News & Press: Human Resources

Hiring for the Holidays?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015   (0 Comments)

This is the time of year to start planning wonderful feasts and spending time with loved ones, but what does the upcoming holiday season mean for employers? Is it full of fun or is it just more added stress?


For employers, it may mean increased staffing needs due to the amplified business around the holiday season. Employers should get started early to estimate their staffing needs to be well prepared for any holiday season. Not planning ahead can result in increased overtime, which can really eat away at those increased holiday profits. Employers need to identify where their employment gaps may be during the upcoming season and start planning their seasonal worker recruiting strategy. Seasonal workers don’t just include the traditional floor staff, but may include all departments of the organization including support personnel.


Finding competent seasonal employees usually isn’t an easy task and employers should start recruiting early so they don’t have to settle on mediocre, last minute hires. Employers can forecast labor additions by looking at past year’s seasonal sales/production numbers to help determine their temporary worker staffing needs. Spending the time upfront to estimate your upcoming staffing needs can save you money.


Employers, especially those in close proximity to others in the same industry, will be competing for a limited pool of qualified temporary seasonal workers. Offering competitive pay and other perks to win the battle for seasonal talent can prove to be very beneficial. Employers can’t get by with simply posting a help wanted sign and waiting for applicants to come to them due of the competition for seasonal workers. Employers must utilize various recruiting techniques including staffing agencies, social media, online job forums and job fairs as well as current employee referrals. Ideal seasonal workers include workers that come back to the same employer year after year for seasonal work because they have proven to be trustworthy and know the expectations of the position.


Once you have hired your seasonal workers, the question of onboarding and training is something that must be ad-dressed. It can be hard to justify spending lot of time and money to provide training and onboarding given that the workers are only there for a limited time. However, taking shortcuts on both orientation and training can be costly. Government requirements stay the same regarding new hire paperwork and there can’t be any shortcuts taken. Also, if training is not done correctly at the beginning, remedial training can take even more time and, in the long run, can significantly hurt the bottom line. A lack of proper training can also lead to safety concerns and compliance issues. Take some time upfront to make sure your seasonal workers understand what is expected of them and you will save time fixing mistakes down the road.


Beyond the challenge of recruiting and hiring quality seasonal workers, employers must remain aware of the  numerous legal considerations. A temporary position is a position lasting one year or less, with a specific ‘expiration date’. Hiring temporary employees is appropriate when an employer expects there will be no permanent need for the employee. If you are making a hire that is not expected to be less than one year and is not to fill a position that involves intermittent or seasonal work, then that hire would not be considered seasonal and should be hired as a regular employee and awarded the same benefits as all other regular employees. Temporary employees are covered by government regulated requirements including Social Security and unemployment compensation as well as worker’s compensation. We recommend running background checks and checking references for your seasonal workers. Doing your due diligence to vet the worker upfront will reduce the liability of hiring an untrustworthy worker that may cost you in the long run.


We encourage companies to start thinking about seasonal hiring in a strategic manner instead of trying to fill spaces with bodies. Identify your gaps, hire quality workers, provide training and support and the company will benefit from decreased employee issues and increased customer service good will.


For further questions about seasonal employment, please contact a member of the Associated Industries Human Resources team at

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