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How Long Should Employee Onboarding Take

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Tips For Success With Seasonal Employees

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4 min read

Tips for Success with Seasonal Employees

Whether you're in dire need of extra help for the coming holiday season or you're already planning for the summer spike, seasonal employees can be the answer to all your troubles and then some. Throughout the year, employers across almost every industry rely on seasonal employees to get them through the busiest cycles of their business. If you're one of those employers, it can pay to know the best ways to hire, train, and retain quality workers to help your business thrive. Read on for our top tips for success with seasonal employees! 

What are Seasonal Employees?

Unlike full-time employees, seasonal employees are people looking for extra cash or a flexible schedule that get hired on at certain times of the year to help companies get through their busiest patches. While some seasonal employees use the short-term and flexible scheduling to supplement their income, others rely on it as their primary source of income or as a way to get a foot in the door of their desired industry! Seasonal employment can be found across various niches and industries, from retail work to seasonal-specific industries like ski resorts and swimming pools.  

Seasonal Workers Help Fill Gaps During Busy Times

The primary advantage that most seasonal workers can provide a company is short-term, flexible help during their busiest times. By relying on seasonal help when business is at a peak, companies can avoid the costly overhead expenses that would be required to maintain additional full-time staffing throughout the year while still meeting business needs and sales goals. As an added bonus, hiring seasonal workers can allow businesses to give potential full-time hires a "trial run" by taking them on in a less permanent capacity to start. 

Temporary and Seasonal Hires Can Be Tough to Manage

While seasonal workers can be extremely beneficial for your business, they can be challenging to manage. They face the same issues that regular staff can – scheduling conflicts, inadequate training, and less experience, among other things – but those issues are compounded by the shorter duration of their employment and, relatedly, the more limited interaction they have with a business and its staff. Business owners looking to hire on seasonal help should be aware of this and prepared to jump over a few extra hurdles if necessary.       

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Our Professional Tips for Success with Seasonal Staff

On top of all the usual challenges that come with your business's busy season, hiring, training, and managing seasonal staff can have its own difficulties. Whether it’s your first year filling seasonal positions or your entire business model thrives on it, you can take a few actionable steps to make your seasonal staff more of a help than a hindrance and take full advantage of the benefits they can provide your team! 

1) Plan for Demand Ahead of Time

Seasonal hiring can be an involved process – between drafting job postings, listing job ads on various hiring websites and temp agencies, conducting interviews, and handling new hire paperwork, there can be a lot to manage. For this reason, look ahead and plan for your peak times; know when you’ll need extra help and take steps to ensure you’re fully staffed by the time your business takes off. Have a plan for what positions need to be filled and by when, draft job ads early, and be prepared for all of the HR demands that come with hiring additional team members.   

2) Have a Streamlined Screening and Onboarding Process

One of the most significant snags that businesses can fall into when hiring for seasonal roles is not adjusting their hiring and onboarding processes accordingly. For both businesses and job seekers, one of the perks of seasonal work is its adaptability and flexibility – make sure that philosophy translates into your hiring process. During the busy season, the last thing you want to be caught up in is a bunch of new hire paperwork or processing documentation, so take the time to streamline your hiring practices for seasonal employees to get them onboard quickly and efficiently, but don't forget, organization matters too: when tax season comes around, you'll be thankful you kept accurate records for all of your part-time help! 

3) Provide Clarity to Your New Hires

Unlike full-time staff, many of your new seasonal employees may be inexperienced in your industry or the particular methods and procedures by which your company operates. When things get hectic, this gap between your new employees and your regular staff can lead to confusion, mishaps, and lost job productivity – all of which can be avoided. Ensure that your seasonal jobs are well defined and have a thorough job description, take the time to train and onboard your new hires and, if possible, hire just ahead of the busy season to give your seasonal workers time to learn the ropes before they hit the ground running.   

Give Feedback Regularly

Just like your permanent staff, the key to managing and empowering your seasonal help is regular quality feedback. Take the time to coach underperformance, reinforce positive results, communicate clear expectations, and reward top performers. This might seem like a lot of effort compared to the shorter duration of seasonal work, but it will make your team much more effective and productive during your busiest times, and you never know – you might end up with a top-quality full-time hire at the end of the season! 

4) Offer Incentives and Flexible Scheduling

Recall that, in addition to other benefits, many temporary workers opt for these kinds of seasonal jobs in large part because of the flexibility they provide. In order to hire and retain talent that will get the job done right, it's essential to meet and exceed the expectations of your potential new team members. Even though they may only be with you for a short period, offering benefits like performance-based bonuses, gift cards, or other incentives along with flexible scheduling will earn you a team you can rely on to help your business sail through the busy season. 

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5) Don't Assume That All Your Seasonal Talent is Temporary

Sometimes, there is solid potential for top-performing seasonal helpers to transition into permanent employees with your company. Seasonal work is transitory in nature, and some people might be looking for a more reliable opportunity. Keep an eye out during the busy season; if one of your seasonal helpers seems like a good fit for your organization, taking them on full-time might be the best move for all involved! 

Keep in Touch with Successful Employees

Even if your business model or current situation doesn’t support taking on more regular employees, stay in contact with your best seasonal talent throughout the year. Quality seasonal employees can be difficult to find, so it’s worth keeping up with workers you can rely on when the year swings back around. 

Horizon is a Trusted Partner for Businesses Across the Country

For more than two decades, Horizon has been a trusted provider of HR and payroll services throughout the United States. Our industry-leading solutions are designed to cut through paperwork, streamline businesses of every size and industry, and help business owners get back to doing what they do best! 

Top-Rated Solutions for Hiring, Onboarding, Payroll, and More

Whether it’s navigating seasonal hires, processing new hires, or developing an efficient and productive onboarding process, our top-rated solutions are designed to provide the essential personnel management elements that all businesses need to be successful. 

HR and Payroll Expertise Since 1999

In the past 24 years, we've worked with countless businesses across a wide range of sizes and niches, from Mom-and-Pop shops to larger corporations and everything in between! Our decades of experience combined with the skill and expertise of our top team brings a new level of quality to our top-rated services. 

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