Bringing in Seasonal Employees for Your Business? Here’s What You Need to Know

The holidays are a typical time for companies to bring in temporary employees, and then let them go once normal demand resumes. There can be some confusion around seasonal hiring, in order to streamline the process and ensure your company remains competitive and compliant.

Many of the Same Laws Apply

Many of the same labor laws that apply to permanent employees also hold true for seasonal workers. For example:

  • Discrimination and safety laws are the same.
  • The same restrictions and protocol apply to minors and immigrant workers.
  • For reference, use the Employment Law Guide from the U.S. Department of Labor. Check this site periodically, as statutory and regulatory changes occur over time. For details specific to your state, use this link.
  • Work with your staffing firm to relieve you of the responsibilities and work involved in benefits administration for temporary workers. This includes workers’ compensation, unemployment, retirement, medical and dental and paid leave, among other options. Your agency also will handle tax-related issues.

How to Hire Seasonal Workers

Assess candidates for seasonal jobs the same way you would for permanent hires. Conduct thorough evaluations for skill set, experience, performance history, personality and cultural fit. Check references to ensure the best possible results.

  • Offer a competitive pay range that meets market standards.
  • Set clear expectations. Use an updated, specific job description. Make sure that all details, including time frames, are clearly communicated. And remember to stick to your JD. Resist the temptation to assign seasonal workers random or unexpected tasks that may come up.
  • One of the advantages of hiring seasonal employees is the opportunity to evaluate them in case a full-time opening occurs. Never allude to this when you hire someone, however, or make any commitments or promises you may not be able to keep.

How to Terminate Seasonal Workers

Be upfront from day one about a person’s length of employment. It’s a good idea to use a formal offer letter outlining employment terms and providing for an early termination without cause or notice.

  • Reserve your right to treat seasonal employment as “at will.” Also specify your expectations for behavior, dress, performance and adherence to company policies and procedures.
  • Avoid terminating anyone based on any form of discrimination. Specifics vary by state. Here’s a guide to keep you up to speed.

Need help with seasonal hiring?

There’s a lot involved in seasonal hiring – at a time of year when your HR staff is likely already stretched with year-end responsibilities, along with day-to-day functions and tasks. Make sure you’re working with a specialized staffing firm that knows the candidate marketplace in your industry and region. As an ESAC-accredited PEO, Lyons HR can help you meet your temporary staffing needs in areas including light industry, accounting, administration, marketing and general management. Contact us today to learn more.

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