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Do you run a business?
Is your business affected by seasonal trends such as weather or holidays?
Have you ever considered hiring seasonal workers?
If so, this article should serve as a good overview of what seasonal work is, how to determine if it’s right for your business and where to find great seasonal workers.
Strap in and let’s get started!
What is a Seasonal Worker?
According to healthcare-attorneys.com, a seasonal employee is classified as such if they are employed for six months or less at roughly the same time each year, regardless of the number of hours they work in this period.
Seasonal workers are not just limited to the obvious ones like retail and farm workers but can also be useful for many more positions in many different industries.
The Pros and Cons of Seasonal Workers
When you’re looking at hiring seasonal workers, it’s important to understand that there are some pros and some cons to a seasonal worker versus a regular full-time or part-time employee.
Let’s start with the pros:
The first advantage of a seasonal worker is that you can better match your labor costs to how your business is performing. As a result, if your business gets busy during the summer you can pay more in salary but have more support and then during the winter, if it gets slow, you can employ fewer people and have lower labor costs.
In essence, seasonal workers make your workforce and payroll more flexible.
Secondly, seasonal workers often have specific skills that they can bring on a part time basis. For example, if your business needs someone to help with inventory, hire a seasonal worker who specializes in inventory.
Thirdly, hiring seasonal workers is an excellent way to find new employees. If you find a seasonal employee who seems to fit well with your organization, make them a full-time offer, you’ve already seen how they work and know they’ll continue to perform well!
Although you’re probably ready by now to go out and hire a couple of seasonal workers right away, don’t jump the gun. There are a few cons to remember as well:
The first con is that you have to go through the process of hiring seasonal workers which can be expensive, particularly when you have to do it every year.
Secondly, seasonal workers, like all employees, need to be trained. Training is expensive and takes time meaning that if you hire a seasonal employee for three months, it might take them a month to become productive.
Thirdly, seasonal workers often fail to engage with a company’s culture fully, particularly when there are bad managers. As a result, companies have to protect their culture and ensure it doesn’t get diffused and lost when seasonal workers join the team.
Fourth, seasonal workers need to be managed which will increase the number of managers you need. If you hire more managers, you might need to let them go with the seasonal workers.
Where to Find Seasonal Workers
If you want to give seasonal workers a shot, the next logical question is: where can you find seasonal workers?
Alternatively, you can also hire a recruiting agency for seasonal employees. Recruiting firms are generally more expensive than doing everything in-house but will save you time and allow your managers to focus on other tasks.
Another option is to work with a temp agency which already has a pool of workers they have recruited and are willing to lend to you for a fee.
Finally, you can explore traditional recruiting options like posting flyers, or word of mouth. These solutions will work but generally are better for smaller employers who don’t need to hire more than a few seasonal workers.
Types of Seasonal Workers
Hiring a seasonal worker is a bit different than hiring a regular full-time employee, and there are a few different options.
First, you can hire an independent contractor. An independent contractor is essentially a self-employed individual that your company hires. Because independent contractors are essentially self-employed, you aren’t required to pay benefits or withhold payments for taxes, medicare, etc.
This could save your company quite a bit of money. However, there are always pros and cons.
One of the cons of hiring an independent contractor is that you have less control over your employees.
Independent contractors by law are allowed to complete the task you hired them for as they see fit. If you tell them exactly what to do, they can be classified as an employee meaning you’ll have to pay taxes, benefits, and more.
If you don’t want to hire an independent contractor, another great option is to hire seasonal workers as part-time employees which is what many large seasonal companies like Walmart, Best Buy, and Toys R’ Us do.
This allows companies to hire thousands of workers and often allows them to save on paying benefits provided the employees don’t work over a set number of hours.
Furthermore, managers can exercise the same level of control over a part-time employee as with full-time employees which ensure tasks are accomplished the way your company wants them accomplished.
A Word of Caution
It’s important to remember that even if an employee is not a full-time employee, they are still entitled to the same worker rights.
For example, you’ll still need to pay at least minimum wage, could be liable for any injuries they suffer, and more.
Even if you’re hiring an independent contractor or an employee from a temp agency, treat them like you would any other employee.
This will prevent you from getting into trouble, enable you to build a great relationship in case you want to bring them on full-time, and will ensure your company receives positive word of mouth.
If you’re aware of the cons, there are a lot of reasons why seasonal workers make sense if your company experiences seasonal demand.
If you’re curious, start small. Bring on a few seasonal employees and see how they perform. You’ll need to understand how to manage seasonal workers and how to integrate them into your company culture.
Have any success or failure stories about remote workers? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear!