Jane Meggitt | January 24, 2023

Hiring and Inspiring Seasonal Employees

If your business is seasonally-dependent, the quality of the seasonal workers you hire can make or break your bottom line. What is the best way to hire and inspire seasonal employees? Here are some tips on finding and keeping top seasonal hires.

Benefits of Seasonal Employees

Extra help is necessary during your busy season. When you hire seasonal employees, any benefits offered are usually minimal. You aren’t stuck with paying year-round salaries and benefits. Seasonal employees are cost-effective. There’s another benefit to hiring seasonal employees. If you have permanent positions available, seasonal work can prove a trial run. You can weed out those you wouldn’t want to hire permanently or full-time based on their performance. Of course, many seasonal employees are not interested in permanent work.

Permanent workers should learn a variety of tasks. For instance, they should be able to sell to customers but also handle operational tasks. However, a seasonal person can be more specialized based on their strengths. Perhaps they don’t have to deal with customers and only work behind the scenes.

Are All Seasonal Jobs Part-time?

Not all seasonal jobs are part-time, but full-time seasonal employees work only during an annual, recurring season. Even if a seasonal hire works more than 30 hours per week, Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance does not come into play as long as these employees work for a period of six months or less and the employment begins in the busy season for that company. For instance, seasonal employees in some industries work during the summer, while in other industries the busy season encompasses the holidays. Options for Finding Good Employees

Consider using tools for high-volume screening and hiring. Use Search Engine Optimized (SEO) keywords in your job description, such as seasonal worker or seasonal employee. A few screening questions on the application can eliminate less-than-stellar candidates.

Current employees are another good source for finding new hires. Ask them if they know of anyone looking for seasonal work. Offer a referral bonus for hiring a recommended seasonal employee who stays on the job for a certain period. Post job descriptions on social media, targeting local communities, colleges, and groups designed for seasonal workers. Digital nomads are another option. If your business is tourist-oriented, you may find workers wanting to spend time in that area during the season and make some money.

Always use reference-checking software to weed out unsuitable candidates.

Seasonal Employee Requirements

Seasonal employment provides good opportunities for students looking to earn money and gain job experience. As per the U.S. Department of Labor, those aged 14 to 15 may be employed in non-hazardous and non-manufacturing jobs under specific conditions for limited time periods. Those aged 16 to 17 may be employed for unlimited amounts of time in non-hazardous occupations. Above all, you want seasonal employees who are reliable, trustworthy, hardworking, and considerate of their customers. Hire for attitude as much as aptitude. You can’t train the former but you can the latter.

How to Prepare and Train Seasonal Employees

Make sure you provide enough time to prepare and train your seasonal employees. Some seasonal jobs require relatively little training, while others are more involved. Your managers should receive training on the best practices for managing seasonal workers. Prioritize the key tasks and duties expected of seasonal hires, and focus on the skill sets of your workers. Determine which areas are best suited for permanent staff, such as customer service. Train seasonal employees in the work you want them to undertake, and don’t expect them to become a jack-of-all-trades.

Perks for Seasonal Employees

Offer a flexible schedule and base their job roles on their strengths and interests as perks. Consider offering bonuses to seasonal employees who stay for the entire season. Retailers can offer free merchandise or discounts for more seasonal employee inspiration! Depending upon the nature of your business, you can also offer skills training. Most of all, always treat seasonal employees as valued members of your team.

FAQs

Why do companies hire seasonal employees? During the company’s busy season, they need more staff on hand. Retailers need additional workers during the holiday season. Businesses focusing on outdoor activities need seasonal help during the period of highest demand. Seasonal employees alleviate the workload of permanent employees.

How do you attract seasonal employees? Target the demographic most interested in your business's type of seasonal work. That may be high school or college students, teachers on summer vacation, or retirees looking to make extra income.

What is the difference between temporary and seasonal employees? While seasonal employees are temporary, temporary employees are not necessarily seasonal. Temporary employees may fill in while permanent employees are on leave or vacation. Seasonal employees are hired to meet a business’s needs during specific times of the year.

What are key strategies for hiring new staff effectively? First, get started recruiting talent as soon as possible. Make sure your job descriptions reflect the actual duties and responsibilities of the seasonal employee. Avoid using the same job description that targets permanent employees. Potential workers must know when the season starts and when it ends, as well as the number of hours per week each seasonal hire is expected to work.

How can you hire a lot of employees quickly? Host a recruiting event at your place of business for candidates to check out. An alternative is hiring a recruiting agency specializing in providing seasonal employees for your industry.

How to get your employee from last year to come back? Returning seasonal employees are already trained, so they can get back to work quickly. Probably the best way to get your stellar seasonal employees to come back is to ask them if they are interested in working the following season when the current season ends. Keep in contact with those answering affirmatively and reach out as soon as your new hiring season starts.

How much should I be paying my seasonal employees? Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you must pay your employees at least the minimum wage in your state. Seasonal employees working more than 40 hours a week must receive minimum overtime pay of 150 percent of the regular wage rate.