Seasonal employment involves hiring workers for a certain period of the year. It’s what some businesses may refer to as their “busy season.” Seasonal hiring is more commonly seen in specific industries where business picks up in certain months. This includes agriculture, tourism, hospitality, and courier services.
Seasonal hiring is critical for these businesses to meet the service demand they expect to see each year during the busy season. Without the extra help, businesses may not be able to meet customer expectations, which could lead to a loss in revenue.
The Upside of Seasonal Workers
Businesses should consider the benefits of hiring seasonal workers. It’s an option that may work for some businesses to increase productivity and profits.
Temporary employment – When a business uses seasonal hiring, it can be used to determine if certain employees could work out long-term.
Saving money – Seasonal employment may only last for a few months out of the year. That means a business will only have to pay additional funds for employee salaries for part of the year. You can avoid paying for additional staff during times when you do not need the extra help.
Flexible staffing – Employers have a lot more control and flexibility when utilizing seasonal hiring. Managers can choose when to begin hiring more help, how long the help will stay, and how much to offer as payment.
The Downside of Seasonal Workers
When you look at the benefits of hiring seasonal workers you must also consider some of the disadvantages that come with it.
Legal issues – HR experts believe that seasonal employment can create legal problems involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and other measures that may not arise when dealing with regular, year-round employees.
Employee performance – Seasonal workers may display less drive and commitment knowing that their employment is temporary. This can harm a business that thrives based on its employee performance and interactions with customers.
Lack of training – Seasonal employees may receive less training and have less experience than regular employees. If they do receive training it may be less thorough and of lesser quality than training that year-long employees receive.
HR Notes To Remember
Before hiring seasonal workers, business owners, managers, and HR professionals should remember a few things:
Knowing about health insurance is a critical step in hiring seasonal workers. According to the Affordable Care Act, if a business employs 50 or more people, it might have to offer health insurance if the seasonal workers work more than 30 hours per week. The ACA defines seasonal workers as employees whose duration of employment is six months or less and whose job is performed around the same time each year. Failure to comply with this rule could result in fines for the business.
Employers in compliance with federal law will be knowledgeable about other benefits available to seasonal workers. Companies should still pay into social security, workers’ compensation, and unemployment (in some cases). This is information according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Different laws determine what a business can and cannot do when hiring seasonal workers. Much of this depends on the age of the workers, whether they are considered freelancers, independent contractors, or short-term employees. State laws are another factor when it comes to this. Businesses should keep an eye on federal and local statutes.
When a business is looking into hiring seasonal workers it’s critical to set clear expectations at the beginning of employment. Workers should know precisely what will be expected from them. It’s a good idea to have employees sign a written statement confirming that they understand their job description.
Managers should be aware of how to hire and manage seasonal workers. Much of the same rules that apply to year-round employees will also apply to seasonal workers. This includes handling accommodation requests, harassment claims, and discrimination.
An Offer They Can’t Refuse
Economists predict that the labor shortage impacting many businesses will likely continue into 2023 due to a possible recession, inflation, and other economic factors. Businesses that are planning to hire seasonal workers should consider offering certain benefits to incentive workers to apply. Seasonal workers have as much leverage as other workers when selecting which jobs to take. To improve a company’s chances of getting the best seasonal workers, they might consider these measures:
- Pay employees weekly
- Offer a flexible working schedule for employees
- Provide a sign-on bonus for new hires
- Give discounts to workers on products or services
- Allow employees to transition to year-round employment
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