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Hiring Seasonal Employees Can Bring Success in Peak Periods

Has your business been experiencing a spike in workload recently? Maybe your peak season is just around the corner and you want to make the most of the increased opportunities.

Adding seasonal employees can bring a much-needed boost to your in-house productivity so you can meet demand and expand your business. In fact, having a flexible temporary workforce available can effectively scale your team's capability without impacting the efficiency of your full-time staff.

To highlight the benefits of seasonal employees and help you get started, we've gathered some key resources to help attract, hire, and retain a valuable temporary workforce perfectly fit for your business needs!

Attracting the Right Candidates in the Right Season

Finding good help is hard, especially when it comes to the busiest seasons. Depending on your industry you may see influxes of workload before the holiday season, right before the tax deadline, or even around back-to-school time.

However, getting the most productivity out of your seasonal hires can be a difficult task, especially if your workflow requires a decent amount of training.

Incentivizing the choice of your company over other temporary options goes a long way in attracting a dedicated, hardworking team, but the benefits you provide can be so much more than a higher pay rate. Here are some additional quality of life benefits you can use to better attract and retain the right seasonal employees:

  • Signing Bonuses - Most temporary employees are looking for a quick and stable source of secondary income, so any available bonus is likely to pique the interest of applicants.

    It is best to offer this bonus with a condition, like awarding it after the completion of ten shifts. These terms will generally protect your seasonal expenses from employees that want the bonus with a minimal amount of work.

  • Same-Day Pay - This perk is especially important during the holiday or back-to-school season. Some of your seasonal employees may be home for the holidays, preparing to leave for school, or trying to gather extra money for gifts or supplies. Offering faster cash than your competitors will give you another competitive advantage when looking for new hires.

  • Offer Flexible Scheduling - Many holiday hirings include longer or later shifts to accommodate for increased traffic, so accommodating employee schedules can go a long way to making your temporary hires happy.

    For example, if a new hire already has a day job, starting their shift around 7:00 PM can allow time for dinner and rest before a second shift. If you operate a retail store, this can also give a break to your full-time employees, allowing some afternoon shift workers to leave earlier!

  • Increase Pay for Undesirable Shifts - If your business operates 24/7, or simply has later hours than most, you may want to consider offering greater benefits to those employees who work the least enjoyable shifts.

    More qualified or experienced applicants may be looking to work more normal shifts, so adding the prospect of higher pay can put highly efficient employees in positions all throughout your working hours. For more information on how to retain highly skilled employees, continue reading or read our blog on how to retain great talent!

  • Offer a Referral Bonus! - Who wouldn't want to work with their friends? Offering a referral bonus to both current and new employees creates a win-win-win scenario for everyone involved. While bonuses should still not be given right away, incentivizing referrals can relieve some of the stress from HR and energize your employees to become recruiters for qualified and like-minded candidates!

While the application to your business may vary, implementing some of these tips can go a long way to improving the quality and quantity of applicants you are recruiting. Now that you've got the right people on hand, it is time to determine the best time to hire, so you can receive the maximum benefit for your team!

seasonal worker picking strawberries

Hiring and Training Candidates at High-Impact Times

Even though having a strong temporary workforce can do a lot for your business, hiring at the wrong time or being unprepared for onboarding can have a harmful effect on your productivity and efficiency.

It is important to note that seasonal employees are not plug-and-play, especially if they are being brought on for the first time. Even experienced temps will need some time to acclimate to your work environment, so it is best to make the best effort you can to properly onboard and train your employees.

Here are four keys to keep in mind when setting up new employees for success!

  • Connect with a Top Staffing Firm - Even if you are running job ads in traditional spaces like Indeed or LinkedIn, you may not always be receiving a truly complete list of qualified candidates. Starting a relationship with a scouting or staffing company can remove some of the hassles of the job search, while also acting as an effective way of prescreening other applicants. Taking this step ensures you are always getting the best employees available!

  • Hire Before the Season Starts - If your industry requires a significant amount of training, it is important to begin looking for temporary employees early so there is sufficient time to train them. Untrained or inefficient workers can severely harm productivity and quality of labor, posing an extremely high risk to your business.

    Even if the jobs you are hiring for are not extremely technical, it is best to start the search for temporary employees about two months before peak season. This buffer allows for a selective search for employees while also retaining enough time to allow them to gain proficiency with the work they are doing!

  • Train with Top Performers - Do you already have high-efficiency workers? Maybe long-term employees that have become masters of their craft? Training your temporary employees with these top performers can instill good work habits and extra attention to detail when compared to general training. While it may be difficult to remove this high-value employee from the floor at times, the return on investment often consists of a deep roster of well-trained and proficient employees!

  • Reward Success and High Efficiency - While a lot of your temporary employees may only stay temporary, creating bonus incentives for certain levels of performance, attendance, or success can encourage a strong level of healthy competition between employees and better to identify a path to full-time employment for the highest performers.

The overall goal when hiring these new employees is to make sure they are making the maximum impact for your business while minimizing the risks to quality and productivity. Taking these proactive steps prior to bringing on some new talent will better ensure that you are getting as great of a return as possible!

Working to Retain a Loyal Temporary Workforce

seasonal employee

Even after peak season ends, there may be some standouts from the new employees. Working to retain these team members, even if they leave during the slower months, will help build a long, reliable list of skilled workers with high-value experience.

However, it is still important to treat your temporary workers with respect. Although some of them may seem expendable at first, the long-term prospects of a well-trained seasonal employee can bring a ton of value to your company in the long run.

Whether you're looking to retain or promote some of your most talented short-term employees, here are a few important notes to keep in mind when throughout their term:

  • Treat Temps Like Full-Time - Your seasonal hires are performing a great service to your business. While they are not the highest impact members on your payroll, they are allowing you to capitalize on the increased traffic that comes with your busy seasons.

    Make them feel at home, invite them to team meetings, or provide benefits that your full-time employees also get around these times. Identifying them as valuable parts of your organization will go a long way toward motivating your short-term hires to work hard during their current term and make them more likely to return at another time.

  • Offer a Path to Promotion - Depending on your industry, the part-time work you provide may be a valuable resume-building tool for the younger members of your seasonal staff. Allowing them to make the most of this experience over time not only increases their potential for company-wide impact, but also long-term retention and success.

    You should provide clear and attainable goals that highlight a path to increased responsibility, better pay, and even short-term or full-time promotions. What may originally start as a need for seasonal employees can quickly become career growth and change for any of your temps. Empowering these new team members can make a positive difference in their life while also encouraging some healthy competition with your full-time employees.

    For more resources on how to get started promoting your seasonal workers, check out our blog on hiring temps as permanent employees!

  • Be the Employer of Choice - Just like you aim to be the best in your industry, you should also desire to be the best working environment for all of your employees, especially part-timers.

    Even though a seasonal employee is not plug-and-play from the start, multiple seasons of experience can forge a truly versatile team member that can continually contribute to your business efforts. To better achieve this goal, you should be seeking out new perks or accommodations that give your seasonal employees a positive experience that encourages and empowers them to return.

Staffing Services In Greater Philadelphia

J & J Staffing Resources is a professional staffing agency that connects local businesses to job seekers throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

We bring over 45 years of expertise in office, industrial, technical, and professional staffing placements as well as payroll management, and offer a wide range of services for both employers and job seekers.

Need help? J & J Staffing has offices in Newark, Bridgeport, Woodbury, Cherry Hill, Ewing, Princeton, Langhorne, and Horsham. Visit your local J & J staffing center or get started below.