee, then they have to hire a recruiter to be on the phone. This is not buying a job; it’s building a business. When you build a business, you figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are and you surround yourself with people who can shore up those weaknesses.”

Does recruiting have specific challenges?

“It’s constant rejection. You have to be able to handle that. Maybe a candidate isn’t interested in the job you have available, or doesn’t qualify. Or your candidate tells you they’re going to show up for the interview and doesn’t. They might say, “I can pass that drug test,” and they can’t. Franchisees also have to understand that we cannot help everyone find a job. That’s hard. We can help only about 10 percent of the people who send us résumés.

And it’s not about luck; it’s a numbers game. The more people you talk to, the more people go on interviews, the more people get hired, the more people you help and the more money you make.”

What have you learned about company culture and employee fit?

“In a lot of sales positions, you’re always thinking about closing the deal. That’s not what we do. We’re staffing partners for the client companies, but we’re also career coaches for people looking for their next job.

So listen to what they say. Don’t try to talk them into a particular job you have available. Understand what they’re looking for. If you can make a good match, then it all works out. And never forget that you are impacting somebody’s life and the lives of their family.”



This story appears in the June 2017 issue of Entrepreneur