Hiring Seasonal Workers is Becoming More Difficult for Small Businesses. Heres How to Stay Competitive.

November 19, 2018
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Category: HR Tips & Trends

how to hire seasonal workers

For many small businesses, hiring seasonal workers can make or break their success. Whether the work is seasonal due to tourism seasons, holiday seasons, or anything in between, it’s seasonal workers who get businesses through their busiest times.

However, many small businesses also struggle with hiring seasonal employees. The labor market is tight and small businesses often have tighter budgets than their big business competitors which can make attracting seasonal talent a difficult task. That said, small businesses have one distinct advantage when it comes to hiring seasonal employees: their ability to be flexible and quickly adapt to new needs thanks to their smaller size. Here’s how you can stand out among the crowd of competition this holiday season.

Who is considered a seasonal worker?

While the definition of a seasonal employee can change, this typically means the employee works for six months or less at a single job and the work begins and ends at roughly the same time each year. When seasonal workers are employed by you, “seasonal and part-time employees are subject to the same tax withholding rules that apply to other employees,” explains the IRS. 

Here’s where the categorization gets complicated in terms of seasonal workers: if your company only exceeds 50 workers for less than 120 days, then you’re not considered an ALE.

Do seasonal workers typically receive benefits?

When trying to figure out whether or not your seasonal employees are entitled to benefits or not, it really comes down to whether or not you’re considered an applicable large employer (ALE). Here’s where the categorization gets complicated in terms of seasonal workers: if your company only exceeds 50 workers for less than 120 days, then you’re not considered an ALE. However, seasonal employees are still entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay as outlined by law.

How do I make my business more attractive when hiring seasonal workers?

Considering that many seasonal employees aren’t used to any additional benefits, in both the traditional and fringe benefit sense, the more you can give them along with their employment, the easier you’ll have it when hiring seasonal employees.

If you’re in the position to offer them health benefits while they’re working for you, this perk will certainly give you an edge. If not, here are some alternative options:

  • Offer fringe benefits such as available personal days or reimbursing commuter costs.
  • Because so many seasonal workers are employed to cover the busy holiday season, consider offering them discounts on your products– they might like a discount to ease the financial burden of holiday gift giving and travel.
  • Use a referral program and include your full-time employees. Compensate the referrer with anything from a cash bonus to a PTO day.
  • Consider offering full-time opportunities for seasonal workers. Though it’s not a guaranteed job offer, the potential for future work might be enough to entice a few extra motivated workers to apply.

About

Cinnamon Janzer is a journalist and content writer based in Minneapolis. Her first job was at a buffet in Mandan, North Dakota which was just as lowbrow as it sounds. Read more about her at www.cinnamon-janzer.com.

Category: HR Tips & Trends


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