Hiring, Leadership, Tips

The Best Way to Approach Hiring Seasonal Help

Small businesses are constantly looking for ways to keep payroll costs reasonable. For this reason, many businesses benefit from hiring seasonal help rather than ramping up full-time staff. This may be something for you to consider. Perhaps you’re a summer camp looking to hire 30 seasonal staffers or a ski resort looking for winter ski instructors. Or maybe you’re a retailer looking for help during the holiday rush.

The process for hiring seasonal help is somewhat similar to hiring full-time employees, but there are a few good things to know. 


Be Transparent and Specific When Advertising the Job Description

The best way to attract the right candidates is by using clear language in the job description. You want to be as specific as possible. Say something like “Part-time Sales Associate for October – December” rather than “Retail Help for Busy Season.” Identify the timeline of the position and the role. Include the dates and the hours and schedule requirements. Explain the compensation structure clearly.

Be transparent about the job requirements as well. If you’re hiring a lifeguard for a summer camp, list the certifications you’re looking for clearly. Make sure to follow state regulations about minimum wage, overtime, and employee benefits. 


Start Hiring Early to Beat the Rush

If you’re looking for seasonal help, it’s likely that other companies are as well. Get the job description posted and ready well in advance so you can start interviewing and hiring candidates before your competitors. 

Start months before you think you need to. It may take longer than anticipated.


Plan Recruitment Events & Attend Job Fairs

Depending on what season you’re looking to hire, you may be able to visit college campuses in search of seasonal employees. This is especially successful for summer camps and other summer jobs. 

There may be job fairs in your area that could attract ideal candidates for seasonal employment. Work with local schools and organizations to stay informed.


Use Employee Referrals to Get Candidates

Consider asking full-time staff for any referrals for seasonal help. Often they may have a family member or friend looking for work. You may even consider offering referral bonuses if they provide a great candidate.

But do be sure to cover your bases with an employee referral program. One common approach is to provide a bonus after a new hire has stayed on the team for a minimum amount of time.


Maintain Relationships with Seasonal Staff Year-round

A good way to eliminate work each year is to keep great relationships with seasonal staff. In their exit interview, ask if they’ll return again next year. Keep communication lines open with them all year. 


Consider an End of Season Bonus for Seasonal Hires

As a way to ensure staff sticks around, consider an end of season bonus for all employees who work the full season. Make the requirements clear in the hiring process. 


Hiring seasonal employees can be a money-saving opportunity for your small business. By starting early, being transparent, and maintaining positive relationships, you’ll be able to build your team of seasonal help and maximize your busy season.

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