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3 Best Practices for Seasonal Hiring

The way you hire your employees directly impacts the experience your customers receive. Seasonal workers are certainly no exception! But many best practices are, in this case, dictated by the temporary nature of the work. With that in mind, here’s a quick rundown to help outline the best course of action for organizations with seasonal hiring needs.

Planning ahead

The “time of the season” for winter hiring can begin as early as late summer. Some retailers start even earlier, in June or July! So, following best practices means planning several months ahead to snag the best talent for the job – that is, the kind of people you might want to stick around long-term.

Starting early allows time for things like creating attractive ads for placement on multiple job boards, reviewing applications and conducting interviews. A best-in-class applicant tracking system can help speed this process.

In any case, companies will want to avoid the alternative. Falling behind on the seasonal hiring process will mean an unpleasant process of catch-up, perhaps making it necessary to offer better benefits or higher salaries than previously anticipated.

Setting expectations

On one hand, it’s important not to “lead on” seasonal workers by giving them the impression that their employment is anything but temporary. Consequently, it is considered a best practice to present seasonal workers with a written contract stipulating the nature of their employment in no uncertain terms. And make sure they acknowledge it in writing.

On the other hand, too much emphasis on the “seasonal” part of the “seasonal worker” equation could lead to a diminished sense of self-worth on the part of the employee. After hiring, a little validation in the form of being told they’re doing a good job – that they’re at least meeting expectations (if not exceeding them) – goes a long way toward making seasonal workers feel like they’re a valued part an organization. So consider that a best practice, too!

Staying compliant

Just because employees are seasonal doesn’t mean they’re not still employees. As such, they should be trained on the latest policies regarding workplace-relevant subjects like preventing discrimination and harassment.

Furthermore, while seasonal workers won’t meet the eligibility requirements for federal employment laws like the Family Medical Leave Act, it’s important to remember that your state might have its own variations on the law. The same applies to state and local laws on paid sick leave, for example.

Meanwhile, next year’s tax season looms just behind the holiday work season. Companies must ensure their seasonal workers complete W-4s, along with any other required tax forms.

Want to know more about how to make the most of your seasonal hiring? Learn how (and why!) to include them in your company culture, and five tactics that will help you retain the best of the bunch.