Seasonal employees - bringing order to chaos

Submitted by Dawn on 16th September 2019

Seasonal staff - expert HR support

“An article on the benefits of recruiting seasonal employees? In mid-September?” You could be forgiven for thinking the timing is a little odd right at the tail-end of summer. But, of course, being an expert and responsible business planner, you won’t need reminding of what’s just around the corner. The small matter of Christmas. For many businesses - the busiest time of all, when staffing pressures really come into play.

Keeping projects on track
Of course, summer holidays have now passed. But how was it for your business? Were you able to plan effectively for the gaps left when your people jetted off to sunny climes? It’s not unusual for businesses to find themselves short-handed over the summer months. Hiring seasonal employees for cover when regular employees take annual leave can help keep projects on track or get them finished.

You can’t always predict when you might need extra help. But, for many businesses, there will always be times when you can expect higher than usual workloads and seasonal staff might well relieve the consequential discomfort and stress.

This can vary according to the type of business you have.

Christmas and January - a hectic time for accountants
November and December can be incredibly busy for many Accountancy Practices. With end-of-year responsibilities looming, workplace stress levels can swell immediately before and after the Christmas and New year holidays.

Retail, logistics and manufacturing
Or maybe your business covers the field of retail, supply, logistics or manufacturing. You may well need significant extra help at this time. For many of these sectors, the months of November and December are the key ‘profit months’. To be under-staffed or to rely on unskilled temporary employees could spell ruin for the entire financial year.

You’re expanding
Many small businesses don't enjoy the luxury of growing at a consistent rate. You might need to bring in seasonal employees to support regular employees who are scoping out new client opportunities.
Ideally, you need an effective strategy in place before you find yourself in situations such as these. You need to be able to quickly find, and onboard highly-skilled seasonal employees. 

Steps you can take - 

1. Talk to us - we know what works
OK - we aren’t recruiters but we do have expert knowledge of the employment marketplace. We can help you think about the options and pitfalls of the recruitment process.

2. Be ready to make an offer
Prepare in advance by thinking about the job description and the pay scale you’re prepared to offer. These days the market for temporary staff is competitive. Make sure you offer a remuneration level that’s competitive without being excessive.

3. Set clear expectations
Even with a seasonal employee, you need to have a strong sense of the specific duties and responsibilities of the job you’re hiring for. Be prepared and clear with your job description and make sure you communicate this to us and to the candidate during the interview.

4. Spot potential - save on recruitment costs
Keep a close eye on the performance of your seasonal employees. Not for any potentially negative reason but so that you can effectively evaluate their skills and temperament. You never know - they might be a perfect fit for a future permanent role. This could save you both time and money.

Of course, as they’ve been with you for a while, they’ll be already fully ‘onboarded’. You’ll have accurately assessed their cultural fit and have all their systems set-up. Other than changing their employment status, the experience can be seamless. 

Whether you’re impacted by periods of heavy workloads or seasonal work, a little preparation can go a long way. Apply this hiring strategy and take the load off you and the rest of your staff.

Here to help

As experts in Employee Engagement & Retention, we understand the respective value of planning ahead for seasonal staff.

For straight-talking advice on all aspects of HR, call us - 01604 763494

Or email - info@GravitasHR.co.uk