What You Need to Know Before Hiring Seasonal Employees

temporary employee
••• Cultura RM/OPIFICIO 42 / Cultura / Getty Images

If you have a business that faces ebbs and flows during different times of the year, hiring temporary seasonal employees may make sense. It really doesn't matter if your busy time is the summer months, tax season, or during the holidays; the benefits of bringing seasonal employees on board is the same. You have extra hands to share a growing workload, your permanent employees avoid burning out, and seasonal employees can help you maintain excellent customer service standards all year long.

Before you jump in and hire a handful of new seasonal employees, here is what you need to know.

Start the Process Early

Although you probably have a good idea what time of year your business will be busiest, seasonal spikes can come quiclky, sometimes without a lot of ramp-up time. This is why it's smart to start the hiring process early so you're not left scrambling around last minute. Plus, you never know how long it will take to find the right employees; it can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to go from job ad to interview to job offer. So it’s a good idea to start the process early so you can bring seasonal staff on board before your business is swamped.

Word of Mouth Is Quick and Easy

Don't overlook the power of your current business network when searching for seasonal employees. Spread the news that you're hiring for the season to current employees, regular customers, vendors, and anyone else who you work with regularly in your business.

Word of mouth can help you quickly identify potential employees, and this person also comes with a recommendation from someone you know and trust.

Interviews Are Still Important

Hiring seasonal employees may need to happen on a quicker timeline, but that doesn't mean corners should be cut. Treat the interview process for seasonal employees the same as you would permanent staff.

After all, seasonal employees are still representatives of your company. Here are a few interview questions to add to your list.

Training Should Be a Priority

While you're not necessarily prepping seasonal employees to become long-term superstars in your business (although if they do, that could be a huge benefit as well!), each new employee will still need to be trained on the ins and outs of the business prior to hitting the floor. You can create a modified orientation process that incorporates the most important introductory materials and systems/tools training for new staff so they have all of the information they need to perform their jobs well.

Taxes and Benefits Will Apply

Just because an employee is temporary doesn't mean you are free from providing any benefits or paying taxes. Some potential benefits you may be required to provide include Unemployment Benefits, Social Security, and Worker's Compensation. When it comes to taxes, the same tax withholding rules apply for seasonal workers as they do for regular employees. Review seasonal employement regulations provided by the IRS so you know what your responsibilities are.

By starting early and creating a seasonal hiring process based on these tips, you can cut down on the stress and last-minute hassle that could come with hiring temporary employees.

Remember that the earlier you have seasonal staff hired, trained and ready to go, the quicker you will be able to adjust to your busiest times of year.