Hiring Seasonal Workers? 4 Steps to Find the Best Ones

Does your business need to add seasonal workers? No matter whether your busy season is the warm and fun summer or the traditional holiday shopping period, seasonal employees are the lifeblood of many cyclical industries. 

If you need to hire temporary staff to help out, follow these few steps to find the best ones you can. 

1. Use Staffing Agencies

Seeking out, vetting, hiring, and maintaining a bunch of new employees once or twice a year can be difficult for any small business. One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary expense and time investment is to allow temporary agencies to do all the work.

Not only will the staffing service maintain all the payroll responsibilities, but they also have an established relationship with a pool of known workers. You run less risk of problem employees, no-shows, and background check failures. The agency will also have a pool of late-season new hires if you need them.  

2. Think Long-Term

As you seek out and work with seasonal employees, keep an eye out for signs that someone might be a good year-after-year worker. After all, it’s less expensive to rehire someone without having to recruit or train them again. Build long-term relationships with such individuals right now so that they will be more likely to come back next year.

You and your supervisors should be on the lookout for good workers as the season progresses. Ask them directly about their availability for the next season. Let them know you’re interested in them for more work — perhaps even for permanent positions as they become available. 

If they show interest, foster their return by providing extra training opportunities and a forward-thinking plan for their return. Offer incentives such as benefits for returning employees, a bonus for next year, or a higher rate of future pay. In other words, get good employees excited about coming back in the future.  

3. Look for the Right Pool

Many seasonal workers fall into two categories. The first are people who see the job as a purely temporary measure that they will replace with a permanent position as soon as possible. This type of employee might not return and has less of an investment in helping you boost your business in a meaningful way.

The second are people who see seasonal work as a good fit into their permanent schedule. They aren’t seeking full-time work, usually due to other commitments — like earning a degree — that take priority. This is the pool you really want to work with.

Depending on your business needs, consider recruiting among retirees, stay-at-home parents, and college (or college-bound) students. These and similar types of individuals often prefer the flexibility and limited annual commitment provided by seasonal work. If you value what they can bring to your business, your company becomes a stand-out place to earn a little extra cash.  

4. Train in Advance

Hiring seasonal workers a little further in advance than your actual needs allows you to bring them up to speed before things get crazy. Even though it’s an extra investment of payroll dollars, try to schedule shifts — preferably about three weeks early — for dedicated training sessions, practice runs, and to get acquainted with your business.

Once things are at full speed during the busy season, you won’t have time for these activities and your business may suffer for it. Throwing an untrained or unprepared worker into a difficult job is a quick way to see them fail at the current season and not want to return for the next.

If you apply one or more of these methods, you’re sure to see the quality of your seasonal workers improve. By finding the right pool of employees and giving them a reason to return next year, you’ll save time and money. At Tulsa’s Green Country Staffing, we can help. Make an appointment to learn more about our services to Oklahoma businesses throughout the year.  

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