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Making the most of Seasonal Workers

Forty per cent of employers hire seasonal workers on an annual basis and approximately two million people work temporary jobs each day. Why then, are seasonal jobs often deemed as ‘lesser roles’ than regular ‘full time’ positions? From my experience the source of the negative image is associated with the handling of these positions rather than the nature of the work itself. This article aims to highlight the complexities and help navigate them.

If you list the benefits of seasonal workers, you can easily see why so many companies choose to adopt this method of employment. Forty per cent of companies cannot be wrong. Seasonal staff must bring something to the table. Some of the benefits include: –

  • The ability to adapt to fluctuating demands and maintain staff flexibility
  • Evaluate employee potential without the commitment for a full-time role
  • Using the season to trial staff. Like a fixed term assessment centre
  • Save time and money on recruitment costs and running costs.

What is in it for the two million people working temporary roles?

  • It can be CV building and avoid CV gaps
  • They can test a new company/job
  • It may lead to full time work
  • Supplement other work with evening/weekend shifts
  • Taking temporary work (even if not in your field) can show commitment to work and other positive things about your personality
  • Opportunity to trial/learn/develop new things without full commitment
  • Get extra references for full time work if at University or school
  • Assist in personal circumstances
  • Schedule of work more flexible day/night/weekends/busy periods.

The negative aspects of this type of work for the employee can include – limited training, lower wages, limited company benefits and not feeling part of the company/culture.

However, the negative aspects of hiring seasonal workers for companies can be more far reaching if the situation is not handled properly.

  • Training needed for large numbers of people at the same time
  • Administration to onboard correctly
  • Reliability – the potential to be let down more frequently which causes its own headaches
  • The potential for morale issues with temp staff impacting your permanent employees

The complex legal landscape of contractual arrangements is also so important to get right. Understanding employee or worker status, complexities of umbrella contracts, minimum wage variations, whether its fixed term etc and variable benefits (i.e. bonus) are critical.

If you develop good relationships and contracts in the first instance, then nothing should prevent you from seeing real benefits of seasonal workers. Having a clear conscience to flex your workforce can have huge benefits for your business, whilst also providing temporary roles to those that need them or those wanting to build experience.

These are our recommendations for effectively hiring seasonal staff. Firstly, develop your budget for staff and recruitment. Secondly understand the contract type and get a professional to draft it. Thirdly, seasonal workers should feel that they are treated with the same respect as other colleagues. Then finally, create a robust onboarding programme designed for seasonal or temporary staff. This programme should include training and development plans to get them up to speed quickly. A buddy or network element to ensure that they become part of your organisation from the outset. Engaging your seasonal and full-time employees will be the biggest benefit to your productivity and sales.

There is no reason why you and your community shouldn’t benefit from the effective employment of seasonal staff if you put the right measures in place and who doesn’t love a win-win scenario!