People & Leadership

6 strategies for hiring and retaining great seasonal employees

With the holidays just weeks ahead, it’s time to hire seasonal staff, if you haven’t already.

Think most of the jobs are available in the tourism and hospitality industries? Guess again. Many jobs are available in all sectors with the top five being engineering, IT, customer service, office support sales, and manufacturing.

Are you planning a seasonal hire? We have some tips to help.

Develop a seasonal recruitment strategy

The two biggest times of the year for seasonal hiring are during the summer and winter months. Most employers start advertising open positions at least 1-3 months in advance. Seasonal hiring should be a part of your annual strategic planning discussion. This discussion should involve your accounting, marketing, legal, payroll and executive teams so that they can help develop a recruitment strategy and assess what your hiring needs are for each season.

Connect with your local chamber of commerce

Local chambers of commerce love helping small and large businesses find great seasonal and full-time employees. Connect with your local chamber to see how they can help get the word out about any seasonal openings you may have at your organization. Ask them if they have an online job board or see how you can become involved in their next career fair.

Use online resources to share your openings

We recently discussed how social media is changing the way recruiters and HR managers find great talent. Take advantage of resources like Facebook Jobs and LinkedIn to find great seasonal talent.

Consult your legal and HR team about benefits and local laws

While payroll and HR laws vary state by state, according to SHRM, employers with 100 or more employees must provide benefits to those who work more than 120 days during a calendar year. So, if your seasonal employee decides to work longer than three months, they are considered full-time. Consult with your legal and human resources teams to determine if it is necessary to provide benefits to your seasonal employees.

Host orientations and training workshops

An excellent way to motivate seasonal employees and make them feel like they are a part of a larger team is to host orientations and trainings for all new hires. Educate them on the company mission, policies, and procedures; introduce stakeholders within the organization; and encourage seasonal employees to ask questions! In addition to the orientation, offer ongoing educational training to all seasonal employees during the time they are employed. Trainings will ensure they are skilled in all the software programs, security and safety measures, and tasks they need to perform during their employment contract period.

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Turn a seasonal hire into a full-time employee

Great recruiters who hire seasonal employees often look to develop a list of superstar employees who can return for each season. Top talent scouts love working with returning workers because they need less training in the long run and already love and know your company. Even if a former seasonal employee cannot return for the next season, they are usually willing to spread the word about any openings or refer friends or family who might be a great fit for your company.